Calgary’s luxury home market continued its tentative rebound in 2017, but fewer buyers were willing to shell out for the city’s most posh pads or a glut of pricey condos, according to year-end data from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
Deep-pocketed Calgary homebuyers snatched up 677 homes valued at more than $1 million last year, reports the luxury realtor, an 11 per cent rise from 2016, with levels nearing the crest of the city’s last boom in 2014.
But while last year’s sales of opulent abodes mark the third highest in the past decade, sales of homes priced over $2 million, along with luxury condos, dropped across the board.
According to Sotheby’s International Realty, only 54 properties with a price tag between $2 million and $4 million changed hands (an 18 per cent drop from 2016), and just two homes north of $4 million were purchased, half the number from a year ago.
As well, thanks to an oversupply of condos on the market, only a dozen sales over $1 million were made in 2017, a 37 per cent drop.
Mary-Ann Mears, managing broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, said savvy sellers were able to benefit from renewed confidence in the economy to sell their million-dollar pads.
“There were some really good opportunities for people last year,” she said.
“It really comes down to the motivation of the seller. Those individuals really read the market and adjusted accordingly.”
Just before Calgary’s economy spiralled in the wake of plunging oil prices, Calgary home hunters set a record with luxury property purchases reaching 854 in 2014. The next year, sales plummeted to just 494, the lowest level since 2011.
Single-family detached homes represented the lion’s share of sales in the luxury sector, with 594 properties sold; however, attached homes saw the biggest boost in sales, with those listed over $1 million seeing a 58 per cent year-over-year increase.
Mears said the numbers bode well for continued growth in 2018.
“I think we’re still seeing an impact from the local economic challenges — real estate is that ripple that comes a bit later than other indicators,” she said.
“But I think the indicators are showing us 2018 should be an active market.”
While well-heeled buyers might be showing more real estate confidence, Mears noted that new mortgage rules that came into force Jan. 1 are a wild card affecting those looking to join the million-dollar home club.
Tightened rules require prospective homeowners who’ve made down payments of 20 per cent or more to pass financial stress tests. It’s thought the new requirements could disqualify some 10 per cent of potential homeowners.
“When you add in new mortgage rules, we haven’t seen the impact of that yet,” Mears said.
“After we get through the first quarter (of 2018) we’ll be able to review and see how it’s going to affect things.”
On Twitter: @ShawnLogan403
Calgary’s Top 5 most expensive homes on the market
15 Pump Hill Cl. S.W.
A gated mansion with 11,000 square feet of living space on 1.68 acres boasts a three-car heated garage, vaulted ceilings with open skylights and white marble flooring. Includes six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a penthouse and a 1,300 square foot master suite with a grand wood fireplace.
Price tag: $12.38 million
6 Aspen Ridge Lane S.W.
Reduced in price from its originally listed $12.5 million in 2015, the Manor House features three stone-wrapped levels with five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a 1,200 square foot patio. The estate’s seven-car garage is topped with a 1,000 square foot carriage house that attaches to the main house with an enclosed galleria. It also boasts a gourmet kitchen, Irish pub-style bar, hot tub sunroom and elevator.
Price tag: $10.995 million
925 Durham Ave. S.W.
One of the largest private residences in the inner city with more than 12,000 square feet of total development, the 1960-built home has been renovated and expanded from its original form. Featuring an indoor pool that opens up to the outdoor kitchen/bar, the home also features a five-car garage and auto court that holds an additional three to four vehicles. The property also features a self-contained guest/staff quarters.
1320 Prospect Ave. S.W.
This Mount Royal mansion greets visitors with a palatial grand foyer with marble flooring and a huge Swarovski chandelier, along with a gourmet kitchen and a large master suite featuring city views. The four-bedroom, six-bathroom home also includes a four-car heated garage with a walk-through lower tunnel connecting to a separate spa that features a hot tub, steam shower and sauna.
Price tag: $6.185 million
20 Aspen Ridge Manor S.W.
With nine fireplaces and nine bathrooms, this French country mansion in Aspen Woods is all about comfort. Featuring 20-foot ceilings and custom lighting, along with a nine-foot long fireplace, the 8,000 square foot southwest haven boasts an array of offerings for the discerning homebuyer. The home includes a custom gym, wine room with room for some 1,800 bottles, a media room and a golf simulator, along with an opulent outdoor living area with outdoor fireplaces and built-in barbecue.
Price tag: $5.999 million