Luxury properties priced over $5 million in the GTA saw unparalleled demand in 2015, causing sales to soar 108 per cent to 77 units, up from 37 in 2014. These properties, comprising 73 freehold homes and four condominium apartments, represent over $500 million in total dollar volume, according to RE/MAX luxury realtor Barry Cohen.
“2015 was a banner year for real estate activity across the board. Nowhere was that fact more evident than in the upper end,” said Cohen in a press release. “Tight market conditions prevailed throughout much of the year, with fewer ultra-high-end listings coming to market overall, particularly in prestigious enclaves south of the 401. Pent-up demand is expected to carry over into 2016, with affluent purchasers waiting patiently in the wings for the right product.”
Most of these luxury home sales occurred in the 416 area code, including the Bridle Path, Sunnybrook area, which reported 33 high-end sales from 2015, or 43 per cent of total sales. Forest Hill South reported 12 luxury transactions, or 16 per cent of luxury sales. Moving closer to the downtown core, there were fewer listings in such neighbourhoods as Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hill, the Annex and South Hill, while regions such as the Bridle Path, Sunnybrook, St. Andrew’s-Windfields, York Mills and Hoggs Hollow recorded a higher number of listings.
“Given that this segment of the market is typically the first to soften in volatile economic times, it’s surprising that the strength of the high end has continued unabated for such an extended period of time,” said Cohen. “In fact, recent turbulence in the stock market has prompted renewed interest in other tangible real estate assets such as second homes and development properties.”
The strong US dollar is expected to continue to sustain demand for luxury real estate in the GTA by foreign investors taking advantage of the exchange rate. “While purchasers, for the most part, were local entrepreneurs, business executives and professionals, foreign investors also factored into the mix in 2015,” added Cohen. “Buyers from Mainland China, in particular, should play an even greater role in the top end of the GTA’s luxury market in the next six to 12 months, based on the upward trajectory of the US dollar.”
The most expensive homes sold in 2015 were $13 million for a detached home in Forest Hill, and $10 million for a Yorkville condominium apartment.