According to a new report released by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, the performance of the top tier real estate markets have gone separate ways in the first half of 2019 in spite of the second quarter going relatively steady in terms of housing demand. The GTA or the Greater Toronto Area has registered a healthy increase in with sales over $ 1 million priced properties setting a new record and the same can be said about Montreal in terms of condo activity. The scenario was a bit different in Calgary where in spite of renewed sales, the market was not good as was expected. Falling prices were noticed in Vancouver as well.
The GTA, however, managed to set new records and the sales and activity resulted in price gains. The top tier markets adjusted to the healthier levels and the consumer demand was quite resilient and it is expected that the Toronto economy alone is going to lead Canada’s major metropolitan areas in growth in 2019. The top tier sales were quite healthy in the first six months of the year and there were some pretty good gains even though the winter was long and the springtime activity was delayed. In the first half of 2019, units priced over $ 1 million like condominiums and attached and single-family homes saw an increase of 12%. On the other hand, luxury real estate deals priced over $ 4 million on the Multiple Listing Service of MLS also fell by 19%. This was a fall due to a shift in luxury sales to the exclusive sales and the marketing channels also followed recent Competition Bureau rulings that made the MLS transaction data available for the public. The Toronto City top tier real estate market definitely performed better than the surrounding areas with sales over $ 1 million going up by 13% in the first half of 2019 and sale of over $ 4 million properties holding steady with a dip of negligible 2%.
Key market trends to be noted
The Montreal city real estate scenario for properties priced over $ 1 million in the first half of 2019 alone reflected a very vibrant and expanding luxury market. In fact, Montreal surpassed some of the major real estate markets in the country with a year to year gain recorded in the top tier condo sales. Sales of properties in the $ 1 million categories comprising of condominiums, attached and single-family homes increased by 5% in the first half of 2019 and sale of properties priced over $ 4 million were up 267% year over year with diminishing supply and local demand going up that resulted in price gains.
According to industry experts, with Vancouver and Calgary recording a major dip, the top tier real estate market performance was led by two key metropolitan cities in Eastern Canada. The market of Toronto reflected a renewal of consumer interest and the impact of recent real estate policy and mortgage lending procedures have finally sunk in. There is also a renewal in the nation’s economic performance. Montreal has emerged as a vital luxury real estate destination due to its growing economic fundamentals with the condo scenario performing beyond expectations.
How Toronto matched up
In case of Toronto, there was an increase in high-end housing demand ever since early 2019 and sales went up across Ontario that was bolstered due to a stable labor market, steady employment, and the household budgets also increased that had a direct positive impact on the real estate market. The spring activity was delayed but it picked up nevertheless. About 6895 homes were sold in the first half of 2019 in the GTA alone and it was an over 10% increase in the numbers since 2018. Luxury sales became more exclusive but even then 80 homes sold more than they had the previous year. The urban population saw more gains and the young population showed an increasing interest in buying homes all over again. The overall sales of condos increased and most of them were in the GTA. Land supply is tight and there is also an increase in the construction of higher-density housing and the projected growth rates currently stands at 2.4%.
How Montreal stacks up
In the case of Montreal, there were new records set in 2019 and the market remains in an expansive mode. It has seen an increase of 5% year over year and there were a total of 484 units sold. Even in the luxury segment with units priced over $ 4 million, there was an increase of 267% with a sale of 11 units in the first half of 2019. The sales are strong across the pre-construction phase as well as for new and resale segments, and high-density housing is increasing. The rates of interest are good on mortgages and there is a surge in also upgrades of homes. Single-family homes recorded a high sale with 202 units sold and 169 units sold on attached homes in the first half of 2019.
All in all, the current real estate scenario in these two cities of Canada look promising and they are currently leading the country’s real estate segment, according to Sotheby’s. It is expected that the markets in Vancouver and Calgary would also soon pick up and the real estate market as a whole will look up in the country as a whole with a renewed boost to the economy.