Vancouver’s $1m-plus Home Sales Jump 48% in First Half: Sotheby’s Report

Homes above $4 million see 71 per cent rise over previous year and $1m-plus townhome sales more than double as high-end market continues to rise

July 9, 2015

Vancouver luxury houses

Sales of $1 million-plus homes in the city of Vancouver continued their upward trajectory in the first half of 2015 compared with last year’s first half, according to a Sotheby’s International Realty report released July 9.

A total of 2,465 properties (including condominiums, attached properties and single-family homes) sold over $1 million across Vancouver, a rise of 48 per cent compared with the same period of 2014.

Sales in the $1–2 million range increased 43 per cent year-over-year, with 1,442 transactions between January 1 and June 30, 2015. Properties in the $2–4 million category also rose 52 per cent to 804 transactions, and the $4 million-plus category saw a 71 per cent year-over-year increase to 219 units sold.

The report said, “High consumer confidence, heightened foreign demand, economic growth, low interest rates and the highest sales-to-active listing ratio that Vancouver has seen since 2007 fuelled an already strong market. In prime detached single family home neighbourhoods, this led to an increase in bidding wars and sales over asking price.”

Although Sotheby’s defines homes over $1 million as “luxury” properties for the purposes of its nationwide report, the international brokerage pointed out that, with the benchmark price for a detached home in Metro Vancouver exceeding $1.1 million in June 2015, the price-point for luxury real estate has also increased.

“While entry pricing for luxury housing varies widely by neighbourhood, industry experts estimate that the approximate starting price range for a luxury detached single-family home in the city of Vancouver is $3.5–$4 million for a 4,000-square-foot, three- to four-bedroom property,” said the report.

Broken down by property type, sales of townhomes and other attached properties over $1 million in Vancouver more than doubled in January 1 to June 30, 2015 with 118 per cent growth compared with the same period in 2014, clearly indicating the increasing trend for high-end townhomes in the city.

Single-family detached homes continued to see the highest total sales of any property type above the $1 million mark in Vancouver, with 1,921 units sold over $1 million in the first half of 2015, an increase of 46 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Condo sales over $1 million increased by 30 per cent compared with 2014’s first six months, representing the lowest year-over-year percentage gain of all residential home types over $1 million.

Greater Toronto also saw strong “luxury” home sales in the first half, with $1 million-plus sales increasing 38 per cent year over year.

“Luxury real estate in both the GTA and Vancouver had benchmark-setting starts to 2015,” said Ross McCredie, Sotheby’s president and CEO. “Both cities face growing domestic and international demand for top-tier housing, along with inventory shortages in prime neighbourhoods, particularly for single family homes."

However, Calgary’s $1 million-plus home sales fell 36 per cent, with energy price declines leading to the first drop in luxury home sales after several years of growth.

To download the full report, click here.

Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.
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