Luxury home sales surge in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto
Are you in the market for a luxury home? If so, you're not alone.
Sales of luxury homes hit new records in cities throughout Canada in 2013, according to a new ReMax realty report.
In Vancouver, Canada's priciest real estate market, sales of luxury homes priced over $2 million hit 1,609, marking a 36 per cent increase from 2012.
The report, released Tuesday, noted that builders are snapping up older homes priced under $3 million, tearing them down, and building news homes priced between $5 million and $10 million.
The "teardown trend" is pushing up home prices and "blurring the boundaries" of the city's high-end pockets, according to the report.
Calgary wasn't far behind Vancouver with a 34 per cent surge in high-end sales, followed by Edmonton at 32 per cent.
Calgary surpassed the record-pace of luxury home sales set in 2013, with 732 properties priced over $1 million changing hands.
The report notes that Calgary's condominium market is showing even greater strength than the overall market, with sales rising 88 per cent over 2012 levels.
In Edmonton, a strong economy boosted luxury home sales and shattered existing records with 356 homes priced over $1 million being sold.
The report notes, however, that the actually number of upscale properties sold is likely significantly higher, given that a good percentage of high-end sales are new construction and not reported on the national multiple listing service.
Toronto, Canada's largest real estate market, saw a record 1,908 luxury homes priced over $1.5 million change hands in 2013, an 18 per cent increase over 2012.
More buyers were vying for fewer homes in prestigious Toronto neighbourhoods including Rosedale, Forest Hill, Bridle Path, Lawrence Park and Hogg's Hollow, the report notes.
Single-detached homes were the most sought after, with the priciest property selling with a price tag of more than $13.4 million.
West of Toronto in the Hamilton-Burlington area, luxury home sales, considered properties priced at more than $750,000, saw a substantial 31 per cent increase in 2013.
Affordability and larger lot sizes drove buyers from the GTA to the area, according to the report, a trend that's likely to continue into 2014.
The Kitchener-Waterloo area also saw a spike in luxury home sales, with 27 per cent more homes priced over $750,000 changing hands.
The jump in upper-end home sales was welcome news, amid concerns about ongoing layoffs at Waterloo-based BlackBerry impacting the real estate market.
But not all of Canada's major cities saw an increase in luxury home sales last year.
Montreal's luxury real estate market saw 405 properties priced over $1 million change hands, a seven per cent decrease from 2012.
Victoria experienced a 12 per cent decrease in sales of homes priced $1 million or more, and Halifax saw a 10 per cent drop in luxury homes priced over $500,000.