A Difficult Time In The Society We Fondly Call Home

So it’s official, we are experiencing a fully declared Seller’s Market – something which a certain group of people knew, well before reading this article. Yes, I speak of the ones who have bought a home since the beginning of January and those who have been actively trying to buy one and have not been successful. That second half (whom we shall call “the frustrated”) contain some sub-groups; tenants (obviously) and, the “we’re leaving for  …*”   *(insert as appropriate any of the following  – ‘the hills’, Mexico, the lake, Cuba,, Chilliwack, a sunny desert island, Mom and Dad’s basement, a houseboat, Grandma’s house, Timbuctu, a campsite, 163 and a half mile house, “hermitsville”,  Antigonish, etcetera) ….And then there are the diehards who will buy at some point at a higher price than they had expected and likely with a higher level of family debt.

Yes, frustration abounds but hopefully will not turn into depression. This sentiment is not expressed without feeling, but rather contains much empathy for those who never thought it could or would happen. To rely on government (at whatever level) to bring some affordability to this exercise is to take this frustration to a more advanced level and is akin to a lottery of sorts. If this were the solution, it would only be a temporary one until those who have not yet ‘won a draw’ rose up to join past WINNERS OF THE DRAW. That group’s restricted size will eventually be contained as government hits the financial limit of its ( or is that the public’s ) generosity.

Blaming immigrants for increasing the demand on local housing is one outlet for this frustration but a somewhat specious argument, living as we do in a nation of immigrants (or the offspring of immigrants). Another point – again a jab at Government (by we the ones who elected them and now conveniently berate them!). The “governments” are now becoming late adoptees of the “how come are foreign investors not becoming Citizens (or often not even residents)” viewpoint. Is some ‘stable door closing’ being contemplated after the non-Canadian investor demand has been somewhat satiated and prices have risen to  an all time high.

April 2016 Numbers

Now to the YTD figures, or 1/4 of this year so far. With that amount of data we see a more evident and reliable trend emerging and thus a better ‘sample’ with which to work. North Van detached homes sold are 407 vs 381 last year on a YTD basis, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 9% and apartments up 19%. The detached median price is up 26% and inventory is down 3% from 2015. Median prices (t/hses) up 27% and up 15% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) down 12% from  Mar 31st 2015 and (apt) down 20% from last year for the same date. Thankfully we’re now beyond the ‘Leap Year’ effect. See last month’s diatribe.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Mar 31st 2016 is up by 39% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 44% from last year and inventory now down 12% from Mar 31st 2015. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Mar 31st 2016 are down 15% from 2015. Active listings are up from 6 to 8 year over year. Apartments reflect 59 sold in 2016 vs. 45 in 2015 (up 31%) – median price for Apts increased by 14% for this period.

April 2016 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.