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

Market Price Point Sales '09 Sales '10 Sales '11 Sales '12 Sales '13 % +/-
St. John's $500,000 54 86 115 161 172 7%
Halifax-Dartmouth $500,000 181 205 291 299 268 -10%
Quebec City $500,000 116 150 150 196 204 4%
Greater Montréal $1 million 251 330 406 436 405 -7%
Ottawa  $750,000 210 244 360 392 390 -1%
Greater Toronto $1.5 million 774 1069 1391 1617 1908 18%
   - Oakville $1.5 million 74 74 95 131 156 19%
Hamilton-Burlington $750,000 160 194 249 334 436 31%
Kitchener-Waterloo $750,000 n/a 81 86 83 105 27%
London-St. Thomas $500,000 107 167 185 194 203 5%
Winnipeg  $500,000 152 290 359 349 439 26%
Regina $500,000 80 127 198 303 310 2%
Saskatoon $500,000 197 232 332 440 507 15%
Edmonton  $750,000 202 248 220 277 365 32%
Calgary  $1 million 340 367 447 548 732 34%
Greater Vancouver     $2 million 715 1008 1880 1184 1609 36%
Victoria  $1 million 219 240 229 227 200 -12%
Source: RE/MAX, Local Real Estate Boards