There is a significantly increasing number of luxury home buyers. According to Multiple Listing System statistics sponsored by The Canadian Real Estate Association, a record 375 homes — including about 50 condos — were sold for over $3-million in 2010, breaking the record of 209 set in 2009. These figures more than double the 167 sold in 2008. Seventy-three of this year’s homes were sold for over $5-million.
Most of the sales were on Vancouver’s West Side, with the priciest home sold for $17.5-million at 3489 Osler Street. Both the second and third priciest homes (on Osler Street and on Point Grey Road, respestively) were sold for about $11 million.
If the current pattern holds, the number of $3-million-plus homes is expected to be about 550 this year, enforcing the opinion that, in some neighbourhoods, a $3-million home is no longer particularly expensive. If you compare these numbers to those from 2000, the result may be striking: just 10 properties in Metro Vancouver were sold for over $3-million, none of them condominiums. “Just because there are more homes selling for over $3-million doesn’t mean they’re not luxury homes,“ said Tsur Somerville, director at the Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate, Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
One of the reasons for the recent rapid increase in size of the luxury homes market is mainland Chinese buyers, who are currently considered to be primary purchasers. China is a huge source of immigrants to B.C., and mainland Chinese immigrants tend to be investors and entrepreneurs. Clearly, there is a very targeted demand for higher-end properties that may be associated with the mainland Chinese market. However, there is still an absence of clear data on this subject.