Vancouver and Toronto luxury property sales should accelerate this fall after a period of relative sluggishness, according to a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Montreal, which was touted by the report “as a strong leader on Canada’s luxury real estate landscape this fall.”
The variance in the markets’ performances came amid expected sustained strength in the Canadian economy. The Sotheby’s report predicted “a brisk and active” market for luxury real estate in Toronto this fall and for Vancouver to regain momentum.
The rosy outlook stemmed from a slew of policy changes—including some from Ottawa and a couple provincial governments—designed to cool the country’s hot housing markets.
“The psychological confidence that people had in the marketplace was shaken by all of the different factors that were put in there,” Sotheby’s International Realty Canada CEO Brad Henderson said, as quoted by The Canadian Press.
In July and August, sales of condominiums and houses over $1 million in Toronto fell 27 per cent compared to the same months the year before. Transactions of properties over $4 million in the city fell by nearly the same amount (28 per cent), according to the Sotheby’s report.
Part of that drop came as buyers and sellers in Ontario grappled with a new 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers of properties in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, which includes Toronto and several nearby areas, introduced by the provincial government in late April.
Henderson also rejected the idea that Montreal’s growth is primarily coming from foreign buyers who have shifted away from the newly-taxed Vancouver and Toronto markets, although the study cited some anecdotal evidence of “an uptick in interest from foreign buyers seeking residences.”
Henderson emphasized that Montreal is an attractive place to live and work, with the added bonus of having comparatively less expensive real estate prices.
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