Toronto's luxury condo sales surge despite market, Sotheby's International says

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Mark Blinch/Reuters

Greater Toronto Area home sales may have hit a slump but a new report suggests Toronto's luxury condominiums are being gobbled up faster than ever by wealthy buyers willing to shell out over $1 million for apartments in the sky.

Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty, says there are different subsets of buyers responsible for the 98 per cent spike in luxury condo sales.

"People are looking for an alternative to single family homes," Henderson said. 

He calls them "right sizers": people who are "moving from very large format homes to a smaller environment where they don't have as much maintenance."

Henderson says the people who are part of this trend are not only first-time buyers interested in centrally-located apartments with a view but also baby boomers with lots of equity who are looking to downsize. 

The data also indicate an even bigger boom amongst even bigger spenders.

According to Sotheby's Top-Tier Real Estate Report, sales of properties listed for over $4 million went up 150 per cent in the GTA compared to this time last year.

"The buyers and sellers of those properties are less concerned about macro-economic policies because housing represents a small amount of their disposable income," Henderson said.

Adam Parsons, a broker with Bosley Real Estate Ltd., represents properties in some of Toronto's wealthiest neighbourhoods. He says these buyers are unaffected by any lull in the current market. 

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