Canada luxury housing market Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Sales of homes worth more than $1 million were up by double-digits in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal during the first half of the year. In Calgary, however, the trend was reversed.

In a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada comparing luxury home sales in the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2014, Toronto led the way with a 56 per cent increase, followed by Vancouver at 48 per cent and Montreal with a respectable 20 per cent year-over-year sales gain. Conversely, sales in Calgary’s $1 million-plus market decreased 36 per cent as a result of falling oil prices and uncertainty in the market.

Of course, if we’re talking about the pricey housing markets of Toronto and Vancouver, $1 million is more of an average than the high-end.

“As a result, performance of the luxury market in the GTA and Vancouver is better indicated by the sale of properties in the $2 to $4 million and $4 million-plus range,” Sotheby’s said in it’s report.

And indeed, both markets saw significant gains in those price groups. In the first half of 2015, sales across the GTA in the $2 to $4 million segment increased 46 per cent while sales over $4 million grew by a notable 72 per cent. Similarly in Vancouver, sales of luxury properties in the $2 to $4 million and $4 million-plus range increased 52 per cent and 71 per cent respectively.

And Sotheby’s expects this trend to continue in the coming months as the Toronto and Vancouver regions see growing demand from both domestic and foreign buyers. The outlook for Montreal’s luxury market remains “balanced” while the strongest indicators for Calgary, says Sotheby’s, will be revealed in the fall, when employment numbers, interest rates and the Alberta provincial budget are announced.

More regional highlights from the report

Vancouver

The single-family home market continued to comprise the majority of high-end home sales in Vancouver, with 1,921 units sold over $1 million in the first half of 2015. Sales of attached homes over $1 million in Vancouver saw a significant increase in the first half of 2015 with 118 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2014, as buyers priced out of the single-family home market sought alternatives. In the first half of 2015, the sales volume of condos over $1 million increased by 30 per cent to 317 units.

Calgary

Sotheby’s says the 36 per cent decline in luxury home sales in Calgary is the fault of declining oil prices, economic and political uncertainty, decreased consumer confidence and elevated inventory continued. In total, 289 properties (condos, townhouses and single-family homes) sold for over $1 million in Calgary during the first six months of 2015. Compared to January 1 to June 30, 2014, sales of single family homes above $1 million fell 34 per cent in the first half of 2015, while condo and townhome sales declined 13 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

Toronto

Between January 1 and June 30, 2015, 6,152 properties sold over $1 million across the GTA, an increase of 56 per cent over the first half of 2014. High-end condo sales in the GTA’s $1 million-plus market saw the greatest gains with a total of 281 units over $1 million sold between January 1 to June 30, 2015, representing a 48 per cent increase from the same period last year. Attached home sales volume increased 70 per cent year-over-year, while detached single-family home sales over $1 million increased 55 per cent.

Montreal

Montreal’s high-end real estate market continued to stabilize during the first six months of 2015, showing modest growth as, according to Sotheby’s, political and economic uncertainty across the province tempered consumer confidence. Overall, year-over-year sales over $1 million rose moderately, with a total of 274 properties sold between January 1 and June 30, 2015, an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period in 2014. All product types experienced gains, with sales of condos, townhomes, and single-family homes over $1 million increasing 46 per cent, 33 per cent and nine per cent respectively in the first half of 2015.

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

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