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2012 Canadian Top-Tier Real Estate Report: A Year in Review

Jan 9 2013 12:00AM



VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 -- In a report released today by Sotheby's International Realty Canada, 2012 activity shows promising momentum in luxury residential real estate in the country's largest urban centres.

As reflected in the latest Top-Tier Real Estate Report, several Canadian markets finished the year with stronger than anticipated growth over 2011. Toronto, Calgary and Montreal all ended 2012 with positive year-over-year sales growth in homes over $1 million. In the latter half of 2012, in light of the Canadian government's introduction of tighter mortgage rules to promote the long-term stability of the housing and mortgage market, several markets including Vancouver experienced a controlled softening much like conventional real estate.

The bi-annual report, compiled by Sotheby's International Realty Canada, examines the number of million dollar-plus residential properties sold from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012. The report also highlights new data for the second half of 2012 (July 1 to December 31, 2012) in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The report compares the sales volume, number of days on market, inventory of listings and percentage of homes sold over the asking price.

Canadian top-tier market highlights include:


With a healthy economy and a new and effective city council, momentum in Calgary's real estate market continued into the last half of 2012, especially in the high end. Compared to the same July to December period in 2011, listings over one million dollars were up by 38 per cent and sales of real estate in the same category were up 21 per cent. The average days on market for homes over a million dollars increased slightly to 66 days and the percentage of properties selling over asking price dropped slightly to 5 per cent. High-end neighborhoods like Elbow Park and Glencoe were among those to see strong demand. Comparing 2012 to 2011, listings of homes over one million dollars increased by 65% in Calgary to 1,559 homes and sales of homes in the same category increased by 20% to 535 homes sold.


In the second half of 2012, the Bank of Canada's tighter lending controls were felt across the country and in Vancouver's upper end real estate market. From July to December 2012, Vancouver's housing market experienced an expected softening. While inventory for homes listed for one million dollars was down 10 per cent from the same period in 2011, sales in the same category dropped 31 per cent. In the latter half of the year, Vancouver's high end market transitioned into one favouring buyers, with 5 per cent of homes over one-million dollars sold for over asking and listings over one million dollars taking an average of 54 days to sell. Comparing 2012 in its entirety to 2011, the number of homes listed over one million dollars increased by 2 per cent, while the number of homes sold in the same category decreased 34 per cent.


Toronto's high-end real estate performed remarkably well given the number of significant changes affecting the local real estate market in 2012. In spite of new CMHC regulations and a newly added Toronto Land Transfer Tax, top-tier housing continued to see stable demand. Real estate in high-end neighborhoods like Rosedale and Bridle Path remained particularly sought after. In the latter half of 2012 sales transactions topped 1,787 million dollar plus properties, compared to 1,921 in the same period in 2011. Outperforming the rest of the country for homes sold over asking, Toronto saw 11 per cent of homes over one-million dollars sell for over asking in the latter half of 2012. Meanwhile, the inventory of listings rose 18 per cent year-over-year for the same six-month period to 6,065 homes. The average number of days on market for homes over one-million dollars remained at 40 days, unchanged from the same period in 2011. Overall Toronto's top-tier housing in 2012 showed healthy gains from a year ago with listings of homes over one-million dollars increasing by 25 per cent and sales of homes in the same category increasing by a healthy 13 per cent to 4,900 homes in 2012.


In spite of uncertainty introduced by a balancing real estate market and the possibility of Quebec's Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) leaving the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the second half of 2012 saw listings of homes over one-million dollars increase by 19 per cent over the same period in 2011 to 473 homes. In the second half of 2012, Montreal reported a 9 per cent sales decrease with 165 sales exceeding a million dollars compared to 182 in the same period in 2011. Homes over one million dollars spent an average 127 days on the market with 3 per cent selling over the asking price. Demand for appropriate listings in top-tier neighborhoods like Westmount remained strong. Comparing the full year of 2012 to 2011, the inventory of homes listed in the million-dollar plus segment of the city increased by 14 per cent to 1,129 listings, while the number of homes sold in the same category increased close to four per cent over the same 12 month period to 392.

According to Sotheby's International Realty Canada CEO, Ross McCredie, "Our findings for 2012 point to the stability of Canada's high-end real estate market. Even when faced with tighter lending controls and struggling international economies like Europe, the value, stability and momentum of luxury real estate in Canada is still seen globally as one of our strongest assets."

For more information and details on Sotheby's International Realty Canada and the Top-Tier Real Estate Report visit

About Sotheby's International Realty Canada

Combining the world's most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby's International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country's most exceptional properties. With offices in over 20 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivaled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 600 offices in more than 45 countries to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world.


(i)The information contained in this report references market data from MLS boards across Canada. Sotheby's International Realty Canada cautions that MLS market data can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby's International Realty Canada or Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on, or reference to the contents of this document.

Talk Shop Media
Katie Reiach

Source: Marketwire

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