My Take – We Have Reached The Turning Point

With positive stats being reported at both the North Shore and the overall (Greater Vancouver) levels, I believe we are coming to the end of a turnaround summer.

I’d like to highlight a quote made a day or so back, by this year’s REBGV President, Sandra Wyant – “People entering the market should not confuse stronger sales activity with rising prices. Home prices have been quite stable and consistent for much of this year.”   The core of this message is the status of our current market and I wholly concur.

Well, what does that mean to buyers and sellers? To buyers – with shrinking inventories and some evidence of an uptrend in mortgage rates, a message to acquire the new home before the inevitable (albeit gradual) rise in prices. To sellers – take advantage of the growing demand, or, if you wish to, and have the luxury of time on your side, gamble on the upcoming stronger market for that same increase in prices. Where this “gamble” is not advisable, is if you’re planning to move up (buy a more expensive home). Remember that any price shift in the market in percentage terms will mean that the gap between what you net on your sale in the future and the price you’ll be paying will be higher in actual dollars. (e.g. sell today at $800,000 and buy in this same market at $1,000,000 = $200k  injection of cash on hand or debt vs. waiting for a 10% increase in the market would (at 10%) mean a gap of $220k.  Yes, we seem to have reached that turning point with sales increasing and inventories subsiding. The pent-up demand of the last year and its slow recovery in the first half of 2013 are establishing a more balanced market.The relative “bargains” of the past six to twelve months have all but disappeared and prices will begin to rise. Get the advice of an experienced Realtor as to the relative demand for homes in your present location vs. that in your target location.

‘SnapStats’ (what price ranges are selling and which are not) is being very well received. I’m now forwarding the past 12 month trend for not only N and W/Van but ALL available metro neighbourhoods, as many requested. If any locations are not of interest, please ignore those areas.

So, 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 N/S R/Estate analysis and jump-off point for FULL market information.

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

September Numbers 2013

Again to our ‘Year to Date’ figures for 2013. We now have 8 month’s figures 2013 vs. 2012. These are starting to more clearly define our current year. North Van detached homes sold are up 9% from last year, attached (t/hses), up from last year by 10% and apartments down by 12% from 2012. Detached average prices down 2% and inventory now down by 8% from 2012.  Average prices down 4% (t/hses) and up 2% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 121 vs. 122 (N/C) from Aug 31st 2012 and (apt) N/C from the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2013 is now UP by 7% from Aug 31st 2012. Average price of what has sold is down by 3% and inventory up only 4% over Aug 31st 2012. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are now up by 7% from 2012 at 60 vs. 56 units with virtually no change in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Aug 31st 2012 by 14% (47 vs. 55). Apartments reflect 107 sold in 2013 vs. 119 (down 10%) from Aug 31st 2012; with average price up 10% from Aug 31st 2012 and active listings up 18% from Aug 31st 2012.

As mentioned last month, overall the Vancouver aggregate figures appear more positive than West Vancouver, with North Vancouver keeping closer to Vancouver. W/Van’s performance is not surprising coming off 2012’s stellar year. I continue using average YTD prices which are more meaningful as we have now passed the 2/3rd way mark.

September Podcast 2013

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

Fall Fix-Ups: Don’t Let Your Home Fall Apart

Taking the time to regularly maintain your property is critical as it helps protect your most valuable investment.

It’s also much more cost effective to pro-actively fix small problems as opposed to trying to fix them once they’re approaching the point of no return.

Regular maintenance should be part of your routine so here’s a fall home maintenance checklist to help keep you organized:

– fix any cracks or gaps you see in the driveway

– inspect your locks to make sure they’re operating properly

– test and clean your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

– inspect your furnace filter and schedule a furnace tune-up

– check your roof for leaks and damaged shingles

– inspect your chimney for obstructions such as bird’s nests

– check the weather-stripping on your windows and doors

– rake up leaves and aerate/fertilize your lawn

– clean leaves from gutters and test downspouts with a hose

– ensure water doesn’t pool around your home as it can damage your foundation

– check woodwork, particularly fences and decks for rotting boards and replace as needed

– clear soil away (especially flower beds) from the base of fences as damp soil will speed up rot

– check your home’s exterior for any holes that rodents could use to gain entry

Preventative maintenance will help ensure small problems don’t turn into big headaches that need to be professionally attended to on short notice. Just a little time and planning will help you maintain your home’s value and you’ll also save money each month as your home will be much more efficient.