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July Sales: Slow (again)

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Westmount real estate crawled to a near stop in July, with only four offers accepted for single-family homes, and prices in a very tight range between $1,129,000 and $1,313,500.

With volume generally sluggish during the first six months, the year-to-date volume through July is now the lowest it has been since 1994, the year before Quebec’s second independence referendum. The small size of the July sample makes statistical analysis very difficult; the average markup over valuation of 27 percent actually makes the “typical” price of a Westmount house move up, but in the meantime agents have been dropping their asking prices in an attempt to get the market moving again. There are still 144 houses on the market in Westmount, 57 of them (40 percent) asking over $2 million.

The condominium market in Westmount was no busier, with only two sales, one in the $300,000 range and one for $1,465,000, while a share of a duplex brought its owner $672,000. The condos in the first two quarters averaged about 25 percent above municipal valuation, but the two in July were both for only a 5 percent markup. Again, there are 80 condos and flats available on the market (not including 215 Redfern Avenue which is being sold off by the developers), only 22 of which are over $1 million.

If any area showed signs of activity last month, it was the adjacent-Westmount district just east of the city limits, where three houses sold between $950,000 and $1,780,000. A house just north of the city limits went for $985,000. One triplex on Victoria Avenue near Queen Mary Road sold for just under its municipal valuation, but otherwise all of the sales sold for fairly healthy markups. No sales were reported in eastern Notre Dame de Grâce.

So far this year (through July) agents have posted 86 Westmount home sales compared with 104 in each of the past two years. In 1994 only 64 sales were posted in the first seven months, and 84 back in 1991, but otherwise this is the slowest seven months since we began keeping records in 1986. In 1984, prices had slumped badly and only started to rebound in 1997; so far this year prices are holding at about the $1,500,000 average level where they have been stuck since early last year, but prices may have to drop to rekindle the volume figures of recent years.

Posted by andy Posted in: Monthly Analysis No Comments » July 2013