Toronto

Toronto Luxury Sales Up Almost 75% In April

Toronto Luxury Sales Up Almost 75% In April

Toronto’s wealthiest families are showing confidence in the real estate market. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) stats show that luxury sales are booming. While sales are down in the general market, sales of the most expensive homes in the city are actually up.

Luxury Real Estate Defined

The definition of luxury real estate changes from agency to agency. There’s “affordable luxuries,” like extra square footage, and build quality – that’s not what we want. What we’re looking for is true luxury, homes not within the realm of affordability for normal households. To do this, we’ll define luxury as homes over $2 million, a pre-defined category TREB tracks. It’s a simple definition, but a buyer spending at least 3x the normal home price in Toronto isn’t a paper millionaire. These are actual, factual rich people that are often more in tune with global economic trends.

Real Estate Sales Over $2 million Are Up

Sales of property over $2 million are up across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). TREB counted 616 sales in April, a 74% increase from the same time last year. Breaking that down, detached units were 579 of those sales, which is over 93% of total luxury sales. Condo apartments was the fastest growing segment, experiencing a 125% increase from the same time last year. That’s only 18 units though, so I wouldn’t read too much into that trend yet.

Luxury Is An Increasing Part of Total Sales

Luxury sales represent an increasing number of total sales in the market. Units over $2 million represented 5.3% of all sales in April, up from 2.92% last year. Meanwhile the general market saw a decline of 3.75% for all sales. Typically wealthier buyers set trends, not buck them. So it’s worth keeping an eye on this segment of buyers.

An increase in sales above $2 million is an interesting divergence. The quality of high-ratio loans is on the slide, but luxury buyers are up. The general market is experiencing hesitance, but the city’s wealthiest families are showing confidence by increasing the number of buys. Should this be interpreted as a sign of market confidence, or a group of people that are less hesitant at the possibility of losing money? Leave your thoughts below.

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Photo: Michael Gil.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    RE Bear 3 months ago

    I’m just a friendly bear, but I think these are upgrades from dumb money that just happened to sell their house at an inflated price. There’s a lot of value in the luxury market in contrast to the low end, but I doubt smart money is jumping in the pool right now.

  • Reply
    Dave C. 3 months ago

    Not confidence. Paper millionaires spend their paper on similar asset classes. They’re just upgrading.

  • Reply
    Steve 3 months ago

    Why would April be a pullback from March? That’s a weird trend to see drop.

  • Reply
    Gregory 3 months ago

    The average 1300 sqft apartment in Beijing is $1.3M USD = almost $2.0M Cdn — prices are up 60% in the last 18 months in Beijing. It’s hard to believe Toronto is Bargain… Beijing $1000 USD psf Downtown Toronto $610USD psf for condos.

  • Reply
    Ben 3 months ago

    With the 30%+ price growth over the last year, it might be worth comparing similar luxury product. That is, the number of home sales over $2M in April 2016 vs. the number of home sales over $2.6M in April 2017.

  • Reply
    Andrew Marco 3 months ago

    I think, real estate property sale prices is up and down time to time. But jumping in prices at this level is extremely shocking!

  • Reply
    Ronnieraven 3 months ago

    I would appreciate public access to accurate RE sales data for Canadians, as is the case in the USA. As long as CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association) owns and controls the sales data we are simply making guesses. CREA only releases data when it is to the industry’s benefit.

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