Tag Archives: million-dollar sales
From January to September, 1,706 GTA homes sold for more than $1 million, up slightly from the number in 2008. Most sold in the past three months.
Selling million-dollar homes in the middle of a recession is a tough slog. But the market this time around has been less painful than in the past, say luxury realtors.
“Typically in a recession luxury homes are the first to dive in price and the last to recover,” says Toronto realtor Barry Cohen. “But apart from a bad winter, it looks like we haven’t really skipped a beat.”
Cohen sold a home on the Bridle Path for $11.8 million, the highest price for a resale home sold this year. And he currently has 22 homes listed for more than $1 million.
According to a report by ReMax Ontario Atlantic Canada released Tuesday, the market for million-dollar homes in the Greater Toronto Area was actually slightly stronger this year than last.
There were 1,706 luxury home sales of $1 million or over in the GTA in the nine months ending in September, compared with 1,687 sales last year, an increase of 1%. The bulk of those sales were made in the last quarter.
“A considerable shift is underway in the upper end,” says Michael Polzler, executive vice-president of ReMax. “Conditions are more balanced across the board.”
The luxury market still lags sales in the overall market, which are up 4.5% compared with last year. But no one thought many consumers would be buying luxury properties during the downturn.
During the first four months of this year, sales of luxury homes and condos were the hardest hit, as consumers retrenched.
The market came to life when stock markets staged a comeback earlier this year, along with promises of bonus cheques on Bay Street.
“That was the green light,” says Cohen. “You had the stock brokers and the fund managers coming back to the housing market.”
But it’s still a tenuous recovery. Most luxury sales are in the “entry-level” $1 to $1.5 million range.
Although there are 18 properties in Ontario listed at more than $10 million, luxury buyers are still cautious about entering the upper end of the market, also known as “super luxury.”
And unlike average homes, luxury homes aren’t flying out the door in a week.
Cohen has one York Mills-area home listed for almost $5 million. The 9,500-square-foot heritage home has seven bedrooms and sits on a lot of 0.4 hectares. It has been on the market for five months, and the original listing price was $5.5 million. It was probably best known as the millionaire’s home in Tommy Boy, a comedy starring Chris Farley, David Spade and Bo Derek.
The priciest home in Ontario is a $23 million, French-inspired chateau on the Bridle Path, built by developer Paul Miklas.
Most luxury markets are down globally. The big exception is some areas still experiencing growth, such as Asia. The largest sale of a residence has been in Hong Kong, where a condo recently went for $56.6 million (U.S.), or more than $11,000 per square foot. At just over 5,000 square feet, the condo was large, but not palatial, although the price certainly was.
In Toronto, it’s not hard to hit the million-dollar mark on what would be considered a modest-looking home in some neighbourhoods.
As a result, many of the million-dollar sales are happening away from the more expensive central core, as a million dollars doesn’t quite buy what it used to.
Areas like the Beach and Riverdale to the east are seeing record prices. The most expensive sale in the Beach this year was for $3.15 million. In Riverdale, the priciest listing is a historic home on a 33 feet by 360 feet lot for $3.89 million.
Young professionals trying to get more luxury bang for the buck have also moved up to Thornhill and Richmond Hill, which experienced the highest number of million-dollar home sales by neighbourhood.
In Oakville, a favourite with Bay Street bankers, prices were down by almost 20% earlier this year. But prices have bounced back: this year’s most expensive sale was a waterside home for $7 million.
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