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September Sales: Flat Market

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Volume picked up in September, but only among the lower prices as 11 Westmount houses sold for an average $1,191,000. Six of the sales were for less than $1 million,. the first time more than half the sales were under the $1 million mark since July of 2011.

The highest price was $2,030,000 for a detached stone home in central Westmount, and prices went down from there to $605,000 for a small semi-detached house on Hillside Avenue, alongside the CPR right-of-way. The average markup over municipal valuation was 13 percent, pushing up the average adjusted price of the “typical” Westmount home to more than $1.6 million, but that hardly tells the whole story. While many sellers expressed elation with the results of the April 7 Quebec election, it appears buyers are still worried over the prospect of a return to a Parti Québécois government at some time in the future, and the election has not resulted in an economic boost to the province. If new money were to come into the province, there is no doubt much of it would be invested in Westmount homes, but unfortunately it appears there is little new money finding its way here, at least not yet.  Agents are complaining that vendors are relying on municipal valuations as a guide to an acceptable price; in fact, four houses sold for less than valuation in September, the biggest markdown was 14 percent.

We also recognize that September last year was featured by low prices, as well, ranging from $535,000 to $1,950,000, and five of 14 sales were for less than $1 million. The average price then was $1,178,393, so it might be said that this year is up by one percent. This is just another indication that the market is basically flat, even if the average markup is higher.

Only one condominium sale was reported in September, for just under municipal evaluation, and in fact for the third quarter (counting six sales in July, none in August) the average condo sold for three percent less than valuation.

Actually, prices did better in adjacent-Westmount areas, with three sales just west of the city limits and four more just to the east, averaging $1,361,571 and with all but two sales over $1 million, the top price of $2,166,000 for a house on Trafalgar Avenue. The average markup over valuation was 22 percent, but there were still two sales under valuation.

At last count there were 150 listings for Westmount houses, up from 145 a month ago, and 48 percent of those were priced over $2 million. We can always say those houses are worth that amount, but it’s up to the agents to find the buyers.

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