The residential property market in Canada’s major cities and second home markets is enjoying a high level of demand, both nationally and internationally. Specifically in the luxury segment, there is a clear surplus in demand in many places that is resulting in significant rise in price. This emerged from a survey of six selected real estate markets, based on assessments made by local Engel & Völkers residential property shops between January and September 2017.
Vancouver: International buyer interest focused on luxury homes
Real estate in Canada’s metropolitan areas is in particularly high demand. This includes Vancouver on the west coast. The most expensive neighbourhood in the port city is Shaughnessy, with its mix of historic and modern buildings. Asking prices for detached homes reached $35.8 million CAD (approx. 23.7 million euros) in the first three quarters of 2017. This marks the highest price registered out of all the markets analysed. Another exclusive location is West Point Grey. This area benefits from its green spaces, city beaches and proximity to the University of British Columbia. The many waterfront locations in West Vancouver also make it a desirable place to live. Buyer interest in this community to the north of Vancouver centres on high-end freehold apartments with a top technical standard. Asking prices for freehold apartments in all three of these premium locations reached $19,300 CAD per square metre (approx. 12,800 euros). International buyers dominate Vancouver’s luxury property market, accounting for 85 per cent of transactions. Chinese citizens make up the largest buyer group here, followed by French and German buyers. Real estate in East Vancouver is witnessing an upward trend at the moment, with millennials in particular keen to secure small-scale lofts in the area.
Calgary: Premium locations close to the Rocky Mountains
As the venue for the Olympic Winter Games in 1988, Calgary is well known beyond Canada’s borders. The highest priced residential addresses in the city include Downtown Calgary, West and Northwest Calgary, and the suburb of Springbank. Good connections from here to the nearby Rocky Mountains with its wealth of recreational activities, plus a broad choice of schools on offer, draw families in particular to these areas. Consequently, detached family residences with modern technical standards are highly sought-after. The highest asking prices in this segment were registered in Pump Hill, at just over $12 million CAD (approx. 7.9 million euros). Asking prices for freehold apartments in Downtown and the southwest reached up to $7.500 CAD per square metre (approx. 5,000 euros). International buyers account for 10 to 15 per cent of Calgary’s premium market segment. Chinese citizens constitute the main buyer group by far here, followed by the British and German. Having dropped slightly in recent months, positive growth is forecast for 2018. The planned opening of an Amazon site with the creation of 750 new jobs is set to give Calgary’s property market an additional boost.
Montreal: Growing demand for luxury apartments in city centre
A great deal of commercial and industrial enterprise can be found in Montreal, along with a diverse spectrum of cultural life. The highest priced location for detached homes in this city is the Golden Square Mile. Asking prices in this historical district reached up to $11.9 million CAD (approx. 7.9 million euros). The highest asking price for freehold apartments was also in this neighbourhood, at $15,500 CAD per square metre (approx. 10,300 euros). Another exclusive address is Westmount, situated in the heart of the city. In addition to the up-and-coming prime location Downtown, where many younger, tech-savvy buyers are looking to acquire newly built apartmetns with a concierge service. International buyers account for around 30 per cent of Montreal’s premium property market, with them hailing from Asia, the USA, France and Italy. Significant price increases are anticipated over the coming months in Westmount in particular, due to the high surplus in demand for homes. The conversion of revenue properties into single family homes in the Southwest borough is prompting an increase in interest from young families.
Toronto: Prime addresses sought after among families
Canada’s economic centre, Toronto, is also one of the most important property markets in the country. Large plots with exclusive residences make the Bridle Path the most expensive area for detached properties in the city. Asking prices here were as high as $11 million CAD (approx. 7.3 million euros). The highest price fetched for freehold apartments was in Rosedale, at $14,000 CAD per square metre (approx. 9,300 euros). This central neighbourhood is known for its abundance of greenery and its broad choice of schools, which makes Rosedale especially popular with families. Another neighbourhood preferred by families is Forest Hill, north of the city centre. Buyers tend to focus their attention here on classic and modern detached homes with large garages. Other key purchase criteria include security cameras and smart home technologies. The lack of properties up for sale here has seen prices in these prime locations rise by 5 per cent on average in the past year. National buyers account for 80 per cent of the luxury property market in Toronto, while international buyers come primarily from China and Iran. Neighbourhoods set to witness price rises in the coming months include Yonge-Eglinton, which is undergoing regeneration with the construction of the Eglinton LRT connecting to the city’s subway system.
Mont-Tremblant: High demand for properties with ski-in/ski-out access
Located approx. 130 kilometres northwest of Montreal, the small town of Mont-Tremblant is one of the most desirable second home markets in Canada. Known above all as a ski resort, it also offers a vast range of other outdoor activities throughout the year. With asking prices of up to around $10 million CAD (approx. 6.6 million euros), the most expensive addresses for detached properties here can be found on Lake Tremblant. This area attracts buyers for its superb setting between the lake and the ski resort, and large estates with panoramic views and smart home technologies are among the most popular homes of all. Ski-in/ski-out properties, i.e. in direct proximity to ski slopes and lifts, are also extremely desirable. Luxury townhouses and contemporary apartments with an interior of approx. 370 square metres enjoy the highest levels of buyer interest here. Prices for such properties have risen significantly from a lack of available listings on the market. The top price fetched for freehold apartments in the first three quarters of 2017 rose here over the previous year from $5,900 to $6,900 CAD per square metre (approx. 3,900 euros/ 4,600 euros). In individual cases, particularly unique and beautiful homes are seeing double-digit increases in sales prices. The scarce supply of existing properties is leading to an increase in new building developments, with building land still available in abundance. 30 per cent of buyers in the luxury segment come from abroad, the majority of which hail from the USA and the UK.
Bromont: Popular second home location with buyers from Montreal
Bromont is situated approx. 75 kilometres east of Montreal. The city and surrounding area is a sought-after destination throughout the year and the largest floodlit winter sports region in North America. One of the premium locations for residential property is Bromont itself thanks to its proximity to the mountains and its good transport links to Montreal. There is a high level of demand here for especially large houses in direct proximity to the ski slopes. With asking prices of up to $4,800 CAD per square metre (approx. 3,200 euros), freehold apartments here reached the highest price levels in the region. To the southeast of the city lies the town of Lac-Brome with its eponymous lake. This region also ranks among the most desirable locations, with prospective buyers drawn by the waterside setting. Other sought-after addresses can be found in Bolton-Ouest east of Lac-Brome. Asking prices for detached properties there reached $4.5 million CAD (approx. 3 million euros). The majority of interested buyers in the region around Bromont are Canadians living in Greater Montreal. French citizens are most strongly represented among international buyers. Luxury homes that are no older than ten years are witnessing a considerable appreciation in value at present.
Engel & Völkers operates in more than 30 countries worldwide. The company has been represented in Canada since 2015 and now has almost 30 offices across the country.