Market Warming As We Trend Out Of Winter


As I write this I am in attendance at the 31st Annual RE/MAX Canadian Awards Conference. Fortunately it is at our Vancouver Convention Centre and thus no out of town travel for a change. However with highs today of zero, I even caught a fellow from Winnipeg complaining about the cold.

Enough of that and being now in the habit of saying “Welcome”, I welcome you to the first 1/12th of the results for 2014. This is the point at which the year to date results are identical to the January 2014 results. Message here, do not place too much store on these figures for our “little pieces” of Metro Vancouver – North Van and West Van. As Confucius may have said – ‘very few swallows, sparrows or skylarks do not make it summer yet’ or something along these lines. This lesser philosopher will say “let’s wait until we have at least 3 or 4 months in our ‘year to date’ before we try to detect a trend or an up/down cycle”.

Wrapping up 2013, we stressed the inevitable (but gentle) uptick in the current market cycle. See below (remember it’s only 1 month) and notice the overall increase in demand – more sales, higher average prices and the decrease in supply. Further, considering the comments above  – it would be crazy (on such a small sample size) to draw any conclusion on, say, West Van’s Attached (townhome/duplex) Jan 2013/2014  figures or the almost 50% increase in the average price of the three units sold in each of the years’ Januarys!

February 2014 Podcast

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.

February 2014 Numbers

And now to the January figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 1% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 18% and apartments up 26%. The detached average price up 23% and inventory down by 19% from 2013. Average prices up 6% (t/hses) and down 7% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 96 vs. 103 (down 6%) from Jan 31st 2013 and (apt) up12% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is now up by 15% from Jan  2013. Average price of what has sold is down 9% from last year and inventory now up 4% from Jan31st 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are unchanged from 2013 at 3 vs. 3 units with a 47% increase in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Jan 31st 2013 by 28% (33 vs. 46). Apartments reflect 12 sold in 2014 vs. 6 in 2013 with average price up 16% from Jan 2013 and active listings now 10% down from Jan 31st 2013.

West Vancouver and North Vancouver continue with improved sales performance in all home types and we do see this continuing for 2014. Inventory is generally down, in some cases quite dramatically. Thus we should see existing demand causing that reduced inventory to shrink further – proviso: that we do not see a major increase in new listings.   ‘SnapStats’ (what price ranges are selling and which are not) continues to be 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.

Important Questions To Ask A Strata Corporation

1.  What bylaws and restrictions govern the property? Are there any grandfathered clauses?

2.  What is the date of the last depreciation report? Is a copy available?

3.  Have engineering reports been done on the strata and are reports available?

4.  How much is in the contingency reserve fund? How are funds being used?

5.  How much are the monthly strata fees and what do they cover, for example, common area maintenance, recreational  facilities, garbage collection, hot water, heat, cable?

6.  What repairs have been made in the last decade, for example, major plumbing, roof, windows?

7.  Have there been special assessments in the past five years? What did they cover? What was the cost per  unit?

8.  What percentage of units are owner occupied? What percentage are rental units?

9.  Is there pending litigation, for example, for leaky condominium repairs?

All of these questions are able to be answered by your Realtor in conjunction with the Listing broker. Don’t forget to ask them and make sure that you understand the implications of each.

COURTESY OF  REBGV – with amendments by Alan Skinner