A new report from real estate giant Re/Max Tuesday concludes 67 properties priced about $750,000 sold in the Hamilton-Burlington area during the first three months of this year — the same number that moved during the first quarter of last year.
“Demand is high, supply is good and people are buying — those are all good indications of a strong market,” said Conrad Zurini, of Re/Max Escarpment Realty.
The Re/Max report said close to 300 properties are currently for sale in the Hamilton-Burlington area with tight supply at points and especially strong demand in some ranges such as $800,000 to $900,000, where 40 per cent of sales this year have brought in multiple offers.
The most popular neighbourhoods for buyers with deep pockets include Tyandaga, Millcroft and the Lakeshore in Burlington, Carlisle in Flamborough and Ancaster, where older homes on estate lots priced from $300,000 to $500,000 are purchased only to be demolished to make way for custom builds.
Young professionals, entrepreneurs, and senior executives — many from the Greater Toronto Area — are behind the push.
Zurini said those buyers are being drawn by the simple fact their money buys more home here than it would in Toronto or even Oakville.
“A $750,000 house is a tremendous value here compared to Oakville or Mississauga. That price seems to be the sweet spot. For that price in Oakville, you wouldn’t get anywhere near the same value.”
Re/Max said the majority of high-end sales were single-detached homes, with only two condominiums moving in that price range so far — a Burlington condo priced at $870,000 and one in the Creekside development in Dundas priced at $812,000.
Condo prices are being held up by growing demand from aging empty-nesters and tight supply. That’s driving some people to creative solutions such as buying up adjacent units and bringing down walls.
At the very top end of the price scale, Re/Max said, the most expensive home sold in the area so far is a $2.8-million new build in the Bluffs area of Burlington. The highest priced sale so far in Hamilton was $1.4 million.
Even those, however, don’t outdo the priciest properties on the MLS system. The most expensive property listed for sale in Burlington is a waterfront estate priced at $7 million. Its 12,000 square feet feature four bedrooms with the potential for a fifth, seven bathrooms, two kitchens, parking for six vehicles, slab limestone floors and an in-ground pool with hot tub.
Hamilton’s most expensive property is almost a shack by comparison — $3.9 million gets you a 10,000-square-foot house on the Mountain brow with, according to its MLS listing, “a breathtaking panoramic view” of the area, wet bar, exercise room, pool plus six bedrooms and bathrooms.
Across Canada, Re/Max said the year-over-year gap in luxury home sales is narrowing as the spring buying season gets under way. The company reported eight out of the 16 residential markets it examined were on par or ahead of last year, as of March 31, while records were set for first-quarter sales in six markets.
Calgary was the strongest market, with luxury home sales up close to 50 per cent over the same period in 2012.
The country’s most expensive upper-end sales in the first quarter — an $18.6-million single-family estate and a 5,700-square-foot condominium at $8 million — were both located in Vancouver’s Westside area.
RE/MAX released its UPPER END 2013 MARKET TRENDS REPORT yesterday, April 30, 2013.