Foreign buyers ‘dominate’ high-end house sales in Vancouver

National study also finds the city leads in luxury condo prices

With listing prices of up $35 million, the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver has the most expensive houses in Canada, according to a national survey by New York City-based Engel & Völkers, a real estate agency that has offices in major Canadian cities.

The survey also found the most expensive resale condominiums in Metro Vancouver now average $1,800 per square foot.

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Engel & Völkers maintains that foreign buyers remain a dominant force in Vancouver’s high-end housing sales, though a recent survey by Statistics Canada found that foreign ownership in Metro Vancouver now represents less than 5 per cent of all residential sales and 7.9 per cent of condo purchases.

“International buyers dominate Vancouver’s luxury property market, accounting for 85 per cent of transactions,” said Greg Carros, managing director and principal at Engel & Völkers Vancouver.

“Chinese citizens make up the largest buyer group here, followed by French and German buyers.”

Engel & Völkers picks East Vancouver for higher price appreciation in 2018, noting that a “new segment of affluent residents are starting to move into Vancouver’s downtown East Side at an accelerated rate. Gastown’s eclectic charm continues to keep the neighbourhood in demand in 2018.”

In Calgary, the highest priced homes were found in the Pump Hill community, at more than $12 million. The most expensive condo apartments were in the downtown and southwest and reached up to $700 per square foot, the survey found. Foreign buyers account for less than 15 per cent of Calgary’s luxury market, according to the study.

Toronto’s Bridle Path is the most expensive area for detached properties in that city. Asking prices here for detached houses were as high as $11 million. The highest price fetched for condominiums was in Rosedale, at $1,300 per square foot.

In comparison, the most expensive detached houses in Montreal’s famed Golden Square Mile peaked at $11.9 million in the survey, which used sales data to the end of September 2017. The highest asking price for condominiums was also in this downtown neighbourhood at the foot of Mount Royal, at $1,440 per square foot.

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