A six-bedroom Hawaiian-inspired mansion outfitted with a 12-seat home theatre, zen gardens and resort-style pool may seem like a niche real estate listing, especially when it comes with a hefty price tag of $10,250,000.
But the lavish gated home at 28 Park Lane Circle in the Bridle Path — a Toronto neighbourhood known colloquially as Millionaires’ Row — was one of 149 homes to sell for over $4 million last year in the GTA, contributing the fastest-growing segment of the urban centre’s luxury market.
It’s a trend that Sotheby’s, an auction house and brokerage, predicts will continue through the spring in Toronto.
“Strong sales and steeper price inflation is anticipated in the top-tier real estate market in the GTA… predominantly fueled by an acute shortage of inventory in prime neighbourhoods and continued confidence in the housing market,” says Sotheby’s in its latest forecast released last week.
“While the GTA remains attractive for foreign investors and immigrants, local and domestic demand will remain primary drivers,” the forecast continues.
Sotheby’s reports on the top-tier market cover dwellings from above the $1-million mark, but the real estate firm says properties selling for over $4 million will lead in percentage gains.
Compared to the previous year, the number of homes that sold for more than $4 million shot up 71 per cent in the GTA in 2015, surpassing gains in both the $2 million to $4 million range and million-plus range, according to Sotheby’s.
That percentage increase also surpasses the over-$4-million sales performance seen in Vancouver, recently named the hottest luxury market on the planet.
However, the west coast city saw a much higher total of homes in this range change hands in 2015, with 422 transactions accounting for a 67 per cent year-over-year-increase. More of the same is expected for this spring.
“While strong performance is anticipated for the condominium and attached home markets, the detached single family home market is expected to continue to lead percentage gains in sales volume, particularly in the market for homes over $4 million in prime neighbourhoods,” Sotheby’s says.
“Limited inventory, resilient consumer confidence, strong domestic and supplemental international demand, below national average unemployment, and low interest rates are expected to propel positive growth in the GTA and Vancouver,” adds Sotheby’s.
As bidding wars continue in Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary is attracting wealthy buyers hunting for deals as lower oil prices impact the local housing market, not long ago one of the hottest in the country.
“With declining prices and a weak Canadian dollar, top-tier Calgary real estate has experienced an increase in U.S. and domestic, out-of-province interest, a trend that may solidify in 2016,” says Sotheby’s. “Price declines are expected to sustain a buyers’ market in Calgary into the spring.”