$12M Calgary listing bucks trend in luxury real estate

Luxury property sales in the area are down 36%

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The Manor House in the Aspen Estates in Calgary is shown in this undated handout photo. Luxury home sales in Calgary have taken a hit this year but that isn't preventing the listing of a $12.5-million home. (Southeby’s/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Manor House in the Aspen Estates in Calgary is shown in this undated handout photo. (Southeby’s/The Canadian Press)

CALGARY – Luxury home sales in Calgary have taken a hit this year thanks to slumping oil prices, but that isn’t preventing Sotheby’s from listing a $12.25 million home today.

The asking price for the 10,000-square-foot home, owned by Calgary developer Jim Quinn, is the highest the city has seen since 2009, says Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Listing agent Corinne Poffenroth says she’s confident the mansion can sell despite Calgary seeing a 36 per cent drop in sales over the past year for homes priced at more than a million dollars.

“We’re not expecting a typical buyer,” Poffenroth said in an interview.

“Purchasers at this (price) point are not as impacted by day-to-day shifts in oil and gas or the economy. They’ve typically made their millions, and usually we find these buyers are paying in cash.”

The home in the Aspen Estates neighbourhood, developed by Quinn’s company, features a two-storey, seven-car garage, an enclosed galleria leading to a carriage house, two powder rooms, and a 1,200-square-foot patio.

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The listing arrives on the market as luxury home sales have dropped from three per cent of total sales last year to 2.8 per cent so far this year while also making up a greater portion of listings, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board.

“There’s just more choice in that segment of the market,” said Lurie. “It just points to the fact that there’s just generally less activity.”

The sales-to-listing ratio for homes in the million-plus range — which is an indicator of the health of the market — is at 26 per cent now, compared with 40 per cent last year, Lurie added.

Completed sales of luxury homes are also down. As of the end of July, 15 homes had sold for more than $2.5 million compared with 23 homes last year. Of those, only one was sold for more than $4 million compared with three last year.

Jim Sparrow, a Calgary real estate agent with Royal LePage, says “it’s obviously a little darker on the horizon than it was a year ago.”

“It’s really not surprising,” he added. “There are people that just think the market’s going to go lower, and there’s fewer people coming into Calgary.”

Nonetheless, the abundance of listings isn’t resulting in lower prices being paid for luxury homes in Calgary, says Poffenroth.

“We haven’t seen the drastic price reductions some of the buyers were expecting to see,” said Poffenroth.

Home sales could pick up in the fall after the typically slow summer season, especially as buyers tire of waiting, she added.

“Buyers are sick of waiting around for the price reductions that aren’t happening,” said Poffenroth.

She said foreign buyers might also consider buying into the Calgary market with the drop in the Canadian dollar, adding she’s been getting more international inquiries.

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