With the “Canadian Luxury Real Estate Market Report”, Engel & Völkers analyzes the most important Canadian markets of Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria in 2020. Due to the current corona pandemic, sales of expansive and unique properties have boomed. “From coast to coast, Canada experienced unprecedented levels of domestic home trading across the country. With borders closed, Canadian real estate proved it is built on solid fundamentals,” says Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas. “As it relates to home value, there is no question both fiscally and in sentiment, it’s never been greater in the Canadian market,” he continues. In 2020 North America reached the highest sales growth of the Engel & Völkers Group in the Residential division, with a rise in revenues of 38.4 percent compared to the previous year. This is due to the strong demand for properties outside of the city centers in Canada as well as the USA.
The largest city in Quebec remains one of the top luxury real estate markets in Canada. Since the peak of the pandemic, there has been a trend for home renovation, an upgrade to outdoor spaces, home offices and room optimization. A rush to Montreal’s suburbs and cottage country for single-family and detached homes has been noticed, fueling an extraordinary increase in prices for all homes by 11 percent while availability has dwindled. In 2020 the top locations in Montréal city remain to be Westmount, Town of Mount Royal and Outremont. Peak asking prices of 18 million Canadian dollars (approx. 11.7 million euros) have been reached here. Engel & Völkers predicts a boomerang effect in Montréal for 2021 as many people will return to the city once it will reopen, expecting a rise in market prices by 10.5 percent.
The most significant shift in the real estate market for Canada’s capital has been the demand for more space. People are moving out of condos and migrating to the suburbs and rural areas where buying preferences shift towards outdoor spaces, at-home gyms and office rooms. Property prices ballooned within a short period especially in suburban areas such as Barrhaven, Kanata and Orleans. Interest for properties in central Ottawa however has not waned. Its sophistication and internationality, as well as low density and green spaces have seen buyers move to bigger condos. The premium neighborhoods are Crystal Bay, Manotick and Rockcliffe Park, where top asking prices reached 5,8 million Canadian dollars (approximately 3.8 million euros). Since lockdown, fewer buyers are coming from overseas, but Americans make up a small portion. On the other hand, before the pandemic, Chinese and Indian investors had discovered Ottawa as an alternative to Toronto and Vancouver, as foreigners face special taxes.
The capital of Ontario remains one of Canada's most important financial and economic centers and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas. Demand for high-end real estate is rising as buyers seek out homes accommodating all daily activities. The most in-demand luxury locations for real estate are Bridle Path, Forest Hill, and Rosedale. Top prices in these areas have reached 32 million Canadian dollars (approx. 20.7 million euros). Last year a property in the neighborhood of Bridle Path was sold for 23 million Canadian dollars (approx. 14.9 million euros). As borders will reopen and foreigners and university students will be returning to the city, it is forecasted that there will be a shortage in supply of condos.
Vancouver, located on Canada's west coast, is one of the most livable cities in the world due to its stable climate, economic position and good reputation. The most popular locations in 2020 were Shaughnessy, West Point Grey and West Vancouver. The highest price listing last year was a home in the neighborhood Shaughnessy, listed for 35.8 million Canadian dollars (approx. 23.3 million euros). During COVID-19, lockdown measures have been extremely successful, positioning the city as a prime place to relocate for safety and livability. However, upsizing and investing in second home properties in the outskirts of the city has also been taking place. Vancouver has seen a very high number of property purchases by buyers from the United States. For 2021, Engel & Völkers is forecasting an influx of international buyer interest once borders reopen and a price rise of five percent.
Victoria’s luxury real estate market has experienced exponential growth amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Buyers are seeking large-spaced properties where they can live undistributed in isolation, surrounded by natural beauty. The most sought after areas for real estate are North and Central Saanich as well as Oak Bay. Waterfront properties have seen an increase in demand and consequently in prices, reaching up to 9.5 million Canadian dollars (approximately 6.2 million euros). For 2021 Engel & Völkers predicts scarce availability for frontline water properties due to the excessive requests and consequently a growth in prices in the high-end area.
Engel & Völkers forecasts that the demand for countryside houses will continue to escalate in the next months amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected that a return to the cities will take place once the situation has improved, however the demand for bigger condos with pristine finishings, upscale kitchens and office rooms will be highly asked for. “Pressure from domestic migration, expatriate demand and the reopening of Canada’s borders will see 2021 experience a post-pandemic boom and high-end real estate will outpace last year’s growth,” concludes Anthony Hitt.