Luxury home market sizzling

Sales of Vancouver homes priced at $1 million or more surged 25% last year, compared to...

Coal Harbour condominium listed at $5.5 million. | Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Sales of Vancouver homes priced at $1 million or more surged 25% last year, compared to 2013, with the biggest gain seen in properties worth $4 million or more, which accounted for 253 homes. In all, 3,134 homes sold for more than $1 million last year.

Condominiums led the high-end price parade in 2014, posting a 38% increase in sales worth more than $1 million, according to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s annual Top Tier Housing report. Sales of detached houses in this price category advanced 24% from a year earlier, and accounted for the majority of the luxury home market. There was also a 15% increase in sales of attached homes (townhomes and rowhouses) priced at $1 million or more.

“As in the previous year, the greatest percentage gains were in the $4 million-plus price segment, which increased 36% when compared to 2013,” Sotheby’s reports.

In Calgary, total property sales over $1 million increased 16% last year compared to 2013. In total, 836 homes 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.

Calgary's resale condominium market saw 22% fewer unit sales over $1 million in 2014 compared to 2013. Sales over $1 million in the single-family house segment increased 14% year-over-year.

Greater Toronto’s top-tier residential real estate posted the strongest activity of Canada's largest metropolitan markets, Sotheby’s found. Overall, a total of 7,527 homes over $1 million were sold across the region, representing a year-over-year increase of 38% when compared to 2013.

“ We expect the [top-tier] market to remain strong in Greater Toronto and Vancouver well into 2015, and for demand to outweigh available inventory, especially when it comes to detached, single-family homes, “ said Ross McCredie, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada President and CEO.

The outlook for Calgary is “more conservative”, McCredie said, citing uncertainty about the direction of oil prices, which have fallen sharply in recent weeks.