Hamilton's luxury home market is booming: report

An upswing in the sales of luxury homes was driven, the report says, by low interet rates.

Hamilton-Burlington region saw a 31 per cent increase in luxury home sales

The luxury home market in Hamilton is booming, according to a new report released Tuesday by Remax.

The Remax Upper End Report highlights trends and developments in 16 major Canadian centres. The Hamilton-Burlington region saw a 31 per cent increase in luxury home sales from last year, which is the fourth largest in the country.

The area also set a record for high-end home sales in 2013 — sales are up 173 per cent since 2009.

Seventy-five per cent of markets experienced year-over-year percentage increases in sales, according to the report.

"Canada's luxury housing market has undergone serious transformation in recent years, setting a new standard for lifestyles of the rich and famous," said Gurinder Sandhu, the executive vice president and regional director for Remax Ontario-Atlantic Canada. 

"High-end homes are commanding top dollar in blue chip neighbourhoods from coast to coast,” he said. “Condominiums are hitting price points that rival single-detached homes. The market is maturing and the appetite is unprecedented."

The upswing in luxury home purchases was driven by last year’s relatively low interest rate environment, improving economic conditions, substantial equity gains in Canadian real estate markets and stellar performance in U.S. equities, the report reads.

A diminished supply of single-family homes — particularly in markets like the GTA and Greater Vancouver - contributed to steady home-buying activity, Remax says.

"Canada offers up some world-class real estate at affordable prices and, as such, we should see continued upward pressure on both sales and values in the years ahead," Sandhu said. "Certainly, that has been the experience south of the border where prices for luxury product have climbed as high as $90 million for a penthouse in New York City.

"By comparison, Canada's priciest sales in 2013 included a $25 million condominium and an $18.6 million compound offering mountain and water views in Greater Vancouver, a smaller version of France's Palace of Versailles in the Greater Toronto Area that moved at just over $13.4 million, and an $11.1 million estate in Calgary. Given the prices commanded in other global centres, it's clear that there is still room for growth in Canadian real estate markets."

Upper end residential sales: Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013