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Demand for luxury homes still strong in Canada, real estate company says

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 in Mortgage Market Updates and News

Garry Marr
http://business.financialpost.com/author/garrymarr/
Financial Post

The luxury end of the Canadian housing market shows no signs of slowing down, at least according to one real estate company.

Re/Max surveyed 16 Canadian markets and found sales of what it calls “upper end homes” higher in 75% of those markets.

Vancouver, the priciest market in the country, saw an increase of 36% in sales in 2013 from 2012 in homes selling for $2-million and up.

“Canada’s luxury housing market has undergone serious transformation in recent years, setting a new standard for the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president and regional director of Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said in a statement.

Re/Max says there is “upward trajectory” for home values in Vancouver but expects modest growth this year for prices.

In Toronto, where a luxury home is said to start at $1.5-million, sales were up 18% in 2013 over 2012. The most expensive home sold in the city last year went for $13.4-million for 21,000 square feet in the city’s prestigious Bridle Path area.

In the oilpatch, a luxury home starts at $1-million. Sales of upper end homes in Calgary climbed 34% in 2013 from 2012. Edmonton is a little less pricey for a luxury home with the starting price $750,000 but sales jumped 32% over the same period.

Two cities that reported declines were Montreal and Ottawa. Quebec’s largest city saw a 7% drop in the sale of homes for $1-million or more from 2013 to 2012.

In the nation’s capital, where luxury starts at $750,000 sales were off 1% year over year.

“High-end homes are commanding top dollar in blue chip neighborhoods from coast to coast,” said Mr. Sandhu.


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