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The Canadian city, well known for its economic stability, experienced a 37pc increase in the sale of luxury penthouses, apartments and houses in the 12 months to the end of December, after just a 4pc rise in the previous year, outstripping San Francisco, Sydney and Miami, according to a report from Christie’s international real estate group.
The study, which ranks the top 10 urban centres by the growth in sales of exclusive properties, found that the rate also slowed in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, while transactions declined in London, Dubai and Hong Kong last year.
Frenetic growth in the upper echelons of the world’s property market was to be expected in 2013 as buyers and investors bounced back from the global economic crisis, said Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s international real estate practice.
Consumer confidence grew and stock market investments started to pay out again, he said.
But sales growth has now steadied in all cities, apart from Toronto.
“This was Toronto’s second best year on record, but it wasn’t just a function of supply and demand,” said Mr Conn.
“This is one of the most stable financial and governmental systems in the world. It’s the major economic hub in Canada, with a net influx of people and an incredible rate of growth. The perception is it’s a safe place to invest, still relatively cheap, with an attractive rate of return.”
The average global threshold for a luxury property in the report was $1m (£647,000), although this varied wildly from place to place, with Durban, South Africa, at one end of the spectrum, where a high-end home can be snapped up for $750,000, compared with London, where the definition of lavish is accepted to be around £4m, or Beverly Hill where the elite pay $8m for a luxury pad.
For interactive graphics on entry prices for luxury homes around the world and images of what $5m will buy around the world, click here.
“You don’t get a closet for $1m in London,” said Mr Conn. “Unlike some of the emerging luxury markets such as Durban or New Orleans in the US.”
There was also a shift from piling into cities in 2013 to buying up resort property in 2014, the study found, as ultra high net worth individuals started to expand their portfolios.
As a result, destinations such as Costa Rica, Telluride in Colorado and the Big Island in Hawaii, recorded the highest sales growth out of all holiday spots across the world.
“In 2013, the city markets were on fire and the resort markets lagged behind the price rebound,” said Mr Conn. “However, soaring growth last year was found in the resort markets as the notion of the trophy home emerged and ultra high net worth individuals started to treat property assets as collectables.”
A mansion on the market in Sydney with Christie’s real estate for $80m.
The manicured lawns out the back of “the Legendary Beverly Hills House” in Los Angeles, on the market for $135,000,000.
Trinity Square, the new ultra-lavish redevelopment scheme over Tower Bridge, in London. Price on application.