According to Statistics Canada, Alberta is home to 50.4 per cent of the top 10 per cent of earners, based on tax files. The province also made up 12.7 per cent of the country’s top one per cent of tax filers, second to Ontario and followed by British Columbia.
Agents already serving the luxury home market in Alberta, meanwhile, are not likely surprised: the high-end markets in both Calgary and Edmonton are on track to surpass the number of million-dollar properties sold in 2013.
“We have seen this trend throughout 2014,” said Greg Steele, president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton. “Almost two per cent of the single-family dwellings sold last month were over a million dollars. Compare that to last October where less than one quarter of one per cent of the sales was over a million.”
But it’s not just buyers who are benefiting from the consumer confidence that comes with strong – though moderating – oil prices. Developers, too, have begun to converge on the province, targeting the nouveau riche.
One Vancouver-based developer, for example, is building The Concord in Calgary’s prestigious Eau Claire district. Billed as Calgary’s most luxurious condominium complex, the waterfront building has suites starting at $1 million for a 1,050-square-foot home, and going up to $13 million for a 6,000-square-foot penthouse suite, which is also outfitted with a four-car garage and a private patio that can host 300 people.
“The offering just came to market recently,” Julie Dempsey, an agent with Sotheby’s International who is selling The Concord, told REP in September. “But the trend is that they’re selling from the top down, so some of our most expensive homes are selling fastest.”
Agents looking to break into the high-end home market might have an easier go in the province housing much of Canada’s oil production – and half of Canada’s top 10 per cent of earners.