British Columbia Luxury Home Sales Continue Upward Surge in 2011
Happy New Year and welcome to 2012!
2011 was yet another record-breaking year for BC's luxury housing market. According to MLS stats, over 700 $3 million+ homes were sold in 2011, smashing the record set last year of 375, and more than tripling the number achieved in 2009. Macdonald Realty manager, Matthew Lee, whose firm sold the most expensive house ($16.8 million) and most expensive condo ($10.1 million) in 2011, believes that international buyers are fuelling the luxury market. "Buyers from Mainland China continued to push prices upwards in 2011," Lee says, "but they're not the only ones buying. Locals and people from other parts of the world like BC as well."
Macdonald Realty VP Dan Scarrow concurs. "For the past couple of years, we've seen a really remarkable run-up in prices in the 5 areas that have the highest concentration of Chinese buyers: Vancouver (Westside), Richmond, Burnaby, West Vancouver, and White Rock. The housing market in the rest of the Lower Mainland and BC looks very similar to most markets across the country."
That said, both Scarrow and Lee believe that the hot markets of 2011 will be more stable in 2012, while the slower areas slightly outperform to play catch-up.
The stats seem to support this view. Midway through 2011, Macdonald Realty projected that there would be more than 800 sales of homes over $3 million for the year. The drop to 700, albeit slight, indicates a trend of slowing luxury sales. Macdonald Realty projects that the more affordable jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland will see the biggest price gains in 2012. "We think that prices will remain quite stable in most of the province," says Scarrow, "while prices in some of the more affordable areas of the Lower Mainland, specifically East Vancouver, are expected to rise considerably to close the gap."
3 Most Expensive Homes Sold in 2011:
- 1) $16,800,000
- 2) $14,680,000
- 3) $13,100,000
3 Most Expensive Condos Sold in 2011:
- 1) $10,100,000
- 2) $7,500,000
- 3) $7,200,000