Luxury condo sales have been on an upward trajectory, both in numbers of transactions and deal values, in some key Canadian markets. The newly released RE/MAX 2017 Spotlight on Luxury shows climbing sales of condos in the $1- to $2-million range in the Greater Toronto Area, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary. Sales of similarly priced single-family homes also rose in the GTA, Calgary and Victoria, but dropped notably Vancouver.
In total, six times as many dwellings sold for at least $1 million in the GTA than in Vancouver during the first seven months of this year — or about 15,100 in the GTA versus 2,350 in Vancouver. However, the margin was much narrower for luxury condo sales with the GTA outpacing Vancouver by a mere 815 to 744 transactions.
Vancouver also boasts a greater share of higher priced transactions with 165 condo deals topping $2 million versus 100 in the GTA. That said, the highest single price — $11.5 million — was garnered in the GTA.
Market analysts tie the drop in single-family home purchases to a new tax regime in British Columbia, which has placed a surcharge on sales to foreign buyers. Deals in the $1- to $2-million range dropped by 21 per cent in Vancouver relative to the first seven months of 2016, while 25 per cent more GTA-based buyers and 22 per cent more Calgarians purchased homes at that price point. Analysts also speculate that buyers are turning to condos in greater numbers due to trepidation over detached housing prices or because they are cashing in on those prices and looking for new places to live.
“We are seeing more developers turn their attention to condo projects and are anticipating more luxury units to enter the market in the coming years,” says Elton Ash, RE/MAX executive vice president for Western Canada.
There were 32 luxury condo sales in Calgary in the first seven months of the year, falling behind the 38 registered in Victoria, but up from just 23 in the same period last year. A $6-million sale was also the priciest housing deal recorded in Calgary, surpassing the highest price paid for a single detached home by $400,000.