Legendary luxury

Calgary’s million dollar market continues to shatter records

Just one month after setting the all-time record for luxury sales, Calgary’s million dollar homes market has once again set a new mark.

June saw 104 sales of homes priced at $1 million or more, topping the previous record of 94 million-dollar plus sales, set in May. Prior to that, the previous record was 83, set in May 2013.

“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, 462 sales were over $1 million, representing 3.32 per cent of all the sales in the city.

“While the market share in this sector has steadily improved over the past five years, 2014 represents the first time over this same time frame that the share of sales in the million-plus sector
are larger than those in the lower end of the market (under $200,000).”

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.

“Calgary has undergone a massive transformation in recent years,” said Ross McCredie, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International. “Top-tier real estate in the city and surrounding areas is in high demand not just from local homebuyers, but from those traveling and moving her from other parts of the country and around the world.”

Sotheby’s recently introduced private jet and helicopter services to aid affluent buyers and sellers in the area. The company also announced plans to double its presence in the city, taking on expanded office space as well as adding an increased number of agents – all aimed at dealing with the increased amount of high-end homes changing hands in and around the city.

“Our growth here reflects confidence in Calgary’s appeal locally and internationally,” said McCredie. Highlighting the opulence up for grabs in the Calgary is a sprawling estate currently listed on MLS for the tidy sum of $37.9 million. The 5,000-square-foot home sits on 98 hectares in the Municipal District of Foothills – land once owned by the Ford family.

Constructed within the last five years, the home features $6 million in finishings, a detached heated triple-car garage, a working vintage gas station and a barn and livestock area.

Further evidence of Calgary’s growing luxury sector also came recently with the announcement of a new downtown condo development called The Concord, which will feature units starting around $1 million and climbing to $13 million. The project, when complete, will consist of two towers of more than 200 units ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet.

Developed by Concord Pacific – which also recently agreed to develop up to five residential towers at the North Hill Shopping Centre – The Concord will be, in the words of the developer, Calgary’s “most luxurious multi-family residential development.”

“In addition to its pinnacle location on the Bow River in the prestigious community of Eau Claire, The Concord will feature amenities and design elements never before seen in Calgary,” said the company. “They include extensive flood-mitigation measures, in-suite emergency power, kitchens worth as much as a two-bedroom condo home, skating rink, private elevators and garages big enough to fit all the toys.”

As Calgary continues to draw more residents, and as home prices continue to rise, the relevance of newer homes closer to the core has aided the upswing in the luxury sector, said Lurie.

“This is a segment of the market that is growing as prices continue to rise,” she said. “However, if we look at this segment of the market, a large number of these properties are located in communities in close proximity to the core. In addition, nearly 27 per cent of all million-plus sales are for properties that were built within the last three years.”

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