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September Sales: Only the Lowly

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Volume rebounded in September for the lower half of the Westmount real estate market, that is, for houses selling at or less than $1,500,000, but it is still suffering badly for houses over that mark. Only one of 12 properties sold in September exceeded $1.5 million, and none went for more than $2 million.

Two of the year’s lowest house prices were posted in September, doubling the number of sales this year between $500,000 and $600,000. The next two prices were $900,000 and $915,000.

So far this year 11 home sales have been reported above $2 million, and another 66 are asking more than that amount, out of 165 on the market now in Westmount. This compares to 60 over $2 million and 151 overall a month earlier, so the trends are obvious.

In fact, prices were so low that the average price of the September sales dropped to $1,163,000, the lowest raw average price for a month since July last year. However, markups over city valuation stayed strong, an indication buyers are willing to pay for the product, but not in the higher price brackets. The last sale over $2 million posted by agents was negotiated in July, and only three have been settled since April. Depending on how desperate the owners of those big houses are, those high asking prices may have to come down substantially to get that part of the market moving again.

The condominium market inched along with only two sales, bringing the total for the third quarter this year to seven, but in fact one of those two was just over $1,600,000, the highest price paid for a resale condo this year (excluding the new condos at 1250 Greene Avenue). The average markup for the seven condominium sales reached only 12 percent over the 2011 valuation compared to an average 20 percent for the entire year. The figures are not substantial enough to say that buyers are losing interest in condominiums, and in fact if the aging owners of the large houses could sell, they might be ready to pay substantially for some of Westmount’s more expensive condos.

Adjacent-Westmount, which picked up the slack from Westmount’s lack of sales in August, saw only two sales in September: a house on Redpath Crescent and an apartment in the Trafalgar Apartments on Côte des Neiges. While in Westmount prices (in terms of markups) have stayed fairly even compared with last year, in every part of adjacent-Westmount we have seen modest reductions of prices.

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