According to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s 2019 Year-End Top-Tier Real Estate Report, Canada’s two largest top-tier metropolitan real estate markets rallied in 2019, gaining steady traction throughout the year. After a tentative start to 2019, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) led the country in top-tier real estate performance with consistent and confident increases in sales activity and pricing, bolstered by the region’s strong population gains, healthy economic growth and robust labour market. Vancouver overcame several years of uncertainty fostered by ongoing government and regulatory interventions to see revitalized confidence and activity in the $1 million-plus real estate market by the last half of 2019. Montreal’s luxury real estate market achieved notable milestones in its condominium sector in 2019, and the city set new records in top-tier market performance. Despite improvements in the market for real estate under $500,000, Calgary’s uneven economic performance and political turbulence dampened a top-tier market already burdened with supply; as a result, recovery continued to lag.
Record-setting population gains in Canada’s largest urban areas were pivotal drivers of the conventional and top-tier housing markets, absorbing inventory and expanding the long-term foundation for local housing demand. Furthermore, the decade-long financial bull market and its bouts of recent unpredictability are growing influences on the Canadian top-tier real estate market. Underlying consumer anxiety regarding future financial market performance has increased demand for top-tier real estate as an asset to diversify portfolios, hedge against inflation, and buffer against risk.