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February Sales: Back on Track

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The Westmount real estate market regained its momentum in February and is hungry for new listings which so far have not materialized. Instead, buyers paid good prices for homes which had been on the market for much of last year, eight of 12 having listings more than 200 days, while one house and a duplex which were listed in February were snapped up in less than a week.

Late postings for January finally revealed four houses which sold in the beginning of the year, all for prices over $1 million, then in Febnuary another dozen sales were reported, two for $380,000 each and another four for less than $1 million, only one reported sale over $2 million. The low prices match the lowest price for a Westmount home all of last year, and coupled with other prices like $510,000 and $690,000, they help hold the monthly raw average at just under $1,100,000. More important, the average markup over the new 2011 valuations was 10 percent,  and the value of Westmount’s “average” house rebounded to about $1.3 million, similar to the average figure for all of 2010. We can expect it to go up as the spring market intensifies and the number of available houses goes down — unless vendors start listing new houses.

The condominium market appears to be getting much stronger, though the four sales which have been posted since the beginning of the year  are hardly enough to provide a definitive sample. One high-priced sale for almost 50 percent more than the 2011 valuation has pushed the average condo price to $766,975, compared to an average for all of last year of $663,815, but we will have to wait until later in the year to become more definitive about the market.

Even in adjacent-Westmount, a paltry market in January began to come around in February, as three homes were sold in the area north of the city, one more just to the west and three east of the city limits, as well as one in the “Golden Square Mile” section of downtown.

In all areas, though, the key will be to find new product and to price it properly. There are plenty of buyers out there and they seem eager to buy into Westmount, especially if they can get it for less than, say, $1,500,000. Obviously many properties are worth more than that, but we have to recognize that the number of families that can afford that kind of price is extremely limited.

Posted by andy Posted in: Monthly Analysis No Comments » February 2011