victoria-luxury-home Photo: realtor.ca

A pair of Canadian cities are right near the top when it comes to hot luxury real estate markets across the globe, says a new report from Christie’s International Real Estate.

Auckland, New Zealand, crowned the upscale realtor’s annual Luxury Thermometer list, which was included within Christie’s Luxury Defined 2016 report, and Toronto and Victoria followed in second and third place, respectively.

Christie’s International Real Estate, which has 1,200 realty offices across 45 countries, according to its website, ranked markets based on annual increases in luxury property sales in 2015.

“Toronto’s turbocharged luxury market continues to be a function of fairly short supply and steadily increasing demand,” says Chris Kapches, CEO of Chestnut Park Real Estate, a Christie’s affiliate, in a statement.

“Just as we’re seeing in all other segments of the market, the number of available luxury properties is being outpaced by the numbers of buyers anxious to snap them up,” Kapches adds.

The realty firm looked at 100 different markets, using data from partners and affiliates, which is the reason Vancouver didn’t make the cut, says Natasha Beynon, a Christie’s spokesperson.

“They don’t have a direct affiliate in Vancouver, which is why that particular market wasn’t included,” Beynon tells BuzzBuzzHome News. “There’s not a number to pull from, essentially,” she adds.

Christie’s notes that what constitutes a luxury property is different from market to market. For Toronto, where the most expensive home on the market right now is $28,888,000, a property had to be worth at least $3 million last year to make the luxury grade.

A 48 per cent year-over-year surge in the sales of these multi-million-dollar homes in Toronto last year earned the city its spot behind Auckland, which saw luxury sales ramp up 63 per cent over the same period helping it dethrone Toronto, 2014’s hottest market.

“New Zealand’s strong economy has resulted in an influx of migration and prime property investment by overseas students, expats, and affluent investors,” the Christie’s report reads.

Auckland may have beaten out Hogtown in the overall ranking, but nowhere else in the world do luxury homes sell faster than in Toronto, according to Christie’s, “with deals closing in an average of 28 days, compared to the global average of 195 days on the market.”

Third-place Victoria posted a steep increase of 45 per cent in luxury property sales last year, which Christie’s attributes at least partly to the tech industry and Millennial entrepreneurs, factors that appear to have spurred sales in eighth place Portland and 10th place Stockholm as well.

The high cost of Vancouver homes — the benchmark price of a home there was $815,000 in March, the latest available figures, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association — is also having an impact on Victoria real estate, the Christie’s suggests.

“Citizens of Vancouver take advantage of the city’s property boom and rising prices, then relocate to Victoria to capitalize on the housing price differential between the two cities,” says this year’s Luxury Defined report. “As a result, prices in this bucolic corner of Canada are going up,” adds the report.

While some names on the list probably won’t surprise, such as the number five city San Francisco and Sydney in ninth, others might be less familiar.

“High-end second-home markets — Wyoming’s mountain resort Jackson Hole saw increased interest from affluent domestic buyers, whereas Spain’s beachfront paradise Valencia experienced strong growth from an uptick in tourism and ‘Golden Visa’ overseas buyers,” the report explains.

“After several years of softening prices, Sardinia’s waterfront enclave Costa Smeralda, is beginning to witness a positive uptick, ranking seventh overall,” it adds.

The world’s hottest luxury housing markets, according to Christie’s

1. Auckland, New Zealand
2. Toronto, Canada
3. Victoria, Canada
4. Valencia, Spain
5. San Francisco
6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
7. Costa Smeralda, Sardinia
8. Portland, Oregon
9. Sydney, Australia
10. Stockholm, Sweden

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