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January Sales: Ready for Action

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A very slight recoil in Westmount real estate prices in January appears to be a minor glitch in what could be a strong spring buying season.

Agents spent last month selling off many of the laggards from last year’s market, with four of the six sales having been listed for more than 200 days and only one that had been listed in January. New stock is beginning to appear in real estate ads and on computers, interest rates remain low, there is no dramatic increase in property tax and demand for Westmount property is still strong, all of which points to another surge in prices in the next few months. Last year the local real estate market was very slow to develop, we suspect because of the impending federal election, but there is no such hindrance this year.

Only one of the six sales in January topped the $2 million mark, though, and this could become something of a problem. Fully a quarter of the existing stock is asking over $2 million but it does not turn over quickly, and with so many buyers gladly paying out well over $1 million for a typical semi-detached house, there is plenty of real estate in Westmount that should be worth more than that, but buyers are scarce. Thus we expect the price differential for local properties will narrow considerably in the coming year.

Of the six January house sales, three were for less than $1 million, all houses which had been overpriced initially. We have seen various houses listed at less than $1 million get snapped up by hungry buyers, but only when they start at the proper price level.

One condominium sold in January, along with a co-op apartment in central Westmount. The market for these can be expected to increase volume-wise as we get toward summer.

Two houses sold in adjacent-Westmount districts, one just north of the city limits and one to the east. Prices in those districts are beginning to push past the $1-million mark, though of course those over $1 million are still the exception, unlike in Westmount.

Posted by andy Posted in: Monthly Analysis No Comments » January 2012