CALGARY — Growing confidence in Calgary’s residential housing market has spilled over into luxury properties with first-quarter sales over the $1-million price point, the best on record since 2007, says a report released Wednesday by Re/Max.
The Upper-End Market Trends 2012 report said 115 homes changed hands in the first quarter, up from 106 during the same period in 2011, 67 in 2010, 35 in 2009, and 86 in 2008.
Only 2007 posted greater sales activity in the top end, with 124 sales priced over $1 million, said Re/Max.
“Locals are primarily behind the push, trading up to larger homes or lot sizes, taking advantage of today’s low interest rates and more affordable housing values,” said the report.
“Movement back into Calgary — in the form of transfers from international corporations — is also a trend worth noting. A good selection of upper-end product is available in the City of Calgary where more than 400 properties are currently listed for sale. Inventory is noticeably tighter closer to the inner core, especially in older, established areas like Elbow Park, Bonavista, and Mount Royal.”
According to the blog of Calgary realtor Mike Fotiou, of First Place Realty, 36 single-family homes in Calgary sold for more than $1 million in the first two weeks of May. That’s up from 31 sold during the same period last year. Sales in that price point for single-family homes for the first two weeks in May historically were: 28 in 2010; 16 in 2009; 23 in 2008; and 27 in 2007.
Nationally, Re/Max said the Canadian appetite for all things luxury continues to fuel demand for high-end housing, with first quarter 2012 sales well ahead of 2011 figures for the same period in most markets across the country.
The report found that 81 per cent (13) of the 16 major Canadian centres examined — including Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, London-St. Thomas, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton-Burlington, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Greater Montreal, and Halifax-Dartmouth — posted an increase in homebuying activity, with the vast majority reporting double-digit appreciation. Records were set for upper-end sales in 10 markets in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
“Canadians recognize and appreciate the stability of real estate,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of Re/Max of Western Canada, in a statement. “Given volatility in other areas, housing has emerged as a blue-chip asset among the country’s most affluent individuals.”
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