Where you live makes a big difference!

Buying or Selling

Where you live makes a big difference!

Welcome back to the (rising?) fall market 2014 – It’s been a very busy summer for Andrews Group and so apologies for being so behind with our Marketbrief! Our business is rocking and rolling and our team has expanded once again. In addition to the 3 of us licensed Realtors, (Brenden, Dana & Elaine) and our full time marketing expert (Ian) we have added a new administration manager to keep us in organized and in line – Lori Brandstrom. Lori is a long time North Shore resident and active member of the community. Her talents round out our team and she was an immediate fit into our culture of dedication to providing the highest level of service with integrity. Welcome Lori!

Undoubtedly one of the most common question we hear is “How is the market doing?”. In this article we answer that question, drill down to the finer details of what the news reports is a “HOT” market, but with one caveat,the whole picture is the sum of many parts – what is true for some is not true for all – what we can say for sure is – it’s complicated.

You can NEVER get the whole picture from the ‘news’ or from your friend who know as a banker in Alberta who just spoke with their friend who just moved to Vancouver, or seeing a bunch of for sale signs in your neighbourhood. These pictures form a thousand words from a number of “experts”, buy honestly, please talk to us if you want more accuracy. The following is a general look which provides you with much more information than what the news media provides, but even then, it’s more convoluted than these numbers. That being said, some trends clearly stand out. For example:

Shining stars – North Van and Eastside – both areas have done amazing. How do we calculate? A common indicator of strong market is the “Sales to listing” ratio. This number indicates what % of the listings are actually selling. It’s usually a surprise to sellers to consider that listing their home may not bring about a sale. As a matter of fact it’s more likely NOT to bring about a sale. This is usually a tough nut to swallow, but for example, the North Vancouver market is HOT right now. The sales to list ratio in the summer for North Van was 37% for Detached Homes. Right behind it was the Eastside with 36%.

Here is the rule: Sellers Market = 21% or greater – Balanced Market = 15 – 20% – Buyers Market = 14% or less

Here is the formula: Sales for the Month ÷ Active Listings = % of Homes Selling.

As you can see, even in the best market in the city, there is a 63% chance of not selling.(we’re talking selling, not giving it away.

The worst performer was West Vancouver with 13% – which means you have an 87% chance of NOT SELLING. 2nd worst performer is the Westside with 17%. All stats are misleading of course. To really understand what this means in a given market one has to break it down to neighbourhood. North Vancouver has 35 neighbourhoods contributing to those stats. Eastside has only 16. Westside has 19 and West Vancouver has 35 (which includes all the way to Lions Bay).

Because of this, the sales ratio per neighbourhood in a given area can vary widely. For example Norgate in North Vancouver had a 100% sales ratio because this neighbourhood is a very small pocket of comparably inexpensive homes. In the period sampled there were only 2 homes listed and both sold, but Princess Park, a popular area of more expensive homes had only 1 out of 5 listings sell, putting its sales ratio at 20%.Both fall under the North Van Area Statistic. The overall picture does not tell the whole story. If you had a home in North Van listed, and didn’t’t sell, chances are you probably not happy with your Realtor® and are feeling left behind. The fact is some houses are just harder to sell than others. It’s worth mentioning those reason.

Top 5 reasons homes don’t sell – in order of importance.

    1. Overpriced (very easy to do as most sellers do not see their home clearly and many Realtors just want to tell you want you want to hear) – sometimes it’s hard to price homes too
    2. Undesirable location (busy road, highway noise, train track)
    3. Difficult lot (steep, odd shaped, too small, steep or dangerous driveway, no yard, creek)
    4. Floor plan (only 1 bedroom up, 2 bedrooms up (3-4 preferred). No basement, no suite, doesn’t’t flow, bad Feng Shui (many potential issues you never thought about!)
    5. House does not show well or is in need of repair (too much updating required, structural issues, literally falling down and or stinks. House is the victim of a hoarder – Brenden almost fainted at one of our listing presentations!) Or maybe it’s just plain ugly.


If your house suffers from one of these ailments, you will have to be very patient and you will also have to price it accordingly and even then may still have to be patient. Remember the ratio…even in a hot market without any of top 5 issues, your chances of selling are not great. These are the facts.

But lets look at the areas and their performance this summer:

Detached Homes Attached Homes
North Van:    37% 18%
West Van:    13% 13%
Eastside:      36% 30%
Westside:     17% 20%
Downtown: 25%
Top Performing Neighbourhoods (detached) Worse Performing Neighbourhoods (detached)
North Van:     Pemberton Heights Lynnmour
West Van:      Olde Caulfield Ambleside/Dundarave
Eastside:        Fraser Mt. Pleasant
Westside:       Dunbar Oakridge

** In choosing the top and worse performers, we had to use our opinion. We chose neighbourhoods with a more average number of sales. Example North Van – Pemberton Heights had 100% sales which was 9 homes out of 9 listings and Lynnmour had only 1 sale out of 11 listings. For more details, just e-mail us and we’ll send you all the stats!

So as you can see, it’s not a just a simple question of how is the market? Or believing what Global TV reports on the evening news, or for what’s in the Vancouver Sun for that matter. Almost always, the news media takes the highs and lows and reports it as the news. They don’t mention the details, or even the real situation. They are just filling up time and providing fodder for your next coffee break. IF you want real stats, that pertain to you give us a call! If you want we can tell you why your home didn’t’t sell, but you may not want to hear it.☺


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