Canada luxury housing market Photo: Sotheby’s

Sales of homes worth over $1 million were up by double-digits in Canada’s four largest urban centres last year. According to a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty, the biggest gains of 2014 were seen in Toronto and Vancouver, where million-dollar home sales rose 38 and 25 per cent year-over-year.

Increased demand and tighter inventory contributed to declines in the number of days on market as well as an increase the number of homes that sold over the asking price in both the GTA and Vancouver. Indeed, with typical single-family homes in “conventional” neighbourhoods now fetching at least $1 million, the report says the price of a luxury home was driven up in both markets.

In Montreal, high-end home sales were up 21 per cent from the previous year while Calgary saw a “more modest” increase of 16 per cent.

Canada’s luxury home market in 2015

Going forward, Sotheby’s expects the market to remain strong in the GTA and Vancouver well into 2015, and for demand to outweigh available inventory, especially when it comes to single-family homes. The outlook for Montreal and Calgary is positive, but more conservative as both cities head into the year “positioned to maintain balance.”

With that, we take a closer look at the four markets studied.

Vancouver

A total of 3,134 homes (condos, townhomes and single-family homes) sold for at least $1 million in Vancouver in 2014. The greatest percentage gains were in the $4 million-plus price segment, which increased 36 per cent when compared to 2013. Single-family homes comprised the largest proportion of home sales over $1 million in Vancouver, with sales volume increasing 24 per cent in 2014 over 2013. The volume of luxury condo sales increased 38 per cent year-over-year, while townhome sales over $1 million saw an uptick of 15 per cent year-over-year.

Calgary

Of Calgary’s 836 luxury home sales in 2014, the townhome segment experienced the strongest percentage sales gains, with transactions up 49 per cent compared to 2013. For the luxury condo market, there were actually 22 per cent fewer units sold in 2014 compared to 2013 due to limited inventory. However, single-family high-end home sales were up 14 per cent year-over-year. Going forward, the report notes that recent uncertainty in the oil market may impact Calgary’s luxury home market, however, “the degree of influence is still unknown.”

Toronto

Limited inventory of “desirable homes” over $1 million amplified demand and market confidence in the GTA, the report says. Overall, a total of 7,527 homes sold for at least $1 million, with the luxury condo market leading the year-over-year sales gains (up 46 per cent from 2013), followed by townhome sales (up 39 per cent) and then single-family homes (up 37 per cent). Click here for a more detailed look at Toronto’s luxury home market.

Montreal

A total of 434 homes sold for over $1 million in 2014, while Montreal’s $4 million-plus market saw a total of seven homes sold in 2014, a significant number for the market and an increase of 600 per cent over the one unit sold the entire year of 2013. Single-family home sales showed the greatest year-over-year percentage gains in sales volume over $1 million with an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year, while attached home sales over $1 million increased 21 per cent from 2013. Montreal’s luxury condo market remained balanced in 2014, with a nominal increase of 4 per cent.

For more on Canada’s luxury housing market, the full report can be found here.

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