VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 12, 2013) - In a report released today by Sotheby's International Realty Canada, activity in the first six months of 2013, reflects recalibration and overall strength in the luxury residential real estate in the country's largest urban centres.

As reflected in the latest Top Tier Real Estate Report, analyzing year-over-year sales data for the first half of 2013 for single family, attached and condominium properties over $1 million, positive momentum continues in key markets compared to 2012. Each market showed year-over-year variations between condominiums, attached homes and single family homes in a range of price categories over $1 million.

National trends across Canada's largest urban markets reflected notable momentum in the sale of single family homes over $1 million. Compared to the last half of 2012, sales in the first half of 2013 were up 65% in Vancouver, 67% in Calgary, 61% in Toronto and 29% in Montreal; relative to the first half of 2012, sales were up 10% in Calgary, and marginally down 2% in Vancouver, 5% in Toronto and 6% in Montreal.

Luxury attached home sales in all four markets increased in the first six months of 2013 compared to the last six months of 2012 and the average numbers of days on market declined. Notably, sales in the $1-2 million and $2-4 million increased 81% in Toronto and 217% in Calgary. Meanwhile, high-end condominium sales data from January 1 to June 30, 2013 reflected a balanced market. While sales of condos over $1 million were up in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto in the first six months of 2013 compared to the last half of 2012, all four urban centres experienced a decline relative to the first half of 2012: 20% in Vancouver, 37% in Calgary, 19% in Toronto and 19% in Montreal.

According to Sotheby's International Realty Canada CEO, Ross McCredie, "Our findings for 2013 point to renewed confidence in much of Canada's high end real estate market. High-end buyers have adjusted to tighter lending controls and Canadian real estate is still seen globally as one of our strongest assets."

Canadian top tier market highlights include:


Calgary once again led Canada's high end housing market in the first half of 2013, displaying strong real estate market fundamentals based on a strong and resilient economy. A notable decline in days on market was accompanied by increased sales: overall sales volume of residential properties over $1 million increased 75% compared to July 1 to December 31, 2012 and a 10% increase over the same period in 2012. Sales records set in the first half of 2013 included the sale of a 14,500-sq.ft. home in March 2013 for a city record of $10.35 million.


Entering 2013, Vancouver buyers showed adjustment to the Bank of Canada's tighter lending controls. While the cautionary lending restrictions had a deep impact on Vancouver's upper end real estate market from July to December 2012, in the first six months of 2013, Vancouver experienced renewed confidence and market momentum. There were 1,239 condominium, attached and single family homes sold over $1 million, representing a 57% increase compared to the last six months of 2012 and a marginal, 6% decrease compared to the same period in 2012. A notable decline in days on market for key price and property segments accompanied this trend.

Toronto (GTA)

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw nearly 3,000 condominiums, attached and single family homes sell over $1 million between January 1 and June 30, 2013 as reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board, reflecting a 59% overall increase compared to the last six months of 2012. This was a marginal 4% decrease in sales relative to the same period last year. In the city of Toronto, real estate in high end neighborhoods such as Rosedale, Forest Hills, Lawrence Park and Bridle Path remained sought after.


The latest data from Montreal's high end residential real estate market reveals a stabilized market leading into the second half of the year, Montreal saw 206 sales over $1 million between January 1 and June 30, 2013, representing a 26% increase over the last six months of 2012 and a 9% decrease in sales when compared to the same period last year. Single-family home sales over $1 million experienced notable and steady growth across the majority of price points. In total, the first half of 2013 saw 116 homes sold over $1 million, with the majority of sales activity between $1-2 million.

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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 MLS boards across Canada. Sotheby's International Realty Canada cautions that MLS 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.

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Katie Reiach