Lasting luxury

Calgary’s million dollar market continues to post positive numbers

Calgary’s luxury housing market remained among the top performers in all of Canada through the first half of 2014.

Propelled by a thriving economy, high average incomes and an influx of new Calgarians, sales of homes priced at $1 million or more increased by 18 per cent through the first six months of 2014, according to CREB®’s annual mid-year forecast update.

“Million-plus home sales within city limits continue to rise representing a larger share of total sales activity,” said CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

After the first half of the year, there were 462 sales over $1-million in Calgary, representing 3.32 per cent of all the sales in the city. According to Lurie, 2014 represents the first time (over the same six-month period) the share of sales in the $1-million-plus sector were larger than those in prices at $200,000 or less — a testament to the growing importance of Calgary’s luxury sector and to the increasing earning power of Calgarians.

“What we have noticed is a couple years back, the luxury market was at that million-dollar mark, and where we’re seeing the luxury market being pushed is at $2 million and above, because now you’re seeing we have individuals who are making the probably the highest income across Canada,” said Mary-Ann Mears, managing broker for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

According to Sotheby’s, year-over-year, Calgary’s luxury market trailed only Vancouver and Toronto, which posted identical 34 per cent gains through the first six months of the year. Broken down by home type, single-family luxury home sales in Calgary were up 23 per cent, while luxury condo sales dropped by around 25 per cent, due in part to limited availability in the sector.

However, with a number of new high-end condo projects slated to be up for grabs in Calgary’s downtown core in the coming months, it is expected the volume of luxury condo sales above $1 million will increase in the second half of 2014.

The record for the most million dollar plus sales in a year came last year when 732 homes were sold in the city, easily surpassing the previous record of 544 set in 2012.

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