Hamilton-Burlington’s luxury housing market reported its best year on record in 2017, with more than 900 homes changing hands over the $1-million price point. While sales are off to a slower start this year, momentum is expected to build in the coming months as disenchanted buyers from the Greater Toronto Area continue to seek more bang for their buck.
In the first two months of 2018, 59 homes over $1 million have sold. This is compared to 133 sales during the same period one year ago. Sixty-eight per cent of upscale purchasers chose to live in Burlington with the lion’s share of sales occurring in the southeast quadrant. Ancaster also remains a perennial favourite with buyers, representing almost 17 per cent of total upper-end sales.
The vast majority of luxury home sales have taken place in the $1-million to $2-million price range this year. Several properties have moved in multiple offers, although that is usually the exception rather than the rule. New listings tend to move quickly, with many selling within the first 30 days on market. The highest-priced sale in 2018 occurred in Ancaster at $2.1 million, while the most expensive property currently listed for sale is a country estate in Burlington with a price tag of $7.88 million.
While buyers in Hamilton-Burlington had a wait-and-see attitude during the first six weeks of 2018, the market is picking up. Agents’ phones are ringing and more showings have been booked, with many buyers considering larger homes or more desirable areas. A good supply of upscale product is available for sale, with more than 250 homes currently listed over the $1-million price point. Homebuyers looking in the $800,000 to $999,000 price range are also likely to expand their budget up to $1.2 million.
The region also has a number of areas that are transitioning into luxury enclaves with prices breaking through the $1-million threshold. Bungalows, side-splits, and back-splits on generous 70- to 100-ft. lots in the $700,000 to $900,000 range are sought-after by savvy buyers in Hamilton-Burlington, with plans to demolish and make way for custom-builds ranging from 3,500 to 4,000 sq. ft.
The Burlington waterfront is also changing with the construction of several new luxury condominium developments. Most are sold out with completion dates scheduled for 2019 and 2020. Demand in this segment of the market has soared in recent years, given limited inventory. Not surprisingly, the condominium lifestyle resonates with empty nesters and retirees living in the area.
Moving forward, lending restrictions and stress tests may have an impact on buyers in Toronto, but Hamilton-Burlington continues to offer an affordable alternative. The $1-million-plus price point represents tremendous value when compared to similar properties in the GTA. To illustrate this point, upscale homes in Southeast Burlington can cost as much as 20 to 30 per cent less than those in neighbouring Oakville, and a fraction of the cost for similar properties in Toronto proper. Given the inviting price point, Hamilton-Burlington is expected to continue to experience strong growth in luxury sales.
About RE/MAX and the Luxury Market:
RE/MAX sells more luxury property over the $5 million price point than any other real estate company in the Greater Toronto Area. Between January 1 and December 31, 2017, RE/MAX participated in 96 residential transactions, almost double that of their closest competitor.