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Foreign buyers drive luxury home sales higher in Toronto: Report

Foreign buyers drive luxury home sales higher in Toronto: Report

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says sales of homes worth $1 million or more in the Greater Toronto Area rose 48 per cent in 2015 from the previous year.

 A new report says sales of homes worth $1 million or more heated up in Toronto and Vancouver last year as the low loonie fuelled demand from foreign buyers.SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

A new report says sales of homes worth $1 million or more heated up in Toronto and Vancouver last year as the low loonie fuelled demand from foreign buyers.

Sales of homes worth $1 million or more heated up in Toronto and Vancouver last year as the low loonie fuelled demand from foreign buyers, a new report released Thursday says.

The report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says 11,112 homes worth $1 million or more were sold in the Greater Toronto Area last year — an increase of 48 per cent over 2014.

In Vancouver, 4,578 homes over the $1 million mark were sold in 2015, up 46 per cent from the previous year.

The realtor says sales of homes worth more than $4 million grew the most — in Vancouver by 67 per cent, and in Toronto by 71 per cent.

But after years of growth, Calgary’s high-end housing market declined last year as the downturn in the oilpatch hurt consumer confidence.

The Sotheby’s report says sales of homes over $1 million fell 41 per cent in Alberta’s largest city in 2015 compared with the previous year.

Elaine Hung, vice-president of marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said low interest rates, high levels of immigration and a limited supply of homes heated up the high-end housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.

“We had a lot of buyers who were very eager to enter the market, and they were bidding on a limited number of homes, particularly in premier neighbourhoods,” said Hung.

In many instances that resulted in bidding wars, she said.

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