Million-dollar home sales in Vancouver shot up 25 per cent last year

Sales of condominiums, like this $7.5 million Coal Harbour 2-bedroom, increased 38 per cent in 2014 over 2013.

Low interest rates, limited supply and foreign buyers driving the top end of the Vancouver market

As the average value of a single detached house in Vancouver crept over $1 million last year, sales in the top half of the market boomed, increasing 25 per cent in 2014 over 2013, according to a report from Sotheby’s Canada on the city’s luxury market. In total, 3,134 condos, town homes and houses sold for more than $1 million last year, according to data compiled from MLS.

“We’ve got very little land in Vancouver proper. That’s why we’ve seen so much pressure on single family homes,” says Ross McCredie, president of Sotheby’s International Real Estate Canada. He also credits relatively low unemployment, net migration into the city and downsizing boomers for driving the million-dollar-plus market. 

At the high end, 992 properties sold for between $2 million and $4 million, an increase of 19 per cent over 2013, while 253 homes sold for $4 million or more, up 36 per cent from 186 sales in 2013. In Shaughnessy, the average sale price of a detached house crept up to $5.6 million in November, while in Point Grey, the average sale price of a detached house was $4.1 million. 

Despite speculation that the cancellation of the immigrant investor program last February would impact property sales, foreign buyers continue to be a big driver of the market, says McCredie. “It hasn’t stemmed at all.” And the higher the sale price, the higher the likelihood that its buyer isn’t Canadian. For sales of $6 million or more, around 50 per cent of buyers are foreign, he adds.