Bang for your buck varies significantly, as the location, size, home finishes and condition of a $1 million home range widely by region
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According to Royal LePage, Canada’s leading real estate services provider, extreme variances in recent home price appreciation across Canada have contributed to vast differences in the types of properties a prospective homeowner can expect to buy with a $1 million budget. While the once-exclusive $1 million home has become the norm in certain markets, in others, it can purchase anything from an ultra-luxury abode to an entry-level residence.
A $1 million home’s location, size, proximity to amenities and current condition ranked as the top four factors that influenced its pricing, not unlike homes in other price ranges. However, together, these four characteristics varied considerably from region to region, with Canada’s two hottest markets – Toronto and Vancouver – offering smaller, more dated two-storey “starter” homes when compared to larger, luxurious mansions elsewhere. While the average number of bedrooms and bathrooms typically found in a $1 million dollar home did not differ by region as materially as the aforementioned four factors, there were noticeable differences between certain regions. In January, 2017, a $1 million home in the City of Vancouver had an average of 2.6 bedrooms and 2.1 bathrooms, while on Canada’s other coast, a $1 million home in Halifax had an average of 3.1 bedrooms and 3.8 bathrooms. Looking to Central Canada, $1 million secured an average of 3.4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in the City of Toronto, while purchasing a $1 million home in Winnipeg delivered the biggest bang for your buck, with an average of 4.1 bedrooms and 4.0 bathrooms.
In fact, of the seven cities studied across Canada – including Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax – Winnipeg provided the most living space overall, with $1 million fetching on average, a 3,505 sq. ft. luxury home in a desirable neighbourhood. During the same period, $1 million in Saskatoon secured the largest lot size of all regions, with an average of 65,838 sq. ft. In contrast, Vancouver offered prospective homebuyers the least amount of home for $1 million, with an average of 1,229 sq. ft. on a 3,134 sq. ft. lot.
“There are striking differences in the options available for those who are looking to purchase a $1 million two-storey home in Canada,” said Dianne Usher, senior vice president of Johnston and Daniel, a division of Royal LePage. “From an older starter home in Vancouver to a waterfront property with all of the bells and whistles in Halifax, the amount of value and space that prospective buyers receive is largely dependent on the characteristics of the market in which they are located.”
When looking at inventory levels and sales activity, $1 million properties and transactions have been more prevalent in highly sought-after markets where greater demand has pushed home values higher. As a result, this has led these regions to experience a weakening in the overall value received for $1 million when compared to other areas across the nation that are less constrained by supply and demand.
While smaller, regional markets have continued to maintain their value over the last decade, 10 years ago prospective homeowners in Canada’s largest metropolitan areas were able to purchase fully-renovated homes in desirable neighbourhoods with considerably more space for $1 million.
“What used to be considered a luxury price point is now the status quo in Canada’s two hottest markets,” added Usher. “Once carrying significant purchasing power, $1 million is now either below or on par with the price of an average two-storey home in Toronto and Greater Vancouver. Now, instead of a fully upgraded three bedroom, three bathroom two-storey property in prestigious neighbourhoods like Rosedale or West Vancouver, you’re getting a much smaller two or three bedroom, two bathroom property in need of renovation in a less sought-after location.”
“However, significant value can still be found in the suburbs or city-centres like Saskatoon and Montreal, where homes are more affordable, landing you substantially more home with better features as a result.”
The profile of a $1 million buyer was also found to vary by region, with developers and first-time buyers dominating the $1 million two-storey property segment in Canada’s largest metropolitan areas, while wealthy young to middle-aged professional couples with children acted as the predominant purchasers elsewhere.
Aggregate and regional $1 million two-storey home attributes
|Region||Year||Bedrooms||Bathrooms||Living Area||Lot Size|
|Canada||2007||3.9||3.3||2,860 sq. ft.||26,684 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.8||3.0||2,454 sq. ft.||23,226 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.8||2.9||2,436 sq. ft.||22,624 sq. ft.|
|Greater Vancouver||2007||4.0||3.4||2,664 sq. ft.||16,429 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.8||3.2||2,175 sq. ft.||8,402 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.7||3.2||2,166 sq. ft.||8,149 sq. ft.|
|Greater Toronto Area||2007||4.0||3.4||2,843 sq. ft.||17,170 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.8||2.9||2,387 sq. ft.||8,336 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.8||2.9||2,363 sq. ft.||8,168 sq. ft.|
|Greater Montreal Area||2007||5.8||5.9||5,429 sq. ft.||12,756 sq. ft.|
|2016||4.1||2.8||2,732 sq. ft.||13,058 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||4.1||2.8||2,758 sq. ft.||13,040 sq. ft.|
|Region||Year||Bedrooms||Bathrooms||Living Area||Lot Size|
|Vancouver||2007||3.5||2.6||1,846 sq. ft.||4,798 sq. ft.|
|2016||2.6||2.1||1,241 sq. ft.||3,134 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||2.6||2.1||1,229 sq. ft.||3,134 sq. ft.|
|Calgary||2007||3.3||2.6||2,513 sq. ft.||6,897 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.4||2.8||2,492 sq. ft.||7,129 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.3||2.8||2,477 sq. ft.||7,004 sq. ft.|
|Saskatoon||2008||4.0||3.3||3,117 sq. ft.||6,250 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.1||2.6||2,775 sq. ft.||71,767 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.2||2.7||2,829 sq. ft.||65,838 sq. ft.|
|Winnipeg||2007||4.3||4.2||4,400 sq. ft.||23,850 sq. ft.|
|2016||4.0||3.8||3,385 sq. ft.||13,501 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||4.1||4.0||3,505 sq. ft.||13,453 sq. ft.|
|Toronto||2007||3.9||3.4||2,664 sq. ft.||5,669 sq. ft.|
|2016||3.5||2.5||1,747 sq. ft.||3,744 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.4||2.5||1,722 sq. ft.||3,731 sq. ft.|
|Montreal||2007||4.5||2.3||2,984 sq. ft.||3,986 sq. ft.|
|2016||4.0||2.6||2,585 sq. ft.||5,361 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||4.0||2.6||2,585 sq. ft.||5,361 sq. ft.|
|Halifax||2007||3.3||2.5||3,154 sq. ft.||23,144 sq. ft.|
|2016||2.8||2.7||2,945 sq. ft.||55,582 sq. ft.|
|January 2017||3.1||3.8||3,316 sq. ft.||43,521 sq. ft.|
People armed with a million dollars in search of a waterfront mansion need not look any further than Halifax. With enough million-dollar inventory to satisfy demand, prospective buyers within the region are able to purchase a number of unique types of properties reflective of their tastes and desired lifestyle. In January 2017, the average $1 million two-storey home within the region had 3.1 bedrooms, 3.8 bathrooms, 3,316 sq. ft. of living area and a lot size of 43,521 sq. ft.
While homes tend to be much larger on the fringes of the city and offer prospective homeowners direct access to the water, buyers with seven-figure budgets can also tap into the heart of downtown to find stunning heritage homes. As with the rest of Atlantic Canada, properties in Halifax have maintained their affordability relative to other regions across the nation, landing purchasers just as much, if not more, property than what was previously available a decade ago.
“The value of a million-dollar property in Halifax continues to grow, both when compared to other cities across Canada and when compared to 10 years ago,” said Sandra Pike, team lead, Royal LePage Atlantic. “Recently, the region’s urban sprawl has enticed developers to expand into untapped regions of Halifax, giving prospective purchasers the option of buying brand new, fully upgraded homes with a substantial amount of space for $1 million.”
The tables found within this report represent averaged characteristics for two-storey properties that sold between $950,000 and $1,050,000 in 2007, 2016 and January 2017. Highlighted property listings were collected based on a uniform set of criteria, where listings in each region required a standard two-storey that is selling or has been sold in the last two months within 10 per cent of $1 million. To gain additional insight into regional market dynamics and property characteristics, interviews were conducted with Royal LePage real estate professionals in the featured cities.
About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 17,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.
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