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What luxury homes look like across Canada

A new study by Sotheby's International Realty Canada of its high-end business suggests that $2-million is the entry price for 'luxury,' but this means very different things in different cities

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The study puts the average starting price for a 'luxury' home across Greater Vancouver at $2.8-million. Craftstman-style houses are popular - like this four-bedroom, 3,087-square-foot house in Point Grey, priced at $2.68-million.

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The study says that typical luxury homebuyers in Vancouver are in their 40s with children. Most have mortgages and most own other properties as well.

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In Calgary, the starting point for a luxury single-family home is $2-million - which buys a lot of space, at least 3,500 square feet. This house in the city's western suburbs, priced at $2.195-million, is over 5,000 square feet.

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"Traditional" style houses are popular among Calgary's luxury buyers, who are on average in their late 30s with school-aged kids. Eighty per cent of this group have family incomes over $500,000 a year.

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In Toronto, $2-million is the entry price to the "luxury" segment. Sotheby's sees two distinct segments of the market: one in central, exclusive neighbourhoods such as Forest Hill - where houses are relatively smaller - and less central areas with very larger houses. This one is in the latter category: located in the Hoggs Hollow neighbourhood, it is $5.495-million and over 7,000 square feet. (The agents describe it as 'palatial.')

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The large-house portion of the Toronto market is ruled by families with two to three children on average. "Luxury" homebuyers in Toronto earn over $100,000, and most have mortgages. About 25 per cent are foreign buyers.

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Montreal measures up with very high prices in this segment of the market. The study shows that luxury single- family homes here start at $3.5-million. This house in prime Westmount is right on that mark, with an asking price of $3.495-million.

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Montreal's buyers of luxury single family homes are generally 40 to 50 years old and wealthy - 80 per cent earn an income of $500,000 or higher, and less than 25 per cent buy with mortgages.

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Sotheby's classifies Victoria with 'lifestyle-driven communities' across the country including Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Typical buyers of high-end single family homes here are couples from their mid 40s to 60 years in age, with children. Most own more than one home.

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The study says that 50 per cent of luxury buyers in Victoria are using their houses as vacation properties. This house in Victoria, built in 1907, is over 6,000 square feet and priced at $1.475-million.

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Buying into the ski-resort markets of Sun Peaks, where this house is located, Whistler and Mont Tremblant will cost at least $1-million (though the minimum is $2-million in Whistler.)

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This house on a ski hill at Sun Peaks is priced at just under $1.4-milllon. Typical buyers for houses such as this are families with children in their 40s, mostly buying with mortgages and largely - over 80 per cent - Canadian residents.

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