Improved financial standing among high net worth individuals is the major factor driving strong sales activity at the top end of Canadian housing markets, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada and RE/MAX of Western Canada examined 12 major centres from coast-to-coast and found that luxury sales have surged in close to two-thirds of housing markets between January 1 and April 30 of this year, compared to the same period in 2010. Leading in terms of percentage increases over the four-month period were Greater Vancouver (118 per cent) - where foreign investment has also played a major role - Ottawa (59 per cent), Calgary (51 per cent), Halifax-Dartmouth (27 per cent), Winnipeg (24 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (13 per cent) and Greater Toronto (nine per cent). Six of the seven major cities - with the exception of Calgary - are poised to set new records in top-end activity by year-end. Several are just short of peak levels reported in 2010, such as Victoria, Regina, and London-St. Thomas.