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January Sales: New Roll Reveals the Truth

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The new municipal valuation roll, which is supposed to represent the local real estate market of July, 2012, provides plenty of proof that the market is on a slide in Westmount.

Five of the six house sales transacted in January — and all four of the sales in adjacent-Westmount — were recorded at less than the new 2014 tax assessments, news which may not sit well as tax bills arrive at our doorsteps. In fact, the average markdown of the 6 sales was 18 percent, the lowest recorded since November 1996, though obviously the numbers are much different now. The highest price paid was $1,975,000, which would be somewhat encouraging for those with $2 million-plus houses until one realizes that the house being sold had a 2014 valuation over $3 million. Two of the houses sold had been on the market for more than a year, and though a couple of sales were very quick, they were the two biggest markdowns of the month.

Volume was about average for January, improving numbers from December at the end of what was one of the lowest-volume years on record. Buyers generally are hesitant to commit themselves with an impending provincial election, so with rumours abounding it is likely the spring market may be a little late this year. The adjusted price is about the same as it was in December but it confirms the 5-percent drop from November . While the general rule is that prices improve as we get into the spring months, when the market is on a downward slide it is reflectedthrough the 4-month spring season.

Of two condominium sales reported by agents in January, one was above its 2014 valuation and one below; also sold was a co-op apartment on St. Antoine Street. As mentioned, all four of the adjacent-Westmount houses went below valuation, including one house on Jean Girard Avenue which sold for $2,800,000, some 9 percent below its 2014 valuation. The markdowns ranged from two to 18 percent.

Late posting of a December sale (among others) was a $4,225,000 sale on Redpath Crescent, the highest price in adjacent-Westmount districts last year, a house which had been on the market for more than a year and was originally priced at $7,500,000, again indicating that buyers, especially in the upper price range, are now in charge of the market.

Posted by andy Posted in: Monthly Analysis No Comments » January 2014