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Demand for high-priced homes up across Canada, real estate sales firm says

Demand for high-priced homes up across Canada, real estate sales firm says

MISSISSAUGA — Demand for high-priced housing was strong in most Canadian markets in the first months of this year, with records set in 10 of the 16 markets tracked by Re/Max.

Vancouver was one of the six markets where the luxury market has cooled off after an especially hot period last year, but demand in Toronto remained high, the real estate sales company said in a report released Wednesday.

The organization says the price of luxury housing depends on the market, from a low of $500,000 in mid-sized cities such as St. John’s, N.L., and Halifax to a high of $2 million in the Vancouver area.

In the case of Regina, which had the biggest increase in luxury sales this year, there was a 56 per cent more sales of at least $500,000.

In the Kitchener and Waterloo area, sales of luxury homes — those with a price of more than $750,000 — increased 39 per cent, rising to 25 in the first three months of this year from 18 in the first quarter a year ago.

Re/Max said buyers of luxury homes were most active in the south end of Kitchener, west end of Waterloo and New Hamburg.

In Canada’s most expensive market, Vancouver, there was a 31 per cent decline from last year’s peak with 393 luxury homes sold in the first quarter.

By contrast, Toronto’s market has been hotter than last year, with 412 homes sold for at least $1.5 million each — a 49 per cent increase from early 2011.

SOURCE:The Canadian Press