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April Sales: Demand pushing prices up

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The short supply that has plagued Westmount this spring is starting to show in rising prices, with more and more buyers ready to put out $1 million and more for real estate, though many others were able to find relative bargains in Westmout.

Two sales in April cleared the $2 million mark but five others went for less than $800,000, among 16 sales posted so far on the Multiple Listing Service. In fact, nine of the 16 were under $1 million, and with two over $2 million the other five were all between $1,020,000 and $1,275,000, so there was nothing in the mid-$1 million range.

Still, the average markup over valuation was 14 percent, and although the raw average price of real estate sold last month was fairly low, the “typical” Westmount house value soared to more than $1,360,000, higher than at any time since August last year. The average time on the market among those sales was 140 days, and at least four of the houses had been on the market for 300 days or more; in many cases these were owners who had no intention of selling until they got their prices. The average for March was 88 days, so we can surmise that the buyers were getting more desperate and caving in to the price demands made by the owners.

Two condominium apartments and three co-operative units — including two apartment units at Westmount Square — rounded out the sales list for April. The two condo sales stayed right in line with the residences, 14 percent above valuation, but the markup is actually a little lower than it was in the first quarter, when it cleared 19 percent.

Five houses were sold in adjacent-Westmount areas, including one of the new houses on Jean Girard Street, branching off Atwater Avenue, for more than $3 million. The other April sales were all under $1 million and included two homes in eastern Notre Dame de Grâce, one other (besides Jean Girard Street) in the “Trafalgar-Daulac” area and one in Shaughnessy Village. Four of the new houses on Jean Girard Street and St. Sulpice Road have resold since January, all for prices in the $2-3 million range.

Westmount’s spring buying season may be somewhat delayed by the Federal Election call. Only 48 sales have been reported so far, compared to 59 by this time last year. In the years surrounding the 1995 referendum volume was about the same as this year, but certainly this is the lowest since 1996.

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