VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 18, 2013) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this release.

In a report released today, Sotheby's International Realty Canada uncovered first of its kind data with insight into trends in the high-end housing market. The report seeks to answer the question, 'what defines a luxury home?' and delves into the profile of the homebuyers driving the top-tier market in Canada.

Based on an in-depth survey of top agents in the Sotheby's International Realty Canada network, the Top Tier Trends Report: A Comparative Survey of Canada's Luxury Real Estate Market revealed that the average entry price for a luxury single-family home starts at $2 million in Toronto and Calgary, $2.8 million in Vancouver and $3.5 million in Montreal. The report goes on to uncover the vast differences in what luxury looks like across Canada. Report insights include information on key top-tier neighbourhoods, minimum square footage, architectural styles and preferred interior and exterior finishings. It details the differences in more than a dozen key cities, communities and ski/recreational markets in Canada.

The report also reveals buyer demographic details including age, family status, vocation, cash vs. mortgage payments and ratios of international to domestic buyers.

According to Ross McCredie, President and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, "In examining the top-tier of Canadian real estate in this manner, we are able to provide insight into previously unexplored market nuances, property characteristics and critical buyer information."

National Highlights:

  • The entry price for a luxury single-family home in Canada's major urban centres start, on average, at $2 million in Toronto and Calgary, $2.8 million in Vancouver and $3.5 million in Montreal.
  • Entry pricing in the Vancouver area ranges widely from $2 million to $4 million depending on location.
  • Minimum square footage for single family homes in the top-tier range from 3,500 square feet in Vancouver, Calgary and Urban Toronto, to 5,000 square feet in Montreal and 8,000 square feet in Toronto North.
  • In the key communities of Victoria, Salt Spring Island, Oakville and Niagara-on-the-Lake, all with populations below 365,000, the entry price for a luxury single-family home ranges from $1 to $2 million, for homes ranging from 2,500 to 3,800 square feet.
  • In the ski/recreational communities of Whistler, Sun Peaks and Mont-Tremblant, the entry price for a luxury single family home ranges from $1 to $2 million, for homes ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.
  • Buyers of top-tier homes are more likely to pay in cash and to utilize mortgages as part of an overall investment strategy.
  • They are more likely to own a secondary, vacation and/or investment property that is often used part-time as a vacation property in a ski or sun destination.
  • The strongest foreign buying influences include China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Canada's Urban Centres:

In Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, the entry price, features and buyer demographics of top-tier single family homes vary significantly. On average, a desirable entry point in Calgary and Toronto's top-tier market starts at $2 million, followed by Vancouver and Montreal at $2.8 million and $3.5 million, respectively. However, pricing in Vancouver ranges from $2 million to $4 million. Minimum square footage for single family homes in the top-tier range from 3,500 square feet in Vancouver, Calgary and Urban Toronto, to 5,000 square feet in Montreal and 8,000 square feet in Toronto North. The sought-after features across the urban centres included optimal location, water/mountain/city views, high-end finishings, multiple car garages, and large, gourmet kitchens.

The profile of buyers of luxury single family homes varies from market to market, however, common themes include the prevalence of those ages 40-50 year old, couples with two to three children, with an income starting at $100,000 and stretching upwards of $500,000 annually. In Calgary's thriving economy, younger buyers between 35-40 years old are driving the top-tier market; the city has the youngest demographic in this category of all markets surveyed.

50% of Montreal's market for luxury single-family homes consists of foreign buyers, primarily from China, Syria, Russia, Mexico and the USA. Both Toronto and Vancouver continue to be influenced by international buyers, but not to the same extent as Montreal. Calgary remains a domestically driven market, with only 15% of buyers being from international origins.

Key Communities:

Victoria, Salt Spring Island, Oakville and Niagara-on-the-Lake are key Canadian communities renowned as lifestyle-driven, culturally rich, enveloped in natural surroundings, yet easily accessible from major urban cities. The starting price for a luxury single-family home ranges from $1 million to $2 million across Canada. Desirable homes are often set on waterfront properties with unparalleled views. Typical buyers are couples ranging from mid 40s to 60 years in age with children, and an income of over $100,000. The primary method of purchase is cash in Victoria, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Salt Spring Island. The presence of foreign investment from influencers such as China, USA, and England is evident, but the percentage of these buyers is below the national average.

Recreation/Ski Communities:

Top-tier homes in Sun Peaks, Whistler and Mont Tremblant, Canada's prime recreation and ski communities, offer outdoor enthusiasts a location close to outdoor amenities with entertaining capabilities, such as large, open concept living spaces, hot tubs, theatres and wine cellars. The average entry-level price for luxury single family homes in these regions range from $1 million to $2 million; Whistler's approximate starting price of $2 million is the highest. Typical buyers in this market are married with children and are between 40 to 50 years old with annual salaries over $100,000. Although the majority of buyers used mortgages when purchasing these homes, cash transactions are also used. The study reveals a 20% presence of foreign buyers in the market with the stronger international influences coming from Europe, the USA, Asia and Germany.

For more information and details on Sotheby's International Realty Canada and the Top-Tier Trends Report visit

About Sotheby's International Realty Canada

Combining the world's most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby's International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country's most exceptional properties. With offices in over 20 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivaled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 600 offices in more than 45 countries to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world.


* The information contained in this report references market data from Sotheby's International Realty Canada agents across Canada. Sotheby's International Realty Canada cautions that market data can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby's International Realty Canada or Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on, or reference to the contents of this document.

To view the first photo associated with this release, please visit the following link:

To view the second photo associated with this release, please visit the following link:

To view the Top Tier Trends Report, please visit the following link:

Contact Information:

Talk Shop Media
Katie Reiach