Which cities are seeing the highest demand in Canada's luxury market?

New report sheds light on where high-value properties are being snapped up

Which cities are seeing the highest demand in Canada's luxury market?

Canada’s major metropolitan luxury markets saw their performances diverge in the first six months of the year, with local market differences strengthening throughout that period.

A new report on the state of the luxury market by Sotheby’s International Realty showed that hyperlocal influences, the impact of local housing supply and consumer sentiment had all contributed to varying outlooks throughout Canada’s most prominent cities.

In Vancouver’s luxury market, a recovery in consumer sentiment and sales transactions contributed to a “significant improvement” in the first half of the year, Sotheby’s said, with legacy wealth planning and generational wealth transfer sparking a surge in spring sales activity.

Vancouver residential sales of luxury properties such as condominiums, attached and single-family homes over $4 million fell by 18% compared with the same period in 2022, according to the report, although ultra-luxury sales – of properties valued over $10 million – spiked by 38% in the first half of the year.

Still, chronic housing shortages played their part in curtailing market activity in the city, with residential sales over $1 million plummeting by 25% on a yearly basis in the opening six months of 2023.

Toronto also suffered from those inventory shortages, seeing residential real estate sales over $4 million fall by 32% on a yearly basis and sales upward of $1 million drop by 27% overall in the first half of the year.

Montreal experienced a 39% year-over-year drop in the number of properties sold for over $4 million, with residential sales north of $1 million also seeing a big slowdown – falling by 28% on a yearly basis.

Calgary, on the other hand, saw consumer sentiment in its luxury market remain “consistently upbeat” in the first half of the year as buyers continued to snap up available properties in the sector.

Residential real estate sales above $1 million and $4 million fell compared with the same time last year – but the city’s luxury condominium market experienced a rebound, with $1-million-plus sales doubling over the same time in 2022.