Million dollar houses

May 28, 2014

By Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson  for the Westmount Examiner Published on May 28, 2014

Political climate more conducive to selling homes with Liberals in power: local broker

It is in Westmount that the highest-priced houses in Montreal can be found – some going for up to $10 million. After an uncertain political climate that pushed some vendors to sell their houses, the luxury house market seems to have stabled after a turbulent winter. “People with money where holding back to see what happened in the elections,” said Liza Kaufman, a well-known luxury real estate broker and founding partner of Sotheby’s International Realty Québec LK. “Some were waiting on the outcome to see if they would stay in their homes, buy a new home or move out of the province.” Some of Kaufman’s clients may have been playing the waiting game, but Louise Rémillard, president and broker at Profusion Immobilier, affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate said from her perspective, vendors were in a hurry to sell, even at below-market prices. “People got scared and were selling at lower prices,” she said. Since the election, the panic has worn off and the market now is more balanced, according to Rémillard. There is a climate of trust and offers are bouncing back to where they were before election speculation began early this winter. One of Remillard’s clients just reached an agreement in principle on a $10-million home, she said. Who buys a $10 million house, anyway? Rémillard also said that her Westmount clients are professionals – doctors, lawyers and businessmen and women. “Some (clients) also get ‘love money,'” she said, meaning cash coming from parents helping out or inherited money. Often, the sale of such a home comes from the desire to live a smaller, quieter life as the homeowners get on in age. “The majority of vendors are empty nesters”, said Kaufman. With their kids out of the house, these older couples are seeking a smaller, more convenient housing – like condos or apartments. Kaufman said such clients “cover the spectrum of successful people.” They can come from the financial world, be entrepreneurs, are retired. They have worked hard all their lives and know can afford to purchase luxury houses. Buying a home is a major investment – no matter the client, Kaufman said. “I’ve been in this business for over ten years,” saying that she has customers that have been with her from the beginning, selling them their first house, and seeing them upgrade – babies, promotions, etc. “People want to be in Westmount because it is considered the best place to live in Montreal,” she said. Everything is handy for families – good private schools, numerous parks, abundant merchants. “There’s a great community life,” said Kaufman. There is a distinct small-town feel to Westmount, but the fact that it is minutes from downtown also adds to the convenience and upscale atmosphere. Rémillard also mentioned about the community life and the strong feeling of belonging as the major advantages to living in Westmount. Kaufman also noted that Westmount attracted foreigners – an significant segment of her client base. To view full article :