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Calgary saw the biggest sales gain in single-family homes worth more than $1 million in the first half of 2013, but luxury condominium sales sank in the city and across Canada, according to Sotheby's International Realty Canada.
Calgary saw a 10-percent year-over-year sales gain, while Toronto posted a 5-percent increase, with Montreal seeing a 6-percent uptick; whereas, Vancouver saw a 2-percent drop in single family luxury homes.
But, the closely watched condominium market saw double-digit sales drops in the six months of 2013 when compared to the same time last year. Luxury condo sales fared worst in Calgary with a 37-percent drop, Vancouver posted a 20-percent fall, Toronto sales slipped 19 percent, with Montreal also seeing a 19-percent dip.
Meanwhile, Calgary set a city record in March with the sale of a 14,500 square foot with a price tag of $10.35 million.
The Greater Toronto Area saw nearly 3,000 properties worth over $1 million change hands in the first half of 2013, Sotheby's says citing Toronto Real Estate Board figures. Toronto's high end neighbourhoods, such as Rosedale, Forest Hill, LawrencePark and the Bridle Path remain "sought after," according to Sotheby's.
Sotheby's said Ottawa's tightened lending rules, had a "deep impact" on Vancouver's luxury market in the latter part of 2012. But, this year Vancouver experienced "renewed confidence and market momentum" as buyers adjusted to the new lending rules, Sotheby's said.
"Our findings for 2013 point to renewed confidence in much of Canada's high-end real estate market," Ross McCredie, CEO, Sotheby's International Realty Canada said in a press release.
"High-end buyers have adjusted to tighter lending controls and Canadian real estate is still seen globally as one of our strongest assets."
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage rules four times since 2008 in a bid to cool Canada's housing market boom, which has taken household debt to record levels. In the latest round of changes, announced in June 2012, Flaherty reduced the amortization period on insured mortgages from 30 years to 25 years, making it harder for many first-time home buyers to qualify. The new rules also deny mortgage insurance on homes worth $1 million or more.