BC's luxury market remained relatively strong throughout 2010. Surges were seen in the lower mainland, and bounce-back years happened in Victoria and the Okanagan. 2011 is forecast to remain relatively similar to last year, with the caveat being that the world's economic recovery must continue, albeit slowly.
Greater Vancouver's luxury home market broke all records in 2010. According to MLS stats, 375 homes sold for over $3 million, which breaks the record set in 2009 of 209, and doubles the number achieved in 2008 (167 sales), when the financial crisis led to a downturn in housing sales throughout the country.
Macdonald Realty Vancouver Manager, Matthew Lee, whose office sold the 3 most expensive homes in Greater Vancouver in 2009 and 2 of the 5 most expensive homes in 2010, believes that international buyers are fuelling the luxury market."Buyers from Mainland China are pushing prices upwards," Lee says,"but buyers from Europe and the US are willing to pay these prices as well. Globally, Vancouver is still seen as a relatively good bargain."
Across the province, luxury sales also improved in lock-step with the global economic recovery. The one exception may be in the Okanagan, where sellers are now competing with product in the US. According to Don Gerein, Managing Broker for Macdonald Realty Kelowna,"Qualified buyers are taking advantage of the ability to shop from a diverse selection. Whether it's waterfront or estate acreage, luxury buyers realize they can buy the property they have always wanted, but wasn't available 2 years ago."
In Victoria, where the luxury market bounced back in 2010, a similar year is expected."Most of the action is between $1- to $3-million" says Macdonald Realty Victoria Manager Sandy Medler. That said, there are exceptions: the most expensive listing in Victoria right now is held by his office, at an impressive $19.25 million.