Sotheby’s International Realty Canada reveals today that Toronto is leading major Canadian cities in luxury real estate sales during the first half of 2015. Building on momentum from 2014, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) led the country in residential sales over $1 million (condominiums, attached and single family homes), followed by Vancouver. Montreal’s $1 million-plus market saw a modest increase in the first half of the year, while the Calgary market contracted after several years of sustained growth.

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Sales over $1 million in the GTA increased 56% year-over-year in the first half of 2015, while Vancouver data revealed 48% gains in sales volume during the same period. Tightening inventory combined with heightened demand contributed to a greater proportion of properties sold above list price in both markets.

As the benchmark price of conventional real estate continued to rise, surpassing $1 million for many product types in these two markets, the entry price point for luxury housing also increased. As a result, performance of the luxury market in the GTA and Vancouver is better indicated by the sale of properties in the $2-4 million and $4 million-plus range, in which both markets saw significant gains. In the first half of 2015, sales across the GTA in the $2-4 million segment increased 46% while sales over $4 million grew by a notable 72%. Similarly in Vancouver, sales of luxury properties in the $2-4 million and $4 million-plus range increased 52% and 71% respectively.

Vancouver

In the first six months of 2015, top-tier residential real estate sales in Vancouver remained strong, with growth in sales volume outpaced only by the GTA. In the first half of 2015, a total of 2,465 properties (condominiums, attached and single family homes) over $1 million sold across the city, an increase of 48% when compared to the same period in 2014. As in 2014, the greatest sales gains continued to be in the $4 million-plus category, a segment that saw a 71% increase in number of units sold when compared to the same timeframe the year prior; 219 units sold between January 1 and June 30, 2015. The single family home market continued to comprise the majority of high-end home sales in Vancouver, with 1,921 units sold over $1 million in the first half of 2015, a year-over-year increase of 46%. Sales of attached homes over $1 million in Vancouver saw a significant increase in the first half of 2015 with 118% growth compared to the same period in 2014, as buyers priced out of the single family home market sought alternatives. In the first half of 2015, the sales volume of condominiums over $1 million increased by 30% to 317 units.

Calgary

Following several years of record-breaking sales, Calgary’s high-end housing sector took a downturn in the first half of 2015. Declining oil prices, economic and political uncertainty, decreased consumer confidence and elevated inventory continued to negatively impact sales volume. In total, 289 properties (condominiums, attached homes, and single family homes) sold over $1 million in Calgary during the first six months of 2015, representing a decrease of 36% compared to the same period last year. Compared to January 1 to June 30, 2014, sales of single family homes above $1 million fell 34% in the first half of 2015, while condominium and attached home sales declined 13% and 51% respectively.

Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

The GTA (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) led the nation in percentage gains in sales of residential real estate over $1 million in the first half of 2015, outpacing all other major metropolitan cities as Canada’s most robust market.

Last year, the GTA posted the strongest year-over-year sales gains of Canada’s largest metropolitan markets. Overall, a total of 7,527 properties (condominiums, attached and single family homes) over $1 million sold across the region in 2014, representing a 38% increase when compared to 2013. Between January 1 and June 30, 2015, 6,152 properties sold over $1 million across the GTA, an increase of 56% when compared to the first half of 2014. Following growth in 2014, high-end condominium sales in the GTA’s $1 million-plus market saw the greatest gains of the four metropolitan markets with a total of 281 condominium units over $1 million sold between January 1 to June 30, 2015, representing a 48% increase from the same six month period in 2014. Attached home sales volume increased 70% year-over-year, while detached single family home sales over $1 million increased 55%.

Montreal

Montreal’s high-end real estate market continued to stabilize during the first six months of 2015, showing modest growth as political and economic uncertainty across the province tempered consumer confidence. Overall, year-over-year sales over $1 million rose moderately, with a total of 274 properties (condominiums, attached and single family homes) sold between January 1 and June 30, 2015, an increase of 20% compared to the same period in 2014. All product types experienced gains, with sales of condos, attached homes, and single family homes over $1 million increasing 46%, 33%, 9% respectively in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

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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 neighbourhoods 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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