The luxury home market remains healthy in Canada as RE/MAX data shows 75% of the major centres experienced strong sales in 2013.
In the 16 major Canadian markets reviewed by RE/MAX, half posted double-digit gains led by Greater Vancouver with a 36% increase in luxury sales last year, followed by Calgary at 34% and Edmonton at 32%.
In Ontario, the Hamilton-Burlington market registered a 31% sales uptick, followed by Kitchener-Waterloo with 27%, and the Greater Toronto Area with an 18% climb from 2012.
"Canada's upper-end housing market continues to set a new standard year after year," remarked Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec.
He adds: "Demand and sales are unprecedented, but what's also striking is the increasing level of luxury that homebuyers are demanding and that homeowners are instilling in existing product. From high-end homes to condominiums, the market is evolving. It's not only raising the bar but price tags in the process."
Sales of luxury homes priced over $2 million hit 1,609 in Vancouver, compared to 732 properties going for more than $1 million in Calgary. In Toronto, Canada's largest real estate market, 1,908 homes with price tags exceeding $1.5 million changed hands.
The study also found that high-end home sales have nearly quadrupled since 2009 in Regina (up 288%), tripled in St. John's (219%), and more than doubled in Winnipeg (189%).
In addition to improving economic conditions and the low-interest-rate environment in Canada, RE/MAX says the substantial equity gains in Canadian real estate markets and stellar performance in US equities helped push sales.
Dansereau expects the luxury home market in Canada to remain solid in 2014 as the economic picture is set to improve in major centres from coast to coast.