Home ownership may be a dream for many and cause for sleepless nights for others. There’s the mortgage application, relocation expenses and the property taxes to worry about. But for the mega wealthy — for whom money is no object — buying a home is quite a different experience. Kristiaan Yeo has more on how Canada’s high-end realtors close the big-money deals. CCTV’s Kristiaan Yeo reports from Toronto.
If you’ve ever wondered how the incredibly wealthy shop for homes, take a seat, buckle up and relax. For the top 1 percent, the sky is the limit. Canada’s reputation as a safe place to invest money has made the market for multi-millionaire housing float ever higher.
According to Remaxx realtors, interest in high-end properties hit an all-time high last year in two-thirds of all Canadian cities thanks to a rebound in consumer confidence and increased interest from foreign buyers.
In the wealthy enclaves around Vancouver and Toronto, prospective buyers are paying top dollar. No expense is spared in making the entire buying process first class from start to finish. Realtor Mike Donia, specializes in homes worth $2 million or more. He offers clients a chauffeur service, champagne lunch, and a whistle-stop tour of the region’s best properties by helicopter or private jet. We joined Mike as he showed his client, Tara, some of his listings in Niagara, where she and her entrepreneur husband are hoping to buy their next dream home.
These days, international investors play a huge role. Mike says around 80 percent of his buyers are foreign. The majority of them are Chinese, who like the stability of the country. It’s not a war nation, has good schools and good health care — so the Chinese like it.
Mike believes that the termination of Canada’s immigrant investor program, which allowed wealthy foreigners to effectively buy a Canadian passport, could affect demand in some areas, but for the ultra-wealthy, it’s business as usual.
The high-end real estate boom is a global phenomenon. According to the website REMAXX.ca, in the UK, sales at London’s upper end have risen by 24 percent and in the U.S., million dollar plus homes are outselling the rest, three to one.
As growth in Asia slows, Canada’s champagne housing market may eventually lose its fizz, but for now, it’s still frothy and realtors are making eye-watering commissions.