Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Canada Luxury Home Sales Have Surged

Canadians are fuelling unprecedented demand for luxury homes while the overall housing market remains robust.

Million-dollar home sales are climbing at a rate never before seen in major centres across the country.

If the market continues at this pace, existing sales records for all types of real estate, including upscale properties, will be shattered by year-end.

Luxury home sales rose to new heights in 12 out of 13 markets in January to May 2006, compared with one year ago, with increases ranging from eight per cent in Halifax/Dartmouth, N.S., to as high as 177 % in Edmonton.

Only Windsor, Ont.,, where concerns about the future of the automotive industry are having an impact on real estate in general, reported a decline in sales.

Some highlights:
  • The highest-priced multiple-listing service sale in Canada this year - $10.88 million - occurred in the Vancouver area.
  • The most expensive property listed for sale is a $45-million waterfront estate in Oakville, Ont.
  • Out-of-province and international buyers are a factor in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, B.C., Edmonton and St. John's, N.L.
  • Upper-end condominiums are popular in Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Halifax-Dartmouth.

Ottawa saw 222 homes sold for at least $500,000, up from 145; the number of Halifax/Dartmouth home sales worth over $500,000 rose to 40 from 37.

In Vancouver, the number of sales of luxury homes starting at $1.5 million rose 90 per cent to 403 from a year-ago 212. In Victoria, the number of homes costing at least $1 million rose to 62 from 42.

Among other cities: Calgary reported 206 homes worth at least $1 million were sold, up from 92 a year earlier; Edmonton had 144 homes sold for at least $500,000, up from 52; the number of Winnipeg homes worth at least $500,000 doubled to 24; Windsor homes selling for at least $500,000 dropped to seven from 15.

The Toronto area reported 289 homes sold for at least $1.5 million, up 31 per cent from 221; London/St. Thomas, Ont., saw 38 homes worth at least $500,000 finding a buyer, up from 32; Hamilton/Burlington, Ont., reported 225 homes selling for at least $500,000, up from 158 a year ago.


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