Luxury Home Market on an Upward Trajectory

Mississauga, ON (January 28, 2014) — Significant gains at the top end of the country’s housing market continued to demonstrate the overall strength of Canadian real estate in 2013, according to a report released today by RE/MAX. The RE/MAX Upper End Report, highlighting trends and developments in 16 major Canadian centres, revealed that:

  • Seventy-five per cent of markets experienced year-over-year percentage increases in sales—including eight markets that posted double-digit gains. Greater Vancouver led the charge with a 36 per cent increase in luxury sales last year, followed by Calgary at 34 per cent, Edmonton at 32 per cent, Hamilton-Burlington at 31 per cent, Kitchener-Waterloo at 27 per cent, Winnipeg at 26 per cent, Greater Toronto at 18 per cent, and Saskatoon at 15 per cent.
  • Over two-thirds of markets set new records for high-end sales in 2013. Markets included St. John’s, Quebec City, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, London-St. Thomas, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Calgary.
  • Luxury sales have close to quadrupled since 2009 in Regina (up 288 per cent), tripled in St. John’s (219 percent), and more than doubled in Winnipeg (189 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (173 per cent), Saskatoon (157 per cent), the Greater Toronto Area (147 per cent), Greater Vancouver (125 per cent), and Calgary (115 per cent). London-St. Thomas was up 90 per cent, Ottawa increased 86 per cent, Edmonton rose 81 per cent, while Quebec City jumped 76 per cent and Montreal climbed 61 per cent in the five-year period.

“Canada’s luxury housing market has undergone serious transformation in recent years, setting a new standard for lifestyles of the rich and famous,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “High-end homes are commanding top dollar in blue chip neighbourhoods from coast to coast. Condominiums are hitting price points that rival single-detached homes. The market is maturing and the appetite is unprecedented.”

Last year’s relatively low interest rate environment, substantial equity gains in Canadian real estate markets, stellar performance in US equities, and improving economic conditions contributed to the upswing in luxury home sales, driving close to 70 per cent of Canadian markets to new heights in 2013.

Diminished supply of single-family homes—particularly in markets like the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver—contributed to steady homebuying activity, as pent-up demand persisted. Yet, most purchasers remained grounded, especially at higher price points, and the climate proved fundamentally healthy.