Canadian luxury sales now competing on world class levels with Toronto and Vancouver on the rise

, Economic

The study considers 'luxury real estate' as properties that sold for US$3 million or more, which compares with a worldwide starting point of US$2.2 million.

Two Canadian cities have climbed into a top-10 list of markets for the most active luxury home sales as debate on the influence of foreign buyers continues to grow.

The two separate studies out Thursday looked at the luxury housing market in major Canadian cities, one found Toronto to be growing at the second fastest rate in the world while another found 24 per cent of realtors surveyed maintain that a quarter of the properties in their region were purchased by foreign buyers.

Christie’s International Real Estate found in its so-called luxury segment — defined as US$3 million or more — sales were up 48 per cent in Toronto from a year ago, placing the city just behind Aukland, New Zealand, on the list of 100 markets surveyed. Auckland activity was up 63 per cent from 2014 to 2015, while Victoria sales were up 45 per cent year over year.

Chris Kapches, chief executive of Chestnut Park Real Estate, said the cost of luxury housing is moving people out of the central parts of Toronto deep into surrounding areas.

“People are buying right in Collingwood and some of the peripheral villages that sprung up around there,” he said, referring to the town about 150 kilometres north of the city that is normally associated with waterfront cottage properties.

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