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Photo: realtor.ca

Toronto is now home to the hottest luxury real estate market outside of China, suggests property consultancy Knight Frank.

Luxury home prices in Toronto surged 22.2 per cent from a year ago in March, earning it the third spot on Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index Q1 2017.

Knight Frank research teams around the world typically classify homes in the top 5 per cent of a market by value as prime, or luxury, properties.

At the end of 2016, Toronto held the sixth spot on Knight Frank’s annual Prime International Residential Index, trailing four Asian cities and Auckland, New Zealand.

But for Knight Frank’s most recent quarterly index, only Guangzhou, a port city in southern China, and the Chinese capital of Beijing posted larger annual gains at 36.2 per cent and 22.9 per cent, respectively.

“An Asian revival might be overstating it, but we are certainly seeing the region’s key cities… rise up the rankings following years of lacklustre prime price growth,” writes Knight Frank researcher Kate Everett-Allen in the Prime Global Cities Index report.

Everett-Allen noted growth in 13th-place Hong Kong and 15th-spot Singapore as well, where prices were up 5.3 per cent year-over-year in the former in March and 4 per cent in the latter over the same period.

Vancouver, the other Canadian entry on the list, has fallen to the 10th position posting annual gains of 7.9 per cent in its luxury residential market as of March.

Roughly a year ago, Vancouver topped the Prime International Residential Index. That was before policymakers stepped in to cool the market by introducing a tax on foreign homebuyers in August 2016.

Knight Frank notes a similarity between the two Canadian markets.

“The big story on the North American continent is the acceleration of prices in Toronto — across all price bands,” the report reads.

“Such price inflation failed to escape the attention of policymakers,” referring to Ontario’s own foreign-homebuyer tax of 15 per cent for the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe, which includes Toronto.

That puts Toronto “on equal footing with Vancouver,” according to the report.

Check out the latest Prime Global Cities Index from Knight Frank below.

knight-frank-index-q1-2017

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