Demand for Canadian luxury homes rebounding: Re/Max

Demand for luxury homes is gaining momentum in most major Canadian city centres, according to a Re/Max survey this week that also highlights records were set in the first quarter in six of 16 markets it tracks.

The real-estate sales group says Calgary saw the most appreciation, up 50 per cent for homes costing $1 million compared to the same period in 2012. Edmonton snagged the second place with a 41 per cent increase in high-end sales, followed by Regina at 10 per cent.

In total, eight out of the 16 residential housing markets examined in the Re/Max Upper-End Market Trends Report were on par or ahead of year-ago levels, while records were set in six markets.

Many affluent purchasers are taking advantage of attractive interest rates and in some instances, lower housing values, to make their purchases. Equity gains are also a factor given substantial increases in housing values over the past decade.

"Momentum is clearly starting to build," says Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president and regional director, Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada, adding a growing number of purchasers are moving off the sidelines and into the market even in centres that reported a dip in first-quarter sales. "All the indicators are pointing to a traditional spring market poised for considerable growth."

The most expensive Canadian properties sold in the first quarter included an $18.6 million single-family estate and an $8-million, 5,700-sq. ft. condominium. Both are located in Vancouver.

Vancouver, the country's priciest market, saw a 29 per cent decline on homes with a $2 million price tag.

The real-estate organization also noted Canada's most expensive property is currently listed at $28.888 million and is located in West Vancouver. The country's priciest condominium is also located in Vancouver and has an asking price of $28.8 million.

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