Montreal area real estate market hit record high in May but pace

MONTREAL — The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says area home sales hit another record high for May, even though the pace of growth cooled from a year ago.The board says there were 5,303 home sales in May, up one per cent from 5,243 a year ago, based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.Last year’s numbers were revised following the addition of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu area in the monthly surveys. Sales rose 16 per cent in May 2017 when including the region southeast of Montreal.Condominium sales climbed 14 per cent compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes were down six per cent while plexes, which include two to five units, rose four per cent.The average price of all properties in Greater Montreal increased five per cent to $373,899. They were up six per cent to $481,544 on the island of Montreal.The median price of single-family homes across Greater Montreal was $325,000 last month, up three per cent year-over-year, while plexes reached $520,000, a nine per cent increase.As for condominiums, the median price was up six per cent compared with a year ago, with half of all units selling for more than $257,000.The increase in sales came as the number of active listings fell 16 per cent to 24,501, from 29,289 a year ago. New listings fell one per cent to 6,387, compared with 6,431 in May 2017. read more

Filming begins on first movie shot at UN Headquarters in New York

Video of the press conference The thriller, which stars Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, is not intended to be a propaganda device for the UN, director Sydney Pollack and UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor said today at a joint press conference.Mr. Tharoor said the UN granted approval to The Interpreter only after senior officials studied the script and held “extensive discussions” with Mr. Pollack.He said they also signed off partly because of “our own great regard for Mr. Pollack as an artist and given his track record and experience as a film maker.”Mr. Pollack, who has also worked as a producer and actor, has directed many films, including The Way We Were (1973), Absence of Malice (1981), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985) and The Firm (1993). He won two Oscars for Out of Africa: best director and best picture.Mr. Tharoor said UN officials believe The Interpreter is “going to bring a lot of people into the movie theatres…who would not otherwise have paid much attention to this Organization.”The Director said he was attracted to the visual setting offered by the world body. “People haven’t seen what’s inside,” Mr. Pollack said. “You have tons and tons of visitors but most of the people in the United States don’t know what the UN looks like and don’t understand how the UN works and don’t know what its day-to-day business is.”The first scenes at UN Headquarters were shot last weekend. Mr. Tharoor said filming would only take place on weekends, public holidays or nights so as not to disturb the regular work of the UN. The set is closed to tourists and UN staff.Mr. Pollack predicted that shooting on the film, estimated to cost $80 million, would take 14 weeks. He also voiced hope that it would be released late November. read more