77 sales represented more than $500 million in dollar volume
TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Unprecedented demand for luxury properties priced over $5 million catapulted sales to new heights in the Greater Toronto Area, with sales climbing 108 per cent to 77 units in 2015, up from 37 in 2014. Seventy-three freehold homes and four condominium apartments changed hands last year, representing more than $500 million in total dollar volume, according to luxury realtor Barry Cohen.
"2015 was a banner year for real estate activity across the board. Nowhere was that fact more evident than in the upper end," says Cohen, a high-end specialist with RE/MAX, who participated in 13 of the 77 sales over $5 million. "Tight market conditions prevailed throughout much of the year, with fewer ultra high-end listings coming to market overall, particularly in prestigious enclaves south of the 401. Pent-up demand is expected to carry over into 2016, with affluent purchasers waiting patiently in the wings for the right product."
The vast majority of sales over $5 million occurred in the 416 area code last year. The coveted Bridle Path, Sunnybrook area reported 43 per cent of high-end sales (33), followed by Forest Hill South with 16 per cent (12). Listings were scarce in upscale neighbourhoods in close proximity to the downtown core, including Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hill, Annex, and South Hill. Selection was greatest in the Bridle Path, Sunnybrook, coupled with St. Andrew's-Windfields, York Mills, and Hogg's Hollow.
"Given that this segment of the market is typically the first to soften in volatile economic times, it's surprising that the strength of the high end has continued unabated for such an extended period of time," says Cohen. "In fact, recent turbulence in the stock market has prompted renewed interest in other tangible real estate assets such as second homes and development properties."
The strength of the US dollar is expected to continue to bolster demand for luxury real estate in the GTA in the year ahead as international purchasers take advantage of the currency exchange. Location and education are the primary drivers, explains Cohen. Toronto is considered a 'safe haven' for investment, offering up a world-class university, well-priced real estate from a global perspective and all the advantages of the country's financial capital.
"While purchasers, for the most part, were local entrepreneurs, business executives, and professionals, foreign investors also factored into the mix in 2015," says Cohen. "Buyers from Mainland China, in particular, should play an even greater role in the top end of the GTA's luxury market in the next six to 12 months, based on the upward trajectory of the US dollar."
The most expensive detached home sold in 2015 was a $13 million estate in the heart of Forest Hill, while the priciest condominium apartment moved at just over $10 million in Yorkville.
About Barry Cohen
Barry Cohen has been the top agent in the city for luxury home sales at every price point over $2 million from 2010 to 2015 combined, according to statistics compiled from the Toronto Real Estate Board. He has ranked as RE/MAX' #1 sales associate in Canada several times, earned global recognition by placing #2 worldwide twice for RE/MAX LLC, and is the recipient of numerous RE/MAX Awards, including their highest honour, the Luminary of Distinction. There are currently only 33 members worldwide, out of approximately 100,000 active agents.
SOURCE Barry Cohen Group
For further information: Barry Cohen, Realtor, RE/MAX Realtron, Office: 416.223.1818, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.barrycohenhomes.com; Eva Blay, Point Blank Communications, Office: 416.781.3911 Cell: 416.505.0627, email@example.com