A Good Time To Be A Seller – It Would Seem

A Good Time To Be A Seller - It Would Seem

I generally steer clear of sweeping statements like this month’s headline. The reason it appears here is that the first 3 months’ results on our North Shore show that those who did sell in this time frame far outperformed those selling in the comparable ‘09 period. Albeit that was an economic low point.

Does this automatically imply that now is therefore a bad time to buy? Only if one believes that market values are turning and will start moving down.  This will only happen if buyers collectively retreat from making the decision to buy. I will go out on a limb and say that the demand for “re-housing” will not drop with any significance in the short term. My belief is based on a few factors. Firstly, the fact that multitudes of property seekers have pre-approved mortgages at rates below those seen in the new “rate sheets” of the major lenders.

These mortgages have to be drawn down before their terms expire – anything from 30 – 90 days. Oh, and while on this subject, as I’ve often said, make sure to get a mortgage rate pinned down if you may be a buyer in the short/medium term. Think of it as a “financial prophylactic”.

Secondly, a one-time phenomenon (until the next one-time phenomenon 😉 ) – that of the July 1st introduction of the HST. New construction will generally be impacted. However, owing to the rebate rules (see http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2009FIN0017-000647.pdf  – for those who would like the text of the November 19, 2009 Ministry of Finance statement) which lessen the “increased 7%”, HST on a $500k purchase would not be affected (“purchasers of new homes up to $525,000 pay no more tax due to harmonization”) – a $1mm unit $43,750 [$70,000 – 26,250];  a $2mm unit $113,250 [$140,000 – 26,250]. Remember that the property developer will now be claiming (as an input tax credit) all the 7% (PST portion of the HST) that they have paid in the construction of the units for sale and will thus have a lesser cost of construction equivalent from, say, 40% to 70% of the PST portion (7%) of the tax that they would have passed on to the end purchaser. They now have the flexibility to pass on some or all of this saving in the way of a reduced unit price to the buyer.

Will this double whammy, tax and rate increase, mean the end of local civilization as we know it? Again, an opinion – no. The “Chicken Little” reaction is not called for, although, obviously these incremental economic factors have, at least initially, some effect on prices and activity. Affordability does impact demand and will almost certainly put the brakes on the recent round of housing price inflation.

The tax impact of this collecting of PST on hitherto exempt items, is, in the case of “new” real estate really a “wealth tax” (or in economic parlance a form of progressive taxation) impacting those who can afford the higher priced new dwellings harder than those not able to afford these luxury items.

Overall North Shore demand continues to be strong with inventory, other than townhomes (11 more), lower than 2009.

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.

To join the group getting the e-mail version of this “update” – send a request now toalanskinner@shaw.ca and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca

April 2010 Numbers

April 2010 Numbers

Now, what are these first quarter 2010 figures I’ve extracted from the REBGV database upon which I have based my comments. Here goes…

North Van detached homes sold are up by 67% from the 1st Q of the previous year, attached (t/hses) up by 117% and apartments up by 53% from ’09. Detached average prices up 29% and inventory Mar 31st, down by 15%. Average prices up 26% (t/hse) and up 27% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 34% lower than ’09 and (apt) up 11% from ’09. N/Van inventory other than apartments (additional 38 units) is still lower than 2009. Demand is still strong and, unless we see a significant number of new properties coming on the market, this will continue to keep sale prices in the upper range.

In West Van, detached number of sales is up by 88% from ’09.  Average price up by 11% and inventory Mar 31st down 5% from ’09. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold are up from 2009 to 19 vs 1 unit; average price up 103%. Active listings are up from Mar 31st (48 vs. 37).  Apartments reflect 42 sold vs. 23 during ’09 – an 82% increase; with average price 30% higher than ’09 and active listings down 8% from Mar 31st 09.

Overall North Shore demand continues to be strong with inventory, other than townhomes (11 more), lower than 2009.

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.

To join the group getting the e-mail version of this “update” – send a request now toalanskinner@shaw.ca and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca

Podcasts

North Shore Real Estate Radio

This year I pledge to continue my personalized service and further reduce my business ecological “footprint”. A new initiative is the radio (podcast) library which I am creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368

Click on the “Launch Podcast Player” Icon in the top right of this website to listen now

North Vancouver Real Estate

Podcasts

Selecting Your Real Estate Agent

Selecting Your Real Estate Agent

Selecting Your Real Estate Agent. The Agent brings the market to you. The market decides the price.

The right Agent is the one who knows the market and can get you the best price possible – not the one who promises you the highest price just to get you to list with them!
Many of the same questions, hesitations and strategies connected with seeking out professional assistance in any field – whether you’re looking for a doctor, dentist, lawyer or accountant – come into play when you’re selecting a real estate agent.

Some people find an agent through a family member or friend. This is often a reliable approach. However, you might not always find the most compatible assistance this way. In a transaction as important and intensive as buying and selling a home, that can be critical.

A referral from a family member or friend doesn’t guarantee a perfect match. Just think of something as simple as a movie or restaurant recommendation. Your close friends rave about a new Chinese food place downtown – so you check it out. Could this possibly be the same restaurant they were describing? Mediocre service. No chopsticks. Bland flavors. It’s the same restaurant. Same cook. Same waiters. Just different perceptions.

Regardless of how you get an agent’s name, it might be worth interviewing at least a couple before you make a final decision – or at least arming yourself with some criteria to go over with any agent who has been recommended to you.

A few things to look for:

If you’re looking for an agent to list your home, be wary of anyone who suggests they can get an unreasonably high sales price. An agent might use a high listing price to secure a contract, only to seek a lower price later, after little traffic is generated at the initial price level.

Meanwhile, you’ve lost what can be the most critical time period in selling a home – the first weeks immediately after it’s listed.

Check on experience and productivity. As with most professions, experience pays in real estate.Experienced agents know the market and the marketing process. They’ll have the best chance of quickly and smoothly helping you to buy or sell your home.

The number of transactions an agent is handling monthly or yearly is going to give you an indication of how committed the agent is to the profession. Is the agent a part-timer who’s just dabbling in real estate sales – or is the agent a full-time professional whose livelihood depends entirely on an ability to successfully and repeatedly close real estate transactions?

Does the agent know the market ?

Is the agent part of a national network? This can be especially important if you’re selling in one city in preparation of moving to another. Your selling agent can refer you to a professional,compatible agent in your destination city – and keep in close contact with that agent so both your selling and buying efforts are closely coordinated. It is no secret that Re/Max sells more North Shore property than any other realty company; many of those buyers coming directly from Re/Max agents in other geographic locations.

And a final point: Does the agent seem primarily interested in sharing expertise and market knowledge in an honest and straightforward manner? Or does the agent seem more interested in telling you what you want to hear ? Or worse still are they getting you to sign up with them just to pass you off to an assistant who will deal with the “trivia” of actually selling your home ? The worst time to secure the services of a “yes-man” or an agent who seems to have too many irons in the fire is when you’re entering a transaction involving something as important as your home. You need straightforward, reliable information – even if it’s not necessarily flattering – regarding the home you’re selling – or very encouraging regarding a home you think you might want to buy.

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