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Volume stayed strong in Westmount real estate in May, proving there is no end in sight to the interest buyers have even though prices are reaching a new peak. While last year the spring season started slowly and ended very late, this year the volume has been even throughout the past four months and the average price of a Westmount house has stayed above the $1.5 million mark during all of that time.

Only one of the 16 sales posted in May involved a price below $1 million, an indication that buyers are no longer insisting on bargains which are getting harder and harder to find. There were four houses which had been on the market for more than 250 days, but those were mainly from vendors who had insisted on not dropping the asking price even when the house failed to sell. Because of those holdouts, the average days-on-market jumped to 180 from 114 days in April; only three houses sold in less than 10 days during May.

Highest price in May was $2,695,000 but we also learned of another Westmount house that sold in late April for $5 million, the fourth house this year to get a price of more than $4 million. Last year there were no settlements for more than $3.8 million (though one November, 2010, sale closed in May of 2011 for $4,237,500), so it would seem that those prices are no longer as far-fetched as we once thought. The lowest price was $808,000 in lower Westmount, as stated the only one- or two-family dwelling to go for less than $1 million. The average markup over valuation was 30 percent, with only one sale at less than tax value and the highest at 58 percent above.

Condominium prices, too, have been steadily rising and five condo sales in May plus one more in April brought an average 34 percent markup in the second quarter with June still to come. Prices range from $355,000 to $1,120,000 with the average just over $780,000.

Sales were slow in adjacent-Westmount areas except for the district of Ville Marie just east of the city limits, which saw four house sales for prices between $1,185,000 and $1,780,000, an indication that here, too, prices are pushing through the $1 million level. So far this year 10 sales have been reported in the eastern section of Notre Dame de Grâce, averaging $917,742, only four in the southern portion of Côte des Neiges, averaging $859,250.

Posted by andy May 2012

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