The End Or A Beginning

TheEndOrA Beginning

I referred in December to the “year coasting to a quiet close” and boy was it quiet!  This month’s Update (the first edition of 2013) addresses a comparison of the calendar year results for 2012 vs. 2011, always a fun one to pull together as it takes the actual stats of two full years and, in a way, puts the old year to bed.

I’ll get to these momentarily; firstly a comment on my headline and its possible “dark side”. As a subscriber to MacLean’s magazine I get an advance copy thereof (digital download). Behold the first issue of 2013 (this is the Jan 14th edition, loaded into my iPad on Jan 4th). I guess ‘publication date’ is a flexible concept 😉 ! I urge all “balance minded” folk to read it and make their own judgement accordingly. Here we go – the front page article (accompanying a picture representing an alternative concept of ‘prices going through the roof’) sports the headline “Inside the Great Real Estate Crash of 2013”. The article on page 44 shows a lurid photograph of flames surrounding a high-rise building and in block capitals the legend CRASH AND BURN.  In an arena where opinion is fairly evenly spread between the “we’re doomed” believers and the “logically it is a correction” brigade, the only ‘economists’ quoted are those who would likely appreciate Mr. Sorensen’s rhetoric and the graphics used. Yes, I do understand the journalistically provocative style adopted by this publication (commencing about 4/5 years ago) and I’m cognizant of the concept of the “debate” which needs to open with a “speaking for the motion” piece.

Not wanting to question every comment raised, I will address one statement made. It refers to the three months of ‘falling housing starts’ as a bad thing and an indicator of impending Real Estate Armageddon (my hyperbole – I apologize) . Why could that not be seen as a likely indication that builders and developers are making an intelligent business decision? A logical response to the signs in the market. I do believe that this journalistic piece will be seen as a ‘poke’ to make the Canadian homeowner and those currently renting question all the pros and cons of being in or being out.

January 2013 Numbers

Now, at last, the full 12 month (YTD) 2012 figures vs. 2011.  North Van detached homes sold down 22% from last year, attached (t/homes) down 20% and apartments down by 14% from 2011. Detached average prices +4% and inventory now up by 57%. Average prices up 2% (t/hse) and up by 1% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 42% higher than Dec 31st 2011 and (apt) up from the same date by 3%. These relatively high inventories and soft demand will continue to keep sales prices reined in.


In West Van, detached number of sales for 2012 has dropped by 47% from 2011.  Average price up 7% and inventory up 24% over Dec 31st 2011. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2012 are up 6% from 2011 at 64 vs. 60 units (townhomes being the only contrarian). Active listings are up year over year from Dec 31st 2011by 57% (44 vs. 28).  Apartments reflect 159 sold in 2012 vs. 209 by Dec 31st 2011; with average price down 11% from Dec 31st 2011 and active listings up 67% from Dec 31st 2011.


Overall North Shore demand is sluggish with inventory much higher than Dec 31st 2011.  Yes, the average prices YTD 2012 vs. 2011 are still up in all segments except for the “small sample” apts in W/Van. With this few actual sales to compare we are far more prone to anomalies e.g. possibly fewer “luxury units” selling in these lower demand times.  Note, I’m using, as I always have, average YTD prices – while this may soften the impact of recent price slippage, it shows the price picture over the longer term. This was equally important during the “up-cycle” we left some 9 months ago.


The ‘SnapStats’ (what price ranges are selling and which are not) is being extremely well received. I am now forwarding the past 12 month trend for not only N and W/Van but including ALL available metro neighbourhoods, as many were requesting. Just fire off an e-mail to me at asking for SnapStats. If any locations are not of interest, please ignore those areas.

Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments.  I continue my commitment to keep you… – the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping-off point for FULL market listing information.

Join those wishing to get the e-mail version of the “update” and SnapStats  – send a request to; phone (604) 988-7368 or visit and you’ll be added.


North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually 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 and 1-800-665-1455.

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

North Vancouver Real Estate


REBGV Report For 2012

[Note: All figures reported are for calendar 2012 AND are 

those of all of Greater Vancouver sub-areas in aggregate]

Prices hold firm as home buyers and sellers conclude 2012 from the sidelines

The Greater Vancouver housing market experienced below average home sale totals, typical home listing activity and modest declines in home prices in 2012.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2012 reached 25,032, a 22.7 per cent decline from the 32,387 sales recorded in 2011, and an 18.2 per cent decrease from the 30,595 residential sales in 2010. Last year’s home sale total was 25.7 per cent below the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales in the region.

The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver declined 2 per cent in 2012 to 58,379 compared to the 59,539 properties listed in 2011. Looking back further, last year’s total represents a 0.6 per cent increase compared to the 58,009 residential properties listed in 2010. Last year’s listing total was 6.1 per cent above the ten-year average for annual MLS® property listings in the region.

“For much of 2012 we saw a collective hesitation on the part of buyers and sellers in the Greater Vancouver housing market. This behavior was reflected in lower than average home sale activity and modest fluctuations in home prices,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,142 in December 2012, a decrease of 31.1 per cent from the 1,658 sales recorded in December 2011 and a 32.3 per cent decline compared to November 2012 when 1,686 home sales occurred.

December sales were 38.4 per cent below the 10-year December sales average of 1,855.

Since reaching a peak in May of $625,100, the MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has declined 5.8 per cent to $590,800. This represents a 2.3 per cent decline when compared to this time last year.

“We saw home prices come down a bit during the latter half of the year. During the same period, we saw fewer home sales and listings,” Klein said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,380 in December 2012. This represents a 15.3 per cent decline compared to the 1,629 units listed in December 2011 and a 50 per cent decline compared to November 2012 when 2,758 properties were listed.

Sales of detached properties in December 2012 reached 425, a decrease of 32.5 per cent from the 630 detached sales recorded in December 2011, and a 44.7 per cent decrease from the 769 units sold in December 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties decreased 2.7 per cent from December 2011 to $904,200. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price of a detached property has declined 6.5%.

Sales of apartment properties reached 504 in December 2012, a decline of 34.9 per cent compared to the 774 sales in December 2011, and a decrease of 37.9 per cent compared to the 811 sales in December 2010.The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 1.9 per cent from December 2011 to $361,200. Since reaching a peak in May, the benchmark price of an apartment property has declined 12.8%.

Attached property sales in December 2012 totalled 213, a decline of 16.1 per cent compared to the 254 sales in December 2011, and a 33.2 per cent decrease from the 319 attached properties sold in December 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 2.6 per cent between December 2011 and 2012 to $450,900. Since reaching a peak in April, the benchmark price of an attached property has declined 4.4%.

“Activity continues to vary depending on area so it’s important to work with your REALTOR® and other professionals to understand the trends in your area of interest,” Klein said.