July 8, 2014 3:43 am

Canadian high-end homes still in hot demand, says Sotheby’s

WATCH: Canada’s housing market is defying prediction of a bubble and showing new signs of strength. Mike Drolet reports on which cities are the hottest and whether the surging prices are here to stay.

OTTAWA – Canada’s housing market may be cooling, but there’s no loss of appetite for high-end real estate, according to Sotheby’s.

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Global News

The realtor says in a new report that sales of homes worth more than $1 million boomed in the first half of 2014, with all four key metropolitan areas covered – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal – recording double-digit gains.

Vancouver and Toronto continue to lead the way with sales of homes worth $1 million or more increasing 34 per cent compared with the first six months of 2013.

That was followed by Calgary with a 17 per cent increase and Montreal with an 11 per cent gain, even though Quebec’s largest city posted an overall decline in sales in 2013.

READ MORE: Here’s the hottest housing market in Canada nobody’s talking about

Sotheby’s says that given Canada’s strong economic fundamentals, improved consumer confidence and super-low lending rates, all markets are expected to gain momentum in the second half of the year.

Sotheby’s adds it also expects international demand in top-tier real estate to remain robust despite the removal of Canada’s immigrant investor class program.

The realtor says sales of high-end homes were strong in all segments, from single family to attached homes and condominiums in the first six moths of 2014.

Despite worries about a condo bubble in Toronto and Vancouver, it says there has been no sign of let-up so far this year, with sales increases of 53 and 37 per cent respectively.

READ MORE: Home sales up in May, says Canadian Real Estate Association

Demand was so strong in Toronto that 36 per cent of condos listed at between $1 million and $2 million sold above the asking price; 41 per cent of those listed between $2 million and $4 million sold above asking and all of those listed above $4 million got more than asking.

In all, there were about 6,400 homes that sold above $1 million in the four cities in the first half of 2014, including about 275 that sold for more than $4 million.

The most expensive home cited in the Sotheby’s report was located in Vancouver and was listed at $15 million.

Overall home sales in Canada got off to a slow start to 2014, in part due to a harsh winter, but have picked up with the warmer weather and rose a strong 5.9 per cent in May on a month-over-month basis, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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