Christmas is almost upon us, and, as it approaches, so does the closing curtain of 2014. Has it been a positive one for you and your family when compared to other years? For my wife and I, it has been an astonishing year with organisational change and new opportunities, capped by the purchase and renovation of our current home. As alluded to in the August Update that was a lengthy and challenging undertaking. Yes, Realtors do participate in the “re-homing” exercise too! It’s important to remain in touch with the excitement (and stress?) of the game ;). On the N.Shore the residential Real Estate market has been steadily strengthening as buyers once again realised that they should make the important decisions, move on with life and acquire the home for an upcoming phase. Those who bought earlier in the year will be comfortable in the knowledge that they did indeed pay less than those who waited for the stats to prove that they should make that buying decision. Activity and prices were increasing over last year.
My discussion of cycles in the last Update (NOV) and the conflicting opinions of fellow Realtors as to where in the cycle we were, elicited numerous comments both from readers and fellow Realtors. I stand by my read that we are far distant from the end of an up-cycle or the beginning of a down. A quieter market than that in October seems to be evident in the November figures but the year to date figures for both North and West Van show significant increase in sales and increase in prices year over year. There is little compelling evidence that demand for all categories will not continue (or improve) through the early part of the coming year.
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And now to our November figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 13% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 10% and apartments up 16%. The detached average price is up 8% and inventory is down by 27% from 2013. Average prices up 2% (t/hses) and up 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 92 vs.116, down 20% from Nov 30th 2013 and (apt) down 2% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is up by 8% from Nov 30th 2013. Average price of what has sold is up 9% from last year and inventory now down 7% from Nov 30th 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are down from 2013 at 69 vs. 82 units with a 3% decrease in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Nov 30th 2013 by 2% (43 vs. 44). Apartments reflect 172 sold in 2014 vs. 146 in 2013 with average price up 1% from Nov 30th 2013 and active listings down 30% from Nov 30th 2013. Both jurisdictions continue evidencing healthy demand. Inventory continues to be decidedly lower.
The weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index has seen a rise as sentiment increases in personal finances, the economy and real estate prices. However job security is a growing concern. With exports increasing and interest rates still at 1 per cent Canadians are feeling better about the economy despite the issues facing the energy and mining sectors. The number of people expecting increases in house prices in the next six months rose slightly in last week’s poll.
While this is a national poll, this appears to be the feeling in British Columbian industry and in the Vancouver Metro market as well.