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San Francisco, Berlin and London: those are just a few of the cities Vancouver beat out to top Knight Frank’s latest annual index of luxury housing markets across the globe.

“Vancouver leads the rankings by some margin,” writes Kate Everett-Allen, the real estate firm’s head of international residential research.

Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI) compares home-price growth in the priciest corners of housing markets, “generally defined as the top 5 per cent of each market by value,” explains Everett-Allen.

Vancouver’s 24.5 per cent price surge in its luxury real estate segment placed it well above second place Sydney, which saw 14.8 per cent appreciation, according to Knight Frank.

“A lack of supply, coupled with foreign demand, spurred on by a weaker Canadian dollar explain the (Vancouver)’s stellar performance,” she continues in the firm’s Wealth Report 2016, which features the index.

Toronto was the only other Canadian city included in the 100-market list, and it wasn’t far behind Vancouver, taking the 12th spot. High-end home prices in Ontario’s capital were up 8 per cent last year, according to the index.

“Toronto acts as a gateway city for Asian, European and Middle Eastern buyers to North America,” Everett-Allen tells BuzzBuzzHome News.

“It has good transport links, a broad cultural, sporting and social calendar, good educational facilities… as well as quality housing stock,” she says of its appeal to buyers.

Both Toronto and Vancouver have been on Knight Frank’s radar for some time, but each made considerable leaps over their performances the year before.

Last year, when Knight Frank’s index positioned New York as the leading global luxury market of 2014, Vancouver ranked 25th. It shared the spot with the two major German cities, Frankfurt and Munich, and the Swiss ski village of Verbier.

Toronto, meanwhile, placed 28th in 2014, between São Paulo, Brazil, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“The weak Canadian dollar has boosted foreign investment while low interest rates and a buoyant labour market have increased demand from domestic buyers,” Everett-Allen tells BuzzBuzzHome News, explaining Toronto’s 2015 jump in the rankings.

Here are the top 20 markets from the 2015 PIRI 100:

1. Vancouver
2. Sydney
3. Shanghai
4. Istanbul
5. Munich
6. Melbourne
7. San Francisco
8. Auckland
9. Amsterdam
11. Berlin
12. Toronto
13. Capetown
14. Miami
15. Bangkok
16. Seoul
17. Val d’lsere
18. Jakarta
18. Bengaluru
20. Madrid
20. Ibiza

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