Between January 1 and July 31 of this year, 572 properties sold for over $3 million, compared to 319 during the same period in 2014 – an increase of 79 per cent. The increase of sales at the top-end of the luxury market can be attributed to two factors. The first factor is overall price appreciation in the Vancouver market, driven by low inventory and high demand for single-family homes. This has led to more homes meeting the higher dollar threshold. The second is very high demand for luxury homes from foreign buyers.
Foreign buyers, primarily from China, tend to be families looking to live in Vancouver, viewing Canada as an economically and socially stable country in which to invest their money and raise a family. Their home-buying decisions are strongly influenced by proximity to good schools, and newly-built houses with top-quality finishes are in highest demand. With the luxury market increasingly geared toward Chinese buyers, some agents have begun offering additional services to help these buyers settle in their new city, such as helping to secure insurance or purchase a car.
Home-buying decisions are strongly influenced by proximity to good schools, and newly-built houses with top-quality finishes are in highest demand.
Luxury buyers moving within Vancouver are a smaller segment of the market. These buyers tend to have lived in their previous home for several years and, having built up significant equity, are moving up, downsizing or moving laterally, depending on their individual circumstances.
The luxury condo market attracts a more diverse range of buyers, including downsizers, younger couples and foreign buyers. While there is a good supply of inventory in the lower end of Vancouver’s condo market, demand is high for luxury units. For example, units in Trump Tower, priced at $4 to $5 million, quickly sold out when they came on the market.
A trend reported in Vancouver’s high-end housing market is an increase in buyers bypassing the MLS system and, through agents, making offers directly to homeowners. Unlike for sale by owner (FSBO) sales, sellers in these transactions are putting their trust in experienced agents to ensure they are getting the best possible price for their homes.