February 18, 2014
The luxury home market in Greater Vancouver gained serious momentum in 2013, posting the second-best year on record, with 1,609 properties changing hands over $2 million. Both the single-family and condominium upper-end segments outperformed the overall market, with sales up 38 and 18 per cent respectively. The double digit gains were a result of growing confidence, immigration/foreign investment, and a continuation of low interest rates. Demand remains particularly strong between $2 million and $6 million, slowing over the $7 million price point. Conditions were slightly in favour of the buyer at year end, but are moving towards more balanced territory, which should take firm hold by mid 2014. Nearly 1,150 single-family homes and close to 140 condominiums are currently listed for sale over $2 million, representing a good selection. As a result, buyers continue to take their time making decisions, with days on market relatively stable. Prices have returned to a clear upward trajectory, with further, yet modest, growth forecast for 2014. View properties remain most coveted, particularly sought after by foreign purchasers, more so than traditionally favoured waterfront homes. Builders are actively driving the infill market throughout Greater Vancouver's high end areas. Most are snapping up older homes with good views priced under $3 million. The teardown trend is changing the face of entire communities and pushing up average prices in tandem, as new, substantial residences sporting price tags between $5 million and $10 million, when complete rise in place of smaller, dated homes. This activity has spread to areas on the periphery of Vancouver's blue chip neighbourhoods, blurring the boundaries of the city's high-end pockets. Areas such as Ambleside, Dundarave, and Marpole have benefitted, among others. The luxury condominium segment continued to gain traction in 2013, also posting the second strongest year on record, with 138 sales taking place over $2 million. The appeal is rather natural to some of Vancouver's high end buyers, who have previously resided in high density centres throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Coal Harbour continues to be home to the lion's share of high end condominium activity, with new projects constantly raising the bar. In fact, the highest priced condo sold in 2013-a 6,400 sq. ft. penthouse in Coal Harbour also took the title as the highest priced home sold overall, inclusive of all housing types. The three bedroom unit on two levels offered a library, den, and expansive rooftop terraces/gardens. It moved for $25 million. By comparison, Vancouver's priciest single-family home sale in 2013 was recorded at $18.6 million.The University area property boasted panoramic mountain and water views and featured a tennis court, a serenity pool, a wine cellar and a theatre. The most expensive listings in Greater Vancouver (at year end) included an 8,000 sq. ft. home on the University Area's Westbrook Crescent offered at $23.8 million, and a condominium listed for $35 million. The condo listing includes both sides of a historic duplex that comprised a heritage mansion once owned by a former Lieutenant Governor. Both the confidence and demand exist to support another banner year for upper-end real estate in Greater Vancouver. The strong momentum demonstrated throughout 2013 has spilled over into the New Year. In fact, if the current pace holds up, 2014 could unseat 2011 as the best year on record for luxury home sales - a year when 1,726 single-family homes and 154 condominiums changed hands. The appeal of Canadian real estate will remain a significant factor, as buyers from both home and abroad invest in tangibility and stability for the long term.
The information contained in this article sited from www.remax.ca