Most of us dream of owning a home and securing a comfortable lifestyle. With an average home price of $472,247 in Canada today and an average annual income of just under $50,000, homeownership in itself can be a challenge, though. And speaking of comfort, there’s plain old well-being and then there’s the luxury that can only be expressed in seven figures.
Any residence worth more than $1 million spells luxury to most of us, regardless of whether it manifests itself in square footage, lavish interiors, a great location, expensive amenities or all of the above. And make no mistake, there are plenty of high-end options out there for sale today – but can you estimate just how much luxury is on offer in the Canadian market?
Our research team looked into the number of homes listed for sale on Point2 Homes and on other major real estate websites in the 50 largest cities in Canada. They have tallied all homes worth $1M or more and calculated a luxury ratio for each. This luxury ratio is defined as the percentage of $1M+ homes out of all the listed properties in an area.
Here are the luxury ratios for the 50 cities included in our study – they are presented in descending order, forming a luxury ranking. Hover your mouse over the bars to see the exact figures for each area and notice where each stands in terms of high-end concentration:
Vancouver is expensive, and the sun rises in the east. Hardly a surprise in itself. But would you ever have thought that a whopping 76% of homes here fall in the $1-million-plus category? And take into account that another eight cities have more than 50% of their active listings inventory comprised of million-dollar homes. These eight cities are split between Ontario — Richmond Hill, Markham, Oakville and Vaughan — and British Columbia — Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond and Surrey.
Luxury Ratio in Major Markets – The Big Players’ Game
Apart from Vancouver, none of the real giants made it into the top 10 in terms of the density of million-dollar homes on the market. Let’s see how the big guns fare when it comes to luxury homes for sale.
Vancouver Wipes the Floor with the Rest of the Cities
You have to give the devil his due — before diving any further, we need to get back to Vancouver for a second. Taking the average home price of just above $1 million into consideration, a luxury ratio of over 50% shouldn’t come as a shock; still, 76% is a figure that makes you look twice. Vancouver’s high-end market has been on the rise for quite some time – taking fifth place in Mercer’s 19th Quality of Living Ranking, the city remains a preferred choice for many home buyers, both local and foreign. And with the list of the most expensive homes for sale in Canada featuring mainly Vancouver properties, the city definitely deserves its ‘leader of the pack‘ title when it comes to high-end housing.
High-end Offering Not so High in the City of Toronto
Dubbed as North America’s hottest luxury real estate market, Toronto managed to impress with its constant rise in the past years. The city basically boasts the same inventory of high-end homes as Vancouver, around 1,800 units for sale, but notice the drop-off from 76% to 29% when it comes to luxury ratios. With top-tier homes comprising less than a third of the overall 6,232 available listings, Toronto doesn’t even make it into the top 10, taking only the 13th spot in our nationwide comparison. In addition to this, the city was also outranked by neighboring Burlington (with a luxury ratio of 31%), Vaughan (51%), Markham (54%), Oakville (54%) and Richmond Hill (67%).
Calgary Pulling Through Luxuriously
Only ranking 23rd with its modest 7% luxury ratio, the Calgary market is still licking its wounds since the sudden downturn it went through less than three years ago, a crisis that hit the entire range of properties, including the priciest. A modest, yet notable 26% Y-o-Y rise in the sales of $1M+ homes in early 2017 brought a bit of optimism into the picture, but it seems that fluctuating oil prices and continued uncertainty in this sector still pose a threat. Unlike Toronto and Vancouver, the Calgary area has been known to have a more welcoming attitude toward foreign home buyers. We’ll just have to see to what extent this will aid the luxury market’s recovery.
Little Luxury in Ottawa
Halfway into our luxury ranking is Ottawa, which takes the 24th spot. The Ottawa luxury real estate market has shown progress this past year with sales of high-end homes more than doubling. Since only 6% of properties on sale here are in the $1M+ category, it seems that Canada’s capital still has a long way to go before it joins the club of rich luxury markets.
Montreal Shows Record Number of Listings, but Not So Keen on Luxury
Montreal is easily the leader in terms of the number of homes on the market. With more than 8,600 residential properties on offer, the city outranks even big players like Toronto (6,232 active listings) and Vancouver (2,383). Even so, the high-end segment does not seem to contribute much to this supply. The city has a luxury ratio of no more than 6% and occupies only the 25th spot in our ranking, next to Ottawa. Nevertheless, the luxury real estate market here seems to be in an upswing, so it remains to be seen what it has in store.
Beyond Extravagant? The $5M+, Uber-Luxury Scenario
Since the $1 million threshold may not be the obvious watershed in defining luxury, we decided to look at the issue from a slightly different angle and check out the $5+ million side of things. Let’s dive into uber-luxury and see what surprises await there!
Uber-luxury is all about homes that bring more to the table, be it bigger sizes, fancier amenities, richer locations or designs, all topped with a greater level of comfort. And for over five times the price of what we first defined as the stepping stone to high-end living! From the top 50 most populous Canadian cities, only 21 exhibit this kind of offering.
Find them in the chart below taking up areas that are proportional to their respective uber-luxury ratios and hover over the squares to see the actual figures:
Vancouver effortlessly leads the pack with an 11% uber-luxury ratio (no surprise here, once again) and the runner-up, Langley, is at 2.2%. The big difference between the two figures reinforces the idea that Vancouver is the undefeated champion in terms of high-end prices, and also holds the largest selection of luxury real estate in Canada today.
Between the 2% and 1% marks stand four players: Surrey BC (with an uber-luxury ratio of 1.7%), Richmond Hill ON (1.6%), Toronto ON (1.5%) and Richmond BC (1.4%). Based on its percentage, Toronto may seem less successful when it comes to extra-high-end supply, but make no mistake, the 94 estates worth over $5M it offers are second to Vancouver’s 214, with overall inventory almost three times that of Vancouver’s.
As expected, Ontario and British Columbia dominate the uber-luxury list. Nevertheless, Quebec and Alberta also made the ranking – to a lesser extent – represented by Montreal (ratio of 0.2%) and Calgary (0.1%).
For all the curious minds out there who want to dive deeper into our research, here’s all the data we uncovered and processed, for both the $1M+ and $5M+ cases. The figures presented above were rounded up for simplification purposes, but you will find all the raw numbers in the tables below:
$1 Million+ Homes – 50 City Overview
|Rank||City||Province||No. of residential listings||No. of residential luxury listings ($1M+)||Luxury ratio (luxury listings/all listings)|
|43||St. John's||Newfoundland and Labrador||959||9||0.94%|
$5 Million+ Homes – 21 City Overview
|Rank||City||Province||No. of residential listings||No. of residential uber-luxury listings ($5M+)||Uber-luxury ratio (uber-luxury listings/all listings)|
- Point2 Homes is an international real estate search portal that helps potential home buyers and renters easily find apartments and houses;
- To compile this report, our Point2 Homes researchers analyzed the top 50 most populous cities in Canada;
- They determined the numbers of $1-million-plus and $5-million-plus residential properties for sale in comparison to the total number of residential properties available for sale in each city, all dated at the end of July 2017;
- Our analysts looked at the entire Canadian real estate market and researched multiple national portals and brokerages in order to obtain the data included in this study.
Fair use and redistribution
We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the story in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to Point2Homes.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.