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A "for sale" sign stands in front of detached homes on Redwood Avenue in Toronto on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Darren Calabrese for The Globe and Mail (Darren Calabrese For The Globe and Mail)
A "for sale" sign stands in front of detached homes on Redwood Avenue in Toronto on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Darren Calabrese for The Globe and Mail (Darren Calabrese For The Globe and Mail)

High-end homes sales rise in Toronto, Vancouver, fall in Calgary in 2015 Add to ...

Sales of homes worth $1-million or more heated up in Toronto and Vancouver last year as the low loonie fuelled demand from foreign buyers, a new report released Thursday says.

The report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says 11,112 homes worth $1-million or more were sold in the Greater Toronto Area last year – an increase of 48 per cent over 2014.

Detached homes pace Toronto real estate to record year (BNN Video)

In Vancouver, 4,578 homes over the $1-million mark were sold in 2015, up 46 per cent from the previous year.

The realtor says sales of homes worth more than $4-million grew the most – in Vancouver by 67 per cent, and in Toronto by 71 per cent.

But after years of growth, Calgary’s high-end housing market declined last year as the downturn in the oil patch hurt consumer confidence.

The Sotheby’s report says sales of homes over $1-million fell 41 per cent in Alberta’s largest city in 2015 compared with the previous year.

Elaine Hung, vice-president of marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said low interest rates, high levels of immigration and a limited supply of homes heated up the high-end housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

“We had a lot of buyers who were very eager to enter the market, and they were bidding on a limited number of homes, particularly in premier neighbourhoods,” said Hung.

In many instances, that resulted in bidding wars, she said.

The luxury segment – comprised of homes worth $4-million or more – benefited from all of those factors, as well as weakness in the Canadian dollar.

“We did see increased interest from international buyers, so that was definitely a factor,” said Hung, referring to the $4-million-plus segment in Toronto and Vancouver.

In Montreal, sales of homes worth over $1-million grew by 15 per cent from a year ago.

Looking ahead to 2016, Hung predicts more of the same – continued sales growth in Toronto and Vancouver, a further slowdown in Calgary and a balanced market in Montreal.

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