St. John’s Real Estate Luxury Homes in demand

January 28, 2014 · Filed Under Downtown St. John's, Market Trends, St. John's Condos, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

Growth continues unabated in St. John’s luxury home market, with demand reaching unprecedented levels yet again in 2013. Residential sales over $500,000 broke the existing record in 2013, with 172 units changing hands compared with 161 in 2012, representing a seven per cent increase over one year ago. With approximately 220 listings available for sale, the upper end remains firmly in buyer’s market territory. Yet, the softer conditions have served to invigorate activity, as buyers are enticed by favourable selection and good value for their dollar. Rising fortunes have also bolstered high-end sales.

St. John's real estate

The buyer pool at the upper price points has increased in recent years due to several factors, including strong equity gains, rising incomes, population growth, an increase in skilled and professional jobs, solid business and capital works investment, as well as an expanding natural resources sector. All have contributed to strong underlying confidence in the future of St. John’s and its residential housing market. Activity remains steady, with the bulk of activity occurring between $500,000 and $800,000, with buyers split between older, established neighbourhoods and newer areas. Sunset Gardens, just 10 minutes outside the city, will be a new community to watch in 2014, as builders release a number of lots, with starting prices anticipated to be in the $600,000 range.

Given an oversupply in the condominium market,the number of new units coming to market has been limited, and particularly so at the upper end. One or two projects, involving high-end units, may be announced this year, which could help lift sales in this segment.  On the whole, however, condominiums remain a minute portion of the high end market.  Place Bonaventure Condominiums, King Edward Court and The Narrows remain among the city’s most prestigious luxury condominium addresses. The most expensive property sold in 2013, at $1.5 million, involved a 3,220 sq. ft. condo on Duckworth Street with an unobstructed view of the St. John’s Harbor. The most expensive listing currently available is a 6,000 sq. ft. historic property on Kings Bridge Road priced at $1.8 million. Those interested in the condominium life style can snap up the city’s most exclusive listing, the Penthouse at Elizabeth Towers, for $999,900, which comes with a scenic 1,100 sq. ft. patio.

Infill continues to occur on a sporadic basis throughout the city, but lots in established neighbourhoods remain few and far between. Some have come up in Churchill Square around the $450,000 price point, with custom builds bringing combined property and home values closer to $1.2 million, when complete. With the Newfoundland economy continuing on a growth trajectory in 2014, the upper-end is expected to remain healthy, as luxury sales match or exceed year-ago levels. While some price adjustments are still occurring, properties that are listed at fair market value are garnering interest. Overall, prices will remain stable or post modest growth year-over-year, depending on location.