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Lowest October volume on record, Westmount,

Lowest October volume on record, Westmount


A mishmash of assorted Westmount real estate transfers in October covered over the fact that only six one- and two-family dwellings sold in the month - the lowest volume for an October on record.

Triplexes, commercial and multi-residential properties, vacant land and share sales of duplexes helped fill the list, but the paltry list of single-family sales included none over $2 million, the latest point of resistance for buyers. Four of the six sales ranged between $1.5 million and $1.75 million, with the highest price for a semi-detached stone house at the corner of Redfern Avenue and de Maisonnevue Boulevard, sold through an estate.

The other two were less than $1 million each, the lowest for 551 Prince Albert Avenue, just south of Côte St. Antoine Road, which brought only $850,000. That sale, in fact, was the lowest markup over valuation, only seven percent, in a month whose other markups ranged between 134 and 154 percent. The average markup of 36.75 percent is by far the highest this year - the previous high on the 2011 valuation roll was 22.77 percent in July - but suffers from the low sample size, which hurts its credibility. So far this year the average markup is 15.32 percent, including the six October sales.

The low volume is a function of the high prices, of course, since there are fewer buyers who can afford to move to Westmount these days, but in fact last year 186 one- and two-family sales were registered through October, this year the number has dropped to 147 sales. This is on the low end of year-to-date sales in Westmount's history, though not the lowest.

Even more surprising, though, is the fact there were no condominium sales in the month, compared with four condo sales in October last year. Two share-sales of duplexes, on Elm and Wood Avenues, did add to this October's list; both were in the range of $400,000 to $500,000.

The "other" sales include an estate sale of two side-by-side triplexes - essentially, a six-plex - which sold to one buyer for $400,000 each in separate deeds, thus $800,000 overall. The pair is on St. Antoine Street, attached to another, similar pair, nestled into a small yard next to the Hydro-Quebec substation, west of Greene Avenue.

On the other hand, another pair of commercial properties was sold in the same deed even though the two are completely disparate, including a three-storey building with upstairs residence on Sherbrooke Street at Claremont Avenue and a two-storey commercial building 1 1/2 blocks east of there, on Sherbrooke between Victoria and Prince Albert Avenues. The deed, however, specified the breakdown of the $2.3 million exchange, so we have listed them separately below.

Another commercial building on Greene Avenue, south of the entrance to Westmount Square, which had been owned by the same partners since 1987, sold for $920,000. One of the condominium commercial premises inside the basement for 1 Wood Avenue, accessed via St. Catherine Street, sold for $50,000. While that number may be small, the premises were recovered in a sherriff's seizure back in 2007 for $2,500 and are evaluated by the city on the current roll as worth $10,300, so the sale price is substantially higher.

Vacant land which is part of the planned development on the east side of Surrey Gardens near the north city limits, which had been unloaded by Oratoire St. Joseph de Montréal in 2009 for about $133 per square foot, now is in process of rearrangement, including one lot which had been subdivided separately but put into an account with another lot for tax purposes, which changed hands this time for an amount which represents about $190 per square foot.

Two other transfers included in the October sales released by the city were basically title transfers with no cash involved, including one which involved numerous properties around Montreal including one house in Westmount, and another which involves an exchange between the McGill University Health Centre and the Shriner's Hospital for some of the land in the southwest corner of the city, most of which is in Montreal but some of which might be in Westmount.


· This article relates to the registration of deeds of sale for Westmount property in October 2011, provided by City officials.

SOURCE:Published on December 8, 2011
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