2014 Year-End Top-Tier Real Estate Report*

7 January 2015, written by SIRC

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Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s latest Top-Tier Real Estate Report revealed double digit sales gains in the market for residential real estate over $1 million in Canada’s largest urban centres in 2014, and indicated upward pressure on the pricing for luxury homes in the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver specifically.

Vancouver, Calgary, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and Montreal all ended the year with positive growth in home sales over $1 million, with the GTA leading the country with a 38% year-over-year increase in sales volume. Vancouver experienced 25% growth in sales, while Montreal saw growth of 21%. Calgary had a more modest increase of 16% year-over-year. Heightened demand and tight inventory contributed to declines in the number of days on market and notable increases in the percentage of homes sold over asking price in the GTA and Vancouver, while the steady rise in the benchmark pricing of a typical, detached single family home, now well beyond the $1 million point in neighbourhoods traditionally considered “conventional”, resulted in the corresponding escalation of prices for luxury homes in Canada’s two largest metropolitan cities.

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Canadian top-tier real estate market highlights include:

Residential real estate sales over $1 million in Vancouver saw continued upward momentum in 2014 with a total of 3,134 homes (condominiums, attached and detached single-family) sold, a 25% increase over 2013. As in the previous year, the greatest percentage gains were in the $4 million-plus price segment, which increased 36% when compared to 2013. Detached single family homes comprised the largest proportion of home sales over $1 million in Vancouver, with sales volume increasing 24% in 2014 over 2013. The volume of condominiums sold over $1 million increased 38% year-over-year, reflecting the greatest percentage gain of all residential home types within this price range in Vancouver, while attached home sales over $1 million saw an uptick of 15% year-over-year.

In 2014, total property sales over $1 million increased 16% over the year prior in Calgary. In total, 836 homes (condominiums, attached and single family) sold over $1 million. The attached home category experienced the strongest percentage sales gains in Calgary’s $1 million- plus housing market in 2014, with sales up 49% compared to 2013. While Calgary’s resale condominium market saw 22% fewer unit sales over $1 million in 2014 compared to 2013 due to limited inventory, sales over $1 million in the market-driving detached single family home segment increased 14% year-over-year. It is anticipated that recent uncertainty in the oil market may impact the market for Calgary real estate over $1 million in 2015, however, the degree of influence is still unknown.

Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
In 2014, top-tier residential real estate in the GTA (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) posted the strongest activity of Canada’s largest metropolitan markets. Tightening inventory of desirable homes over $1 million amplified robust consumer demand and overall economic and market confidence, contributing to an increased pace in sales over the year. Overall, a total of 7,527 homes (condominiums, attached and single family) over $1 million were sold across the GTA, representing a year-over-year increase of 38% when compared to 2013. The sale of detached single family homes over $1 million continued to trend upward throughout 2014, increasing 37% year-over-year, the greatest percentage increase of Canada’s four largest urban centres. As in 2013, condominium sales in the region’s $1 million-plus market also saw the greatest gains of the four urban centres in 2014 with a 46% increase in units sold over the previous year. Meanwhile, top-tier attached home sales in the same price range increased 39% as homebuyers priced out of the detached home market sought alternatives.

With renewed confidence following the provincial election of a Liberal majority government in the spring of 2014, Montreal’s real estate market saw an upswing in 2014 with a 21% increase in the sale of homes over $1 million compared to one year prior. A total of 434 homes (condominiums, attached and single family) sold over $1 million in 2014, while Montreal’s $4 million-plus market saw a total of seven homes sold in 2014, a significant number for the market and an increase of 600% over the one unit sold the entire year of 2013. Detached single family home sales showed the greatest year-over-year percentage gains in sales volume over $1 million in 2014 with an increase of 26%, while attached home sales over $1 million increased 21% from 2013. Montreal’s top-tier condominium market remained balanced in 2014, with a nominal increase of 4%.

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Disclaimer* The information contained in this report references market data from MLS boards across Canada. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada cautions that MLS market data can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada or Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on, or reference to the contents of this document.

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