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Luxury homes selling at record pace

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439 luxury homes — 406 single-detached homes and 33 condominiums — changed hands in the city last year.

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439 luxury homes — 406 single-detached homes and 33 condominiums — changed hands in the city last year.

Luxury homes — properties valued at half a million or more — are selling at a record pace in Winnipeg, with sales up 26 per cent in the last year and a whopping 189 per cent in the last five years, according to a new report from Re/Max Canada.

In its Upper End Report released today, the real estate firm said 439 luxury homes — 406 single-detached homes and 33 condominiums — changed hands in the city last year. That compared with 349 in 2012 and 152 in 2009.

The most expensive property sold last year was a newer detached home on the river in Charleswood which went for a cool $2.2 million.

"Affluent purchasers including executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and professionals are driving demand for single-family homes over the $500,000 price point, while empty nesters and retirees are setting new records for high-end condo sales," the company said.

It said sales of luxury condos almost tripled last year, climbing by more than 150 per cent from the 13 that sold in 2012. The priciest one to change hands in 2013 was a nearly 3,000-square-foot unit on Waterfront Drive which sold for $1.3 million.

Not surprisingly, the upper-end homes in the greatest demand are those at the lower end of the luxury-homes price range — ones valued at between $500,000 and $600,000, Re/Max said. They accounted for almost half of last year’s high-end sales.

However, there were also 25 million-dollar-plus properties that changed hands — two more than in 2012.

"Given the positive economic outlook for Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba overall, healthy demand should continue to exist for upper-end properties in 2014," it said, "while values are expected to appreciate at a slower pace, in large part due to a modest uptick in inventory levels."

The burgeoning demand for luxury homes in Winnipeg is part of a national trend which saw sales of upper-end homes increase last year in 75 per cent of the 16 Canadian cities included in the Re/Max report. Eight of the cities saw double-digit gains, with Vancouver leading the way with a 36 per cent increase.

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