Canada luxury home sales Photo: Re/Max

High-end homes were hot last year in 75 per cent of Canada’s major housing markets. According to a new Re/Max report on luxury home sales, 12 of the country’s 16 largest housing markets saw year-over-year sales increases in 2013, with eight markets posting double-digit percentage gains (Tweet this).

The Greater Vancouver region led the charge with a 36 per cent increase in luxury sales last year, followed by Calgary at 34 per cent, Edmonton at 32 per cent (Tweet this), Hamilton-Burlington at 31 per cent, Kitchener-Waterloo at 27 per cent, Winnipeg at 26 per cent, Greater Toronto at 18 per cent, and Saskatoon at 15 per cent.

In fact, over two-thirds of markets set new records for high-end sales in 2013, including Quebec City, Greater Toronto (Tweet this), Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, London-St. Thomas, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Calgary.

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The reason for the spike in high-end homes sales? Re/Max chalks it up to last year’s relatively low interest rates, “significant equity gains” in Canadian real estate markets, the performance of US equities, and improving economic conditions.

So, who’s making these pricey purchases? For the most part, Canadians themselves are, Re/Max says.

“Local purchasers continue to be the primary drivers in the upper end of the market, as Canadian affluence climbs,” the report reads, adding that the number of Canadian millionaires reached 298,000 individuals in 2012.

“Some foreign investment was also noted in 2013, most prevalent in markets such as Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area,” the report continues.

But what does the high-end market have in store for this year? According to Quebec Re/Max executive vice president Sylvain Dansereau, 2014 should be another big year.

“With the economic picture set to improve in major centres from coast to coast in 2014, including Quebec, confidence is building,” Dansereau said. “As a result, buying intentions at the upper end should remain solid, providing another positive indicator for the overall health of Canada’s real estate market.”

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