Friday, June 23, 2006

Sales of Luxury homes in residential Markets are surging across the country - says RE/MAX

Luxury homes sales surge in residential markets across the country, says RE/MAX
Affluent Canadians are fuelling unprecedented demand for luxury homes from Halifax to Vancouver this year, according to RE/MAX.

Million dollar home sales are climbing at a rate never before seen in major centres across the country. Clearly, the Canadian love affair with residential real estate is far from over – and if the market continues at this pace, existing sales records for all types of real estate, including upscale properties, will be shattered by year end.

The RE/MAX Upper End Report found that luxury home sales rose to new heights in 12 out of 13 markets in January to May 2006 compared to one year ago, with percentage increases ranging from eight per cent in Halifax/Dartmouth to as high as 177 per cent in Edmonton. Only Windsor, Ontario, where concerns over the future of the automotive industry are having an impact on real estate in general, reported a decline in sales.

The surge in upper end sales can be directly attributed to three factors. Existing homeowners cashing in on substantial equity gains to re-invest in the top end of the market; strong economic performance across the country; and solid consumer confidence levels. Limited inventory has further served to underscore the intensity of the marketplace.

Rising values and renovation have been major factors in the upper-end of the market, redefining price points and reclassifying residential neighbourhoods across Canada. Infill is occurring in virtually every older, established community located in close proximity to the downtown core – creating new upper end enclaves. Limited inventory levels in areas like Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto are placing serious upward pressure on prices in ‘blue chip neighbourhoods,’ with many properties now selling in multiple offer situations.

Local buyers, including young professionals, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs are behind the push for upscale homes and condominiums. More and more Canadians are reaching millionaire status and that position is often reflected in their choice of a home.

Highlights:
 The highest-priced MLS sale in Canada this year -- $10,880,000 -- occurred in Greater Vancouver.
 The most expensive property listed for sale is a $45 million waterfront estate in Oakville, Ontario.
 Out-of-province and international purchasers are a factor in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton and St. John’s.
 Teardown and infill is occurring in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton/Burlington, Toronto, Ottawa, and St. John’s.
 Turnkey properties are most sought-after in Vancouver, Kelowna, Windsor, and Halifax-Dartmouth.
 Upper end condominiums are popular in Victoria, Kelowna, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Halifax-Dartmouth.


Market**

Luxury homes start at…

Sales 2005

Sales 2006

Percentage +/-

Vancouver

$1.5 million

212

403

90%

Victoria

$1 million

42

62

48%

Kelowna

$1 million

16

36

125%

Calgary

$1 million

92

206

124%

Edmonton

$500,000

52

144

177%

Winnipeg

$500,000

12

24

100%

Windsor

$500,000

15

7

-54%

London / St. Thomas

$500,000

32

38

19%

Hamilton / Burlington

$500,000

158

225

42%

Greater Toronto

$1.5 million

221

289

31%

Ottawa

$500,000

145

222

53%

Halifax / Dartmouth

$500,000

37

40

8%

St. John's

$500,000

4

5

25%



** Based on local board MLS statistics (January – May), RE/MAX

RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 16,060 sales associates situated throughout its more than 615 independently owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 33rd year of consecutive growth, is a global real estate system operating in over 64 countries. More than 6,375 independently owned offices engage 118,450 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, relocation and asset management. For more information, visit: http://www.remax.ca/

For more information please contact Mark Argentino

A. Mark Argentino Associate Broker, P.Eng.,
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.
2691 Credit Valley Road, Suite 101, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 7A1

BUS 905-828-3434
FAX 905-828-2829
E-MAIL mark@mississauga4sale.com
Website: Mississauga4Sale.com

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