Photo: James Bombales

Luxury detached home sales in Canada’s major markets have struggled throughout the year, dropping 35 percent year-over-year in both Toronto and Vancouver over the past 12 months.

But while detached homes struggled to attract interested buyers, luxury condos told another story — condos in the $1-2 million range saw a 2 and 6 percent increase in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, through the same 12 month period.

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The data comes from RE/MAX’s recently released 2018 Spotlight on Luxury Report. According to Christopher Alexander, executive VP of the RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada region, Boomers and Millennials alike were drawn to the condo market over the past year.

“Many Canadian Baby Boomers saw the strength of the real estate market over the past two years as an opportunity to cash-in, downsize and upgrade into the luxury market for retirement,” writes Alexander. “We’re also seeing an emerging trend of Millennials entering the lower end of the luxury condo market, as they tap into their inheritance to invest in this popular property segment.”

Meanwhile, foreign buyer taxes in both cities have taken a bite out of the luxury detached home market, while encouraging locals to enter the somewhat more accessible luxury condo market.

“The foreign buyers tax has impacted overseas activity, opening more opportunities for local buyers to enter the luxury market,” writes Elton Ash, executive VP of RE/MAX Western Canada. “As a result, local buyers are driving demand for luxury condos going into 2019.”

Sales aren’t the only thing up this year— the priciest condos sold in both cities saw steep price increases over the past 12 months. The most expensive condo sold in Toronto in 2018 so far went for $11.5 million, up from $8 million in 2017. In Vancouver, the priciest condo sold for $11.7 million, up from $8.7 million in 2017.

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