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August Sales: Getting Ready for Fall


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Westmount real estate prices appear ready to surge into the fall, though volume is still sluggish and agents are slow in posting their sales.

So far five sales — four of them more than $1 million — have been reported in August. Perhaps more important, six more sales were reported late for July, two of those surpassing the $2 million mark, while three of the remaining four (and the one reported last month) were under $1 million. For August, the average markup over valuation was a healthy 41.5 percent, while the average for the year is 30 percent. We suggest this is an indication of a strong market for the fall, in terms of prices, but certainly the price level of Westmount real estate has shrunk the size of the market, and this has to be expected. Most agents are still positive about the prospects for the fall mini-market.

Only two condominiums sold in August but they bring the total for the third quarter to six, ranging from $351,200 for a flat in a duplex to $995,000 for an apartment in one of the high-rise buildings. The average markup for the six is 26.3 percent, only slightly higher than the 24.8 percent markup for the year, but the market is up a good 10 percent from last year, and the 29 condo sales reported so far this year equals the total number of sales for all of 2009.

Three houses and a duplex sold in adjacent-Westmount in August for strong markups over valuation, prices ranging from $770,000 to $1,001,000. Volume can be expected to tail off there, as well, as house prices push toward the $1 million mark, but so far it appears to be quite strong especially just north and just east of the city limits.

Rentals appear to have declined this year. Last year, in the first eight months agents reported 25 houses rented for prices ranging from $2,300 to $12,000 per month; this year, the range is the same but only 17 houses have been rented so far. This may be an indication that buyers are more confident about the future of the market.

Labour day marks the beginning of the fall “mini-market” in Westmount, which generally shows very strong prices and a clear-out of houses which did not sell in the spring months (but whose owners were less flexible on the sale prices). This year can be expected to follow that pattern, with little to discourage buyers.

Posted by andy Posted in: Monthly Analysis No Comments » August 2010