Like The Bus, Eventually The Cycle Arrives

Like The Bus, Eventually The Cycles Arrives

My talk of cycles in last month’s Update sparked some response and comments which again put me in mind of the Blood, Sweat and Tears hit “Spinning Wheel”. The oft postulated “what goes up must come down” like the pendulum is believed by some to imply the Physics law of an equal and opposite reaction. Far from it here on the ‘sunny’ (?) North Shore. To explain my viewpoint we need only to revisit the tenets of Supply and Demand. A quick aside here – I do wish that the popular press and various other commentators would let go of the notion – rising average prices, GOOD – flat or any decline in prices, BAD. The stages of the cycle are natural and all should be accepted as normal parts of healthy markets. I guess that drama is more exciting when selling a position. Back then to “boring” supply and demand. Supply, as in number of properties for sale at any given time, is certainly up markedly on our North Shore (N/Van particularly with all categories over the number of units offered at the end of Apr 2011). Fact is, however, we have an “improved selection” of homes for sale now. A good proportion of these are, admittedly priced a little higher than the market is comfortable with. Demand too, has apparently reduced; the evidence being (again N/Van figures) the May ’12 fact of (in houses and t/house categories, between 8 – 13% fewer sales vs. May ’11. Apartments are the contrarian with 7% more sales YTD than May ’11. I use the term “apparently” as we are seeing a fair level of interested buyer activity in the market despite the obvious drop in number of offers being made. Seems some price reductions are sought for in the former two categories.

This cautious nature of the “interested buyer” is not surprising but does not by any means indicate that that group has “all packed their tents and are heading off for protracted summer holidays”. In the same vein, I believe that we on the North Shore are not yet truly into the “buyers’ market” alluded to in the official press release of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. This we cannot really claim until (and if) prices moderate somewhat and average prices show a reduction. [Only W/Van apartments show a lower average (8%) on significantly fewer sales (and small sample size)]. This we have not yet seen – see stats following. To sum up, what we are experiencing is that Buyers are cautious and wannabe Sellers are likely regretting not having put their properties on the market 3 or more months ago. Indeed, we can bet that many of the unsuccessful Sellers who listed in the 1st quarter of the year regret they listed at the price they did.


June 2012 Numbers

June 2012 Numbers

Now to the summary of our North Shore results. North Van detached homes sold are down ‘year to date’ by 8% from this time last year, attached (t/hses) sold – down 13% and apartments up 7% from 2011. Detached – average price is 5% higher than 2011 and inventory May 31st, 2012 up 17% from 2011. Average prices up 6% (t/hses) and up 5% (apts). Inventory (t/hses) up 25% from May 31st, 2011 and (apt) up 6% from 2011. N/Van overall inventory at May 31st, 2012 is up13% over 2011 and all categories in N/Van, down 4% in total sales ’12 vs. ’11.

In West Van, detached number of sales to date 2012 is down by 43% from last year. Average price up by 11% and inventory May 31st, 2012 up 19% from last year. On the condo side – sales of attached (t/hses) are up, at 44 vs. 30 units; average price is now 12% higher. Active listings from May 31st, 2011 (50 vs. 33). Apartments sold are down from 2011 (110 vs. 83), with average price 8% lower than’ 11 (remember the small sample size) and active listings up 20% from May 31st, 2011(117 vs. 97). Overall 22% higher inventory with softer demand evident – particularly detached properties. Some 37% fewer units sold YTD vs. 2011.


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 “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

North Vancouver Real Estate


Selecting A Real Estate Agent

Selecting A 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.