Before I launch into the “state of the North Shore union” commentary, I want to talk about certain media’s propensity to “create” news by highlighting the horror of the “worst case scenario”
best case scenarios are never used – no mouth-dropping effect – only “logical” skepticism! To illustrate this I’ll use the Cover page of MacLeans’ magazine, which, at time of writing is dated almost exactly six months ago (March 2/09) –http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/08/macleans-covers-gallery/mac_cover_090302/and an article http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/02/23/the-shocking-truth-about-the-value-of-your-home/ . First the headline – “House Prices – The Good News – The Bad News”. Incidentally, the other secondary ‘headlines’ on this cover were “One Tough Mother. The Spectacular Rise of M.I.A.” (the Grammy nominated, hip-hop, garage rock, politico singer) and also “Face It Quebec: France is just not that into you”. Typical “new genre /new age” headlines for our metamorphosing “wannabe edgy” ‘official (?) magazine’ of Canada.
So, to continue, MacLeans’ “good news” in a sentence was, “Canadian real estate will soon be much more affordable”. The “bad news” was the ominous proposal, that, “The value of your home is about to drop another 20%”. Wow, great magazine selling rhetoric! The first issue the magazine buyer faces, turning to the article (described incidentally as a “SPECIAL REPORT” – all caps) is that the author cites as evidence for his proposal, one buyer’s “devastating” story. Space is limited so I’ll only quote the first paragraph in full – “There are still people out there who don’t believe Canada is about to be hit by a devastating housing crisis, but…(name omitted)… isn’t one of them. For him the crisis has already arrived.” The following one and a half columns proceed to describe this unfortunate buyer of a (to be built) $1,500,000 penthouse condo in Yaletown. To bind both parties to this contract, the buyer advanced an $80,000 deposit. After this contract was confirmed (although how long after, is not stated) he put his current home on the market and after lowering the price “again and again”, (a total of $120,000 below the original asking price) had been unable to find a buyer. It would be interesting to know if this buyer had representation from a Realtor (or legal advice) or if he chose to buy directly from the Developer’s agent with limited (or no) representation (advice).
While the article is ‘riveting reading’ in its entirety we’ll move on. (use above URL links or get access via September Update at www.AlanSkinner.com and follow the link in the article). Of greatest significance here is the amazing inaccuracy of these predictions for us here in Vancouver (which incidentally was the “poster child” of the article). Since Mar/09 when this was published, Greater Vancouver values which had already dropped some 20 – 30% have likely bounced back to within about 10% of the “high point”. As I’ve said in previous updates, the best deals were to be had in the Jan – March time frame and these are becoming like “hen’s teeth” with the dramatic drop in overall inventory and rampant sales figures of the past few months.
So, you be the judge as to MacLeans’ dramatic mileage six months ago and the actual evolving scenario based on the sales, average prices and inventory picture below.
Overall North Shore demand maintains its strengthening trend and all inventories continue to drop month over month. Note – if this demand continues, prices will edge up further.
Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you… www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca – the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for FULL market listing information.
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