Under Two Months ‘Til Happy New Year!

Well we are nearing the end of ’13. Good/bad or ‘just another chalk mark’ (?).  On the N.S. Real Estate front, this year will go down as the nadir of the trough and the beginning of the current up cycle. Only the sale of some of the “strata” (newer construction) seems to be lagging a little but my read is that the condo developers have little or no doubt that this (rampant?) construction phase was the right time to build. Buoyant economies generally make the inputs (materials/ labour/ administration) cost a fair bit more. The resultant higher cost, when passed on to the end user (buyers) makes those purchases that much more expensive and can delay sales.  Prediction: – the apparent overstock of new homes will be absorbed in surprisingly quick time [I’m just not going to put a date on that process 😉 ]

Another thing we have seen is a renewed interest in the upper end of the market (here and in Greater Vancouver generally). The highest end of this upper end is obviously in the Downtown core and, to a lesser extent, our West Vancouver luxury market. With this in mind, I was lucky to be able to attend the, by invitation only, 2013 Leaders in Luxury conference put on by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. I have been a ‘Certified Specialist’ [CLHMS] for some 5 years now.   This was held in Seattle this year (a couple of hours driving and a shorter hotel stay both being attractive to this ‘homebody’). It was fascinating to listen to presenters from all around the US and Canada and to network and share ideas with fellow practitioners. We (Canadians) had about 7% of the 130 plus attendees – not bad for a descent sized province or state [in our southern cousin’s vernacular ;)]. Do not forget that Canada’s total population lags that of California.

The Homes of Provenance (HOP) ‘upper tier’ business (or boutique) model which exists within the umbrella of our own Metro Vancouver Properties (MVP) Group of companies. This comprises 10 RE/MAX offices including West Vancouver (Masters) and North Vancouver (Crest) and 8 other Vancouver and Burnaby locations. Partners of HOP all come from one of these offices and all have qualified for the CLHMS designation. Four present and potential partners were in attendance at the 3 day Seattle conference. The HomesOfProvenance.com website contains details of its raison d’etre as well as a current Upper Tier Update (produced quarterly). The last 2 reports are of interest as they cover the extensive activity in the premier strata property market in Vancouver and MVP’s significant role therein. N.B. Fairmont Pacific Rim (Strata Hotel) and proposed developments (Trump Tower etc.) as well as recent sales data feature prominently. Please visit, and, if interested, do sign up to receive future quarterly reports. Look too, at the search function which focusses on detached homes above $2,000,000 and condos above $1,000,000. The partners are pleased to answer any queries you may have or call me directly at 604-626-2526.  N.B. North Shore clientele should have no fear that I am moving on and I urge you to contact me with all North Shore enquiries!

‘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.


November 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

November Numbers 2013

Again to our ‘Year to Date’ figures for 2013. We now have 10 months of results comparing 2013 with 2012. North Van detached homes sold are up 14% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 20% and apartments down by 5% from 2012. Detached average prices down 1% and inventory now down by 17% from 2012.  Average prices down 2% (t/hses) and up 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 127 vs. 171 (down 25%) from Oct 31st 2012 and (apt) down 1% from the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2013 is now up by 16% from Oct 31st 2012. Average price of what has sold is down by 1% and inventory now down by 2% from Oct 31st 2012.  On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are now up by 30% from 2012 at 78 vs. 60 units with a 2% drop in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Oct 31st 2012 by 30% (46 vs. 66).  Apartments reflect 139 sold in 2013 vs. 143 (down 2%) from Oct 31st 2012; with average price up 8% from Oct 31st 2012and active listings now down 3% from Oct 31st 2012.

West Vancouver and North Vancouver continue with solid sales performance in all price ranges and we do see this progressing for the rest of this year and beyond.

To Open The Home, Or Not?

No matter what you’ve read, no matter what your friends have told you and no matter what real estate industry detractors say, seriously consider having your Agent do a Public Open House.

Detractors will say that Agents only do Open Houses to pick up new clients and that it’s not about selling your house. While there is certainly an element of that, it is not necessarily the primary focus.

The other concern, often expressed, is that only ‘nosey neighbours’ are going to show up. Who the heck wants their neighbours walking into their house just to see how one lives? I MOST CERTAINLY DO!

Nosey Neighbours tell their friends and relatives about homes in their area. “Hi Cousin Paul. You know how you’ve been looking to get into this neighbourhood? Well a house down the street isavailable, I went to the open house and it’s gorgeous. You should go take a look, they’re open again tomorrow – BTW here is the Realtor’s number/e-mail address”.

The bottom line is this, open houses are important because:

– Weekends are when most house hunters are out looking. They often spend the week researching on the internet and the weekend visiting homes.

– Open house signs attract attention, and that’s important to get people talking

– You can maximize exposure by having multiple people through the house in a short period of time

– Other busy Realtors are appreciative of your agent holding one as they can simply send their clients through the open of a colleague they trust.

All of these factors together are key and increase the chance your home will sell in the first few weeks.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have Open Houses and get your house SOLD!!! And with an experienced Realtor that will be more assured.