Toronto, Victoria Named World’s “Hottest” Luxury Real Estate Markets

May 10, 2017

Modern Mansion

Vancouver nowhere to be seen in Christie’s 2016 rankings of prime global markets, either by growth, overall prices or per-square-foot costs

Last year was a scorching year for Vancouver real estate, with high-end home prices only beginning to soften slightly in the fall, following the introduction of the foreign buyer tax in August. But the city doesn’t even figure on the world stage for luxury real estate in 2016 – either in terms of overall prices, price growth or per-square-foot costs, according to a white paper released May 10 by Christie’s International Real Estate.

In its 2017 Luxury Defined report, the high-end global real estate brokerage ranked Hong Kong as the world’s leading prime real estate market in its Luxury Index. The rankings are defined by a combination of the 2016 top sales price in the city, average price per square foot for US$1 million-plus homes, number of sales over $1 million, number of $1 million-plus sales relative to total sales and average $1 million-plus sales price in 2016.

Hong Kong usurped London, UK, which has been in the top spot since Christie’s started the rankings five years ago and is now in second place.

Christie's Luxury Index
Source: Christie's Luxury Real Estate

However, in terms of growth in the luxury real estate market in 2016, the top city in the world was Toronto – followed by Victoria, BC.

The report’s Luxury Thermometer ranking is calculated by growth in US$1 million-plus sales in 2016 vs 2015, change in average number of days on market for $1 million-plus homes in 2016 vs 2015, change in average $1 million-plus sales price in 2016 over 2015 and change in the average home price for the entire market in 2016 over 2015 – among other factors.

Christie's International Thermometer
Source: Christie's Luxury Real Estate

Vancouver also did not appear in the top 15 most expensive cities when ranked by average cost per square foot of US$1 million-plus homes. That dubious honour went to Monaco, at US$5,420 per square foot – and there was a high proportion of resort cities on this chart.

Monaco was followed by Hong Kong, St Moritz, London, Cannes, Manhattan, Paris, Los Angeles, Stockholm, San Francisco, Zurich, Amsterdam, Kaui (on Maui, Hawaii), Santa Barbara and ending at #15 with Singapore at US$797 per square foot.

Although the $1 million benchmark was used for calculating market activity, Christie’s said that the new bar for super-prime real estate is now considered to be $100 million, with activity above that price range increasing in recent years.

To read the full report, download it for free by clicking here

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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