Christie’s International Real Estate’s report on the luxury real estate market reveals interesting insights into Toronto’s high-end housing market and its high-net-worth residents.

THE FINDINGSchristies-international-real-estate-flags-rockefellar-center-victoria-boscariol-chestnut-park

The Toronto Luxury Real Estate Market
In Toronto, the luxury housing market is hyper-local as ultra high-net-worth buyers seek to purchase properties with exceptionally high standards of finishes in micro-locations defined by a particular block of a high-end prime neighbourhood for a home or by a specific luxury building with five star hotel amenities for a penthouse or a condominium apartment suite.

Buyers of luxury real estate in Toronto are predominantly local rather than foreign and these high-net-worth buyers are purchasing property to live in as their primary residence rather than as an additional residence for investment purposes.

The Global Luxury Real Estate Market
Overall findings from analyzing ten cities’ real estate markets reveals that the global luxury real estate market performs in its own universe, far removed the general residential real estate market.

International luxury real estate inventory is low with properties having fewer days on market in 2012.

There is high demand from international buyers and more buyers are paying cash rather than finance their luxury property purchases.

Rather than follow the general housing market, luxury real estate aligns with trends in demand for luxury goods such as high-value art, jewelry and fine wines and this demand is poised for growth in 2013.


Toronto was identified by Christie’s International Real Estate as one of the ten globally important markets for luxury residential real estate along with:

  • Cote d’Azur
  • Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Paris
  • San Francisco

These markets were selected based on factors that influence high-net worth individuals as luxury home buyers and sellers including city gross domestic product, number of billionaire residents, global cities ranking, most expensive cities ranking, and number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in a city.

In its research, Christie’s defined luxury real estate as residential properties priced above $1 million US dollars. That totals just under 33,000 properties for the ten cities indexed.

Christie's International Real Estate Luxury Market Activity Victoria Boscariol Chestnut Park

Local versus International Buyers Of Luxury Real Estate
In studying the sales of Toronto luxury homes (properties that sold over $1 million) from October 2011 to September 2012, it was found that 80% of buyers were local (residents within the city). The other 20% of buyers were non-local and this included international buyers.

Luxury Home Sales Number Of Days On Market Comparison By City
Analyzing luxury home inventory, out of all the ten locations, Toronto had the least days on market (DOM) at 46 days on the market in 2012 which was down from the previous year’s 50 days on market.  In 2013, days on market for luxury properties is expected to lengthen in Toronto as the result of the government putting more limits on mortgage lending designed to slow the housing market.

Luxury Home Sales Days On Market By City Christie's International Real Estate Victoria Boscariol Chestnut Park

Luxury Residences Average Sale Price Per Square Foot Comparison By City
London was the most expensive city with an average sale price per square foot of $4,849.   Luxury residences in Toronto have an average sale price of $900 per square foot.  (Average sale prices per square foot include single family homes, condominiums and co-ops.)

Financing & Mortgages Of Luxury Properties By City
While cash is in king in LA as 100% of luxury home buyers in that city paid cash rather than finance, in Toronto 50% of luxury homes purchased were mortgaged.

Financing Of Luxury Homes Sales By City Paid Cash Versus Mortgage Victoria Boscariol Chestnut Park Real Estate

Buying A Luxury Property As A Primary Residence Versus As An Additional Residence 80% of luxury properties purchased in Toronto were bought to live-in as the primary residence while in London only 30% of properties purchased were deemed as the primary residence.

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