Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

January 31, 2006 08:00 ET

CENTURY 21 Canada $1-Million-Homes Survey: Winter 2006

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 31, 2006) -

- Long-term housing market helps more Canadians move into $1-million homes

- No changes in sight for economy and consumer confidence impact on housing market

Increases in home prices over several years have enabled more and more Canadians to "move up" to where they are - or will be in the near future - buying and selling homes priced at $1 million, according to an analysis by CENTURY 21 Canada.

Don Lawby, President of CENTURY 21 Canada, says housing markets across the country are remaining strong this winter supported by a growing national economy that continues to provide income growth, low unemployment and relatively low mortgage interest rates.

"The consumer confidence that is creating today's housing millionaires is based on strong economic fundamentals - and I can't see it changing anytime soon," Lawby said. "More and more Canadians are using the equity that has accumulated in their homes to move up market."

CENTURY 21 Canada conducted a national survey of 115 neighbourhoods and communities in 43 markets over 10 provinces. From the survey, CENTURY 21 Canada compiled comparative lists for what $1 million would buy in urban downtowns, in urban central neighbourhoods, in the suburbs, in small cities and towns and in selected recreation areas.

WHAT CAN YOU BUY FOR $1 MILLION ACROSS CANADA?

For example, the following comparisons of what $1 million will buy in urban central neighbourhoods this winter reveals a wide range of price levels across the country - from a plain and comfortable home in Vancouver to a package of a luxury home in Regina and a summer cottage on a nearby lake.

Urban central neighbourhoods

In the comfortable Dunbar neighbourhood on the west side of Vancouver, $1 million this winter will buy a three-bedroom, four-bathroom 3,000-square-foot detached character home on a 5,000-square-foot corner lot with a two-car garage, hardwood floors and a garden (listed at $950,000).(1)

In the Calgary neighbourhood of Britannia, near downtown and the Calgary Golf and Country Club, $1 million this winter will buy a four-bedroom, three-bathroom 2,500-square-foot two-storey home on a 13,500-square-foot lot with multiple fireplaces, hardwood floors, security alarm, french doors and a large deck with a view off the master bedroom (listed at $1 million).

In the Regina neighbourhood of Wascana View, near Wascana Park, $1 million this winter will buy a package consisting of a three-bedroom, four-bathroom 3,700-square-foot bungalow on a 14,700-square-foot lot with media room, central air conditioning, four fireplaces, a four-car garage, hardwood floors, a pool with an indoor entrance, a security system, vaulted ceilings, in-floor heating, and granite counter tops (listed at $735,000). Plus, a 1,000-square-foot cottage with a guest house, a boathouse and dock and 108 feet of waterfront on Pasqua Lake, 45 minutes from Regina (listed for $229,900).

In the Bayview area of Toronto, $1 million this winter will buy a four-bedroom, two-bath 1,800-square-foot detached home with central air conditioning, a one-car garage and hardwood floors (listed at $999,000). This charming older home rests on a 0.5-acre lot, suitable for building a larger home, in an area surrounded by $1-million homes.

In the Rockcliffe Park area of Ottawa, near the Governor General's residence and several embassies, $1 million this winter will buy a four-bedroom, 31/2-bathroom 2,500-square-foot detached home on an 11,000-square-foot landscaped and treed lot with a two-car garage, pool, security system, hardwood floors, central air conditioning and a fireplace (listed at $1.1 million).

In the prestigious hilltop neighbourhood known as Mount Pleasant, five minutes from downtown Saint John, New Brunswick, $1 million this winter will buy a package consisting of an 11-bedroom, 81/2-bathroom 7,000-square-foot mansion on 1.4 landscaped acres. This is a well-kept Queen Anne-style brick and concrete home with a magnificent grand foyer, precision woodwork, high-moulded ceilings, stained-glass windows, and a two-car carriage-style garage with loft (listed at $800,000). Plus, a 1,446-square-foot executive townhouse in the city center, with views of the harbour and an easy stroll uptown (listed for $199,900), ideal as a rental property.

Strategies: Buying and selling $1-million homes in winter

CENTURY 21 Canada says strategies for buying and selling $1-million homes will depend on whether such prices are common or unusual in a specific market.

"The higher the relative price of the home, the fewer buyers are available," says Lawby. "Buyers and sellers of high-end homes should work with brokers who have a track record in this segment of the market and who have the networks necessary to market these homes to a large number of realtors and consumers or to find special homes for special buyers."

"Each high-end home has a personality. To sell a high-end home, a broker must find a buyer with a matching personality. Similarly, if the broker is working with a buyer, the objective is a home that suits the personality of the buyer," says Lawby.

Buying and selling a $1-million home in the depths of a Canadian winter has some special challenges.

"Since there is less activity in January and February, it works in the buyer's interest because there are fewer buyers in the market and sellers are more likely to negotiate on price," says Lawby. "If you are a seller, there is no best or worst season to put your home on the market. You put your home on the market when you decide you want to sell - and you need to price it right for the market at the time."

Other tips for selling a home in the winter are to ensure the heating system is ship-shape and the sidewalks and driveway are cleared of snow. "If a prospective buyer sees some condensation on the windows or if snow banks prevent a thorough tour of the property, you are hurting your chances of getting your price," says Lawby. "It is also a good idea to have summertime photos handy to show the landscaping features of the property."

Other selected comparisons from the CENTURY 21 Canada $1-Million-Homes Survey include:

Seaside

In East Saanich, B.C., a few minutes from Victoria on the Saanich Peninsula, a 10,000-square-foot lot on the ocean shore of Haro Straight opposite the San Juan Islands in the State of Washington (listed at $995,000).

Fifteen minutes from Charlottetown, P.E.I., a package consisting of 106 acres of land with 5000 feet of ocean shore (listed at $425,000), plus a five-bedroom, six-bathroom 3,800-square-foot home in downtown Charlottetown with multiple fireplaces, a two-car garage, hardwood floors, a hot tub, vaulted ceilings, a view of the harbour, and a two-bedroom self-contained suite with separate entrance (listed at $495,000).

Urban downtown

In Yaletown in downtown Vancouver, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom 1,500-square-foot high-rise condo penthouse suite with panoramic views, chandeliers, multiple fireplaces, a three-car garage, hardwood floors, hot tub, and five balconies (listed at $1.16 million).

A Calgary three-level 2,300-square-foot executive townhome on the Bow River in downtown Eau Claire with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, four decks, a hot tub off the master bedroom, custom office furniture, hardwood floors, fireplace and double indoor parking (listed at approximately $1.1 million).

At Harbour Front in downtown Toronto, a two-bedroom, three-bathroom 1,400-square-foot two-level condo penthouse suite with panoramic views, two terraces, high ceilings, underground parking and fireplace (listed at $1.06 million).

A package consisting of a 1,400-square-foot, five-year-old condo, a five-minute walk from the subway, in the Grandview area of central Toronto, near a community centre and health club. The condo has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony, parking and access to a gym and pool (listed at $407,000). Plus, a 1700-square-front cottage on five acres with 300 feet of shoreline on John's Bay in Muskoka with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a large dock and sun deck (listed at $595,000).

On Rue St. Paul in Old Montreal, a three-bedroom, 21/2-bathroom 2,400-square-foot two-level condo penthouse suite with an 800-square-foot terrace with panoramic views, two dens, two garages, two fireplaces, hardwood floors, high ceilings, air conditioning and several recent interior upgrades (listed at $949,000).

In the downtown peninsula of Halifax, a package consisting of a condo at Armoury Square, surrounded by historical landmarks, green space and opposite the Commons Fountain, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, 1,600-square-feet, high ceilings, hardwood floors, and designed to reflect the area's rich heritage (listed at $500,000). Plus, a five-bedroom two-storey Victorian heritage home 10 minutes from downtown built in 1891 for the auditor general of Nova Scotia. Each bedroom has a private bath. It currently operates as a bed and breakfast, but can serve as a home. It includes a view, landscaped yard, security system, whirlpool, wheelchair access, and hardwood floors (listed at $470,000).

Suburbs

A four-bedroom, four-bathroom 5,500-square foot detached home in Blainville, 30 kilometres northwest of downtown Montreal, near train transportation, with central air conditioning, chandeliers, multiple fireplaces, a three-car garage, landscaped garden and grounds, hardwood floors, and a hot tub (listed at $999,000).

A package consisting of a five-bedroom, three-bathroom 4,300-square-foot 21/2-storey home on 6.6 acres in the town of Wolfville, home of Acadia University, near the Bay of Fundy, 80 kilometres north of Halifax, with a two-car garage, garden, hardwood floors (listed at $775,000). Plus, an 1,800-square-foot 21/2-storey home on 19,000-square-foot lot that has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, ideal as an investment property (listed at $225,000).

Recreation

A four-bedroom, three-bathroom 3,500-square-foot detached home on a 1.2-acre lot with 197 feet of frontage on Lake Masson in the rural community of Esterel, in the Laurentians of Quebec, north of Montreal. The home has central air conditioning, multiple fireplaces, hardwood floors, gardens, and a double Jacuzzi in the master bedroom (listed at $995,000).

A package consisting of a five-bedroom, three-bathroom 3,000-square-foot ski in/out chalet, also near golf courses, at Sun Peaks Resort, 45 minutes northeast of Kamloops, B.C. in the North Okanagan Valley, with central air conditioning, multiple fireplaces, a two-car garage, hot tub, vaulted ceilings, granite countertops and custom kitchen (listed at $910,000). Plus, a two-bedroom 800-square-foot condo in Kamloops (listed at $82,900).

More information on the CENTURY 21 Canada $1-Million-Homes Survey and photos are available on the Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership website at www.century21.ca/press/.

CENTURY 21 Canada

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership is a real estate franchisor with exclusive rights to the CENTURY 21 brand in Canada and is part of the world's largest residential real estate sales organization. CENTURY 21 provides comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for the CENTURY 21 System, which is comprised of more than 7,600 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 38 countries and territories, with more than 141,000 sales associates worldwide. CENTURY 21 Canada is the only organization to offer customers AIR MILES® reward miles on real estate transactions. For more information, visit the award-winning CENTURY 21 Canada website at www.century21.ca.

(1) Listing prices, lot sizes and square footage are rounded. For specific detailed information on these homes and properties, please refer to the $1-Million-Homes Survey Data Table found on the CENTURY 21 Canada website at www.century21.ca/press/.


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