Luxury Home Real Estate Insights

Luxury Home Real Estate Insights

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Originally Published by: CTVNews.ca Staff

Published Wednesday, May. 16, 2012 1:25PM EDT

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Luxury homes are selling in higher numbers, and at higher price points, than ever before in a number of markets across Canada, according to a new survey of the high-end real estate market.

Of the 16 major Canadian markets surveyed by RE/MAX in its Upper-End Report, 13 posted an increase in high-end sales, with 10 of those markets setting records.

Michael Polzler, executive vice-president of RE/MAX for Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said the luxury home sales spike is due to a couple of factors.

“The fact is there are a lot of people who see Canada as a safe haven. So we have our traditional successful business people but also a lot of people coming in from the outside who are already successful and have money to spend, Polzler told CTV’s Canada AM. “And that of course creates competition and demand.”

Among the wealthiest shoppers in the real estate market, economic turmoil in Europe and around the world seems to have had little effect, Polzler said. Luxury home prices continue to climb, starting at around $500,000 in St. John’s and Halifax, up to about $2 million in Vancouver, and there are people lined up to make an offer.

“Their confidence abounds from coast to coast, irrespective of price point,” Polzler said in the report, released Wednesday.

Of the 16 markets that were surveyed, Regina saw the greatest year-over-year increase, with upper-end residential sales up 56 per cent from the first quarter of 2011.

Quebec City marked a 50 per cent increase, with the Greater Toronto Area just behind at 49 per cent. However, when the numbers were broken down within the GTA, Mississauga recorded an incredible 275 per cent increase, with 30 high-end homes sold, compared to eight in the same period a year earlier.

The London-St. Thomas area in Ontario marked a 43 per cent increase, while Saskatoon was up 21 per cent

In Greater Vancouver, the number of luxury home sales actually dropped by 31 per cent, from 573 sales in Q1 of 2011, to 393 in 2012.

While the numbers overall are up more than RE/MAX had predicted, Polzler said he’s not entirely surprised because dollars — or in this case millions of dollars — stretch farther in Canada.

“This sounds funny but it’s true — we’re a great value. If you compare our high-end prices to somewhere like London, England or Paris, around Europe or Hong Kong, we’re a bargain,” Polzler said.

Following are some market-by-market figures from January 1 to March 31 (luxury home starting price point in brackets).

Greater Vancouver ($2 million)

    2011: 573
    2012: 393
    Difference: -31 per cent

Calgary ($1 million)

    2011: 106
    2012: 115
    Difference: 8.5 per cent

Greater Toronto ($1.5 million)

    2011: 277
    2012: 412
    Difference: 49 per cent

Greater Montreal (750,000)

    2011: 197
    2012: 261
    Difference: 32.5 per cent

Halifax-Dartmouth ($500,000)

    2011: 52
    2012: 66
    Difference: 27 per cent

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