The number of luxury homes sold for at least $1 million last year in Toronto has broken all previous records, according to a new report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
“Toronto’s luxury real estate market shattered previous performance records for the second straight year and defied industry expectations,” said President and CEO Brad Henderson.
According to a release by the luxury real estate sales and marketing company, the Greater Toronto Area has raced ahead of Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal over the past two years.
Sotheby’s says $1 million-plus sales in the GTA in 2016 surged 77% year-over-year, while luxury sales over $4 million rose a whopping 95% over 2015 figures.
In terms of sheer numbers, real estate sales over $1 million in the GTA grew from 11,112 units in 2015 to 19,682 in 2016, driven by the increasing cost of single family homes.
Elsewhere, Vancouver’s luxury home sales slowed way down in the second half of 2016, said the report, leading to an overall year-on-year decline of 1%.
Sotheby’s attributes this slowdown to the 15% foreign buyer’s tax imposed in Metro Vancouver, as well as federal changes to rules governing mortgages and foreign ownership.
But while million-dollar home sales may have slowed slightly in Vancouver, luxury real estate sales of more than $4 million in the city were actually up 36% compared to 2015.
The report also found luxury home sales in Calgary and Montreal to be in good shape, with sales over $1 million rising 19% in Calgary and 23% in Montreal.
“In light of the unexpected and unrelenting changes that rippled across the housing industry in 2016, the top-tier real estate markets in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal demonstrated tremendous resilience, and in many cases sheer defiance, to post healthy performance across the board,” said Henderson.
The Sotheby’s report is based on market data from MLS boards across Canada, which the luxury real estate company says can help to establish trends over time.
However, Sotheby’s says the data “does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differentials within local markets.”