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January Sales: Zero

?download the (December) graph

Zero. Zip. Nada.

No matter how you put it, that’s all we can report for January home sales in Westmount, the first time we have had a month like this since we started keeping track of sales in 1986. Not to say that there was no interest in Westmount real estate, the fact is that there is almost nothing available in the below-$1 million range, and buyers are wary of committing themselves to anything over that amount until they get a sense of the spring market. In other words, the market is waiting to see what the market is going to do, like a dog chasing its tail.

A check of current listings shows only 11 Westmount houses now on the market for less than $1 million — and offers are pending on three of those. Meanwhile, there are 40 listings between $1 million and $2 million and 31 for more than $2 million. This compares to the actual volume last year, whereby 63 sales were for prices under $1 million, 68 were between $1 and $2 million, and only 15 were over $2 million.

There are certainly buyers out there with that kind of money, and interest rates are still at historic lows. The problem is lack of supply. Until homeowners make the decision to put their houses on the market, either buying up or down, this will be a slow market.

Perhaps just as telling is the fact that five houses in adjacent-Westmount sold in January, four of those under $1 million and the other just over that mark. One condominium on Grosvenor, a co-op also on Grosvenor, and a co-op at Westmount Square were sold for prices ranging between $420,000 and $650,000.

It may also be that agents are slow in posting their January sales, so we don’t want to declare absolute zero, but we can only hope that sellers will become more realistic with their prices. Until they do, we cannot make statistics on zero volume.

Posted by andy January 2011

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