WATCH: Greater Victoria is ranked as the top luxury real estate market in the world. But how did the Capital Region beat out far more expensive markets? Tess van Straaten takes a look.
New York is famous for having some of the priciest properties in the world, Orange County’s known for its expensive waterfront and gated communities, and Hong Kong holds the record for the highest residential sale ? at a whopping $360 million.
But would you believe Victoria is number one on Christie’s list of the hottest luxury housing markets in the world?
“I’m a little bit surprised,” admits luxury real estate specialist Jason Binab of Engel & Völkers Victoria. “I’d definitely anticipate we’d be in the top 10, maybe the top five, but being number one is obviously an honour and a privilege and we’ll take it!”
According to the Christie’s ranking, strong year-over-year sales growth and high domestic demand catapulted the capital region into the top spot as well as an influx of foreign buyers, especially U.S. and Chinese buyers, but brokers say the demand goes far beyond that.
“They’re coming from the States, Eastern Canada, Europe, Japan, China and other parts of Canada as well,” says Suzanne Piquette of REMAX Camosun. “This seems to be the place they end up in.”
Victoria’s number one ranking is making news across North America but the Christie’s report is 2017 data and local agents with Christie’s and other luxury firms say the market has cooled since then due to the speculation tax.
“We are seeing a little bit of buyer trepidation, the inventory has gone up a little bit,” Binab says. “You’ve got to remember any time there’s a major rule change or mortgage rule change, buyers are speculating whether now the best time to buy or do we step back?”
But compared to far more expensive cities, Victoria still looks like a bargain ? especially when it comes to waterfront.
“I think that’s where a lot of these international buyers and the true luxury opportunity is to somebody,” says Binab.
“We’ve got some of the best waterfront in the world here and they’re not making anymore of it.”
Christie’s defines “luxury” as anything more expensive than USD $1 million, which is now about the average house price in Oak Bay.
San Diego came in second and Orange County was third. Toronto ranked ninth.