September 28, 2013
Even if you can’t afford a luxury house yourself, it’s fun to see how the other 1 per cent lives. The annual Top Tier Trends Report from Sotheby's International Realty gives the rest of us a glimpse into the rarefied world of high-end real estate in key luxury markets across Canada.
Half of those markets are in BC: Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Sun Peaks and Salt Spring Island.
What are luxury buyers looking for? No surprises here. Location is ranked number 1, followed by easy access to an urban centre, top-ranked school districts, proximity to community amenities and stunning views.
In its forecast, Sotheby's International Realty Canada says Vancouver sales over $1 million were up 65 per cent over the first half of 2012, with 955 of 1,239 homes selling. It anticipates a strong fall market in Vancouver, and in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal as well. President and CEO Ross McCredie says, "In examining the performance of the high-end market, we feel confident that Canada’s largest urban centres remain in exceptional positions heading into fall, with healthy market fundamentals from coast to coast."
Admittedly, $1 million is no big deal in Vancouver real estate. That’s why the Top Tier Trends Report sets a different low-end luxury price for each market. Despite having the highest-priced real estate market in Canada, Vancouver doesn’t have the highest entry-level price for luxury houses. Montreal does: $3.5 million compared to $2.8 million in Vancouver. Montreal also has the highest percentage of foreign investors: 49 per cent compared to Vancouver's 40 per cent.
Check out these infographics to see who's buying the most expensive single-family houses in BC, where, and for how much.