Canada’s luxury real estate markets experienced a relatively subdued 2023, as economic uncertainty, high interest rates, and geopolitical tensions weighed on sales.

Despite a brief summertime surge, major markets reported double-digit declines in annual activity levels, according to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s 2023 Top-Tier End-of-Year Real Estate Report.

The sales that did materialize were often the result of opportunistic buyers and investors taking advantage of a market that swayed heavily in their favour. With that upper hand they overwhelmingly set their sights on single-family homes, as high condo fees and rising carrying costs progressively closed the affordability gap between the two property types.

“Buyers are not rushing into anything. They’re taking their time. They’re willing to negotiate on pricing conditions,” Don Kottick, President and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, explained to STOREYS. “Properties that aren't priced well will definitely languish. But the ones that are priced properly are selling.”


In the Greater Toronto Area, overall residential sales over $1M declined 19% year over year in 2023, while sales over $4M fell 20%. Ultra-luxury sales over $10M experienced a nominal 5% annual decline in comparison, although Sotheby’s noted that transactions were increasingly taken off-market as buyers and sellers sought privacy.

“The competence in the largest luxury market in in Canada is holding steady, even though some of the sales activity calmed a bit in 2023,” Kottick said.

“Toronto is still the primary destination for immigration — and the federal government has very large immigration numbers — so that is still driving the market. In light of inflation, in light of wavering economic performance, in light of large government spending, we’re off to a very good start in January. And we’re cautiously optimistic that Toronto is going to have a very active year.”


Luxury home sales in Montreal were “uneven” in 2023, as sellers’ and buyers’ price expectations failed to align. A “brisk summer” gave way to a frenzied fall, but consumer sentiments remain vulnerable to softening economic growth.

Overall, residential sales over $1M declined 14% annually, while luxury sales over $4M fell 22% year over year in 2023. One home over $10M was sold in Montreal last year.

Single-family and attached home sales over $1M declined 14% and 6% year over year, respectively, while condo sales in the price range experienced a more pronounced 21% drop.


Meanwhile, Vancouver’s luxury market experienced a “dramatic transformation” as consumers shied away from amenity-lacking condos, and zeroed in on single-family abodes.

While overall residential sales over $1M were relatively stable, experiencing a 5% annual decline, luxury sales over $4M increased 8% year over year, and sales over $10M soared 43% above 2022 levels.

Residential sales over $4M ended the year 8% above 2022 levels, while sales over $10M soared 43% annually, due in part to a third-quarter uptick. Overall residential sales over $1M declined 5% annually.

Single-family home sales over $4M rose 14% year over year, while ultra-luxury sales over $10M were up 36%. In comparison, condo sales over $4M declined 36% annually, and only one unit with a price tag above $10M changed hands.


Month after month, Calgary proved to be the outlier of Canadian real estate in 2023, emerging, in the words of Sotheby’s, as an “unwavering beacon of economic strength and luxury real estate performance.”

The city’s strong economy and affordable properties continue to attract Canadians from pricier provinces, resulting in record-setting net interprovincial migration that bolstered the housing market throughout 2023.

“Calgary is really leading the way in Canada’s luxury markets,” Kottick said. “It was full steam ahead last year, and they are well poised for 2024.”

Overall residential sales over $1M jumped 13% annually in 2023, on the heels of a 16% increase a year prior. Within the price range, single-family and attached home sales increased 12% and 14%, respectively, while condo sales over $1M climbed 26% year over year.

Nine properties over $4M were sold in 2023, up from six a year prior. In line with 2022, no homes over $10M were sold.

Looking at the year ahead, Kottick sees the same seizure of opportunity on the part of purchasers, although their motivation is now an attempt to secure a good deal before interest rate cuts begin.

“Once rates actually come down, I think you’re going to see a flood of buyers coming back, which will put more pressure on the market again,” Kottick told STOREYS. “But there’s a general consensus right now that rates have already stabilized, and that’s brought some optimism to the markets. We kind of view it as cautious optimism, you know, going into 2024.”

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