Would your ultra-wealthy clients buy this home?

By Staff | January 20, 2017 | Last updated on January 20, 2017
5 min read

Major luxury developer Bruce Makowsky, who’s known for designing high-end homes in the U.S., has unveiled a brand new $250-million home. The new 38,000-square-foot home, located in Los Angeles, has set the record for the country’s most expensive home ever listed for sale—the property also boasts an additional 17,000 square feet of entertainment decks, including master and VIP guest suites, luxury bathrooms, gourmet kitchens and an 85-foot glass tile infinity swimming pool, among other features.

Read: Do celebrity properties sell faster than regular homes?

Makowsky seeks to develop luxury real estate that exceeds the demands of even the super wealthy. He says, “This home was curated for the ultimate billionaire who wants the best of everything. Until now, the ultra-luxury market was void of homes that even came close to matching the level of mega-yachts and private jets that billionaires spend millions of dollars on every year.”

Read: Wealthy investors want new strategies

The home took more than four years to complete and a crew of 250 people.

Read: In U.S., expect mortgage rates, home sales and prices to rise

But, more Americans looking at Canadian real estate

American interest in Canadian property has risen following Donald Trump’s election win, according to data released today by Royal LePage. It finds more Americans are conducting research into real estate markets across the nation.

Read: Home prices to slow down from biggest annual gain in a decade

Royal LePage says U.S. web traffic on royallepage.ca, the company’s real estate portal, has been highly correlated to recent political events; U.S.-originated sessions surged 329% the day after the November election, and climbed 210.1% year-over-year the week after Trump’s victory.

Further, looking at the full month of November, the company says U.S. web traffic grew 73.7% year-over-year, when compared to the same period in 2015. This trend continued throughout the remainder of 2016, with American web traffic rising by 40.9% year-over-year during Q4 2016.

And, according to a Canada-wide survey of more than 1,000 real estate advisors, U.S. interest in Canadian real property will continue to climb, with 39.5% of respondents forecasting American inquiries will rise after Trump takes office. In the fourth quarter of 2016 – of which November and December are traditionally quieter times for North American real estate activity – 15.6% of the advisors polled received inquiries from south of the border.

Read: CMHC hiking mortgage loan insurance premiums for homebuyers

Regional stats

During the fourth quarter of 2016, American interest was primarily focused on Canada’s largest markets, with Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec receiving 72.7% of all U.S. regional pageviews generated on royallepage.ca.

Those looking to purchase Canadian real property were largely interested in the country’s residential market, with three quarters (75.2%) of all American inquiries pertaining to this market segment, says Royal LePage.

Read: Clients own B.C. property? Determine value as of July 1st

The interest of U.S. persons isn’t a surprise, says Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer, Royal LePage. “Americans have traditionally been the largest foreign cohort of recreational property purchasers in Canada. [But], with our country’s ever-growing global reputation as a financially sound, […] culturally tolerant place […], it’s not surprising that interest has moved from [Canada being] a place to play to potentially being a place to live and work.”

He adds, “Our federal government is seriously considering increasing the quota of new Canadians welcomed from abroad, and with the high value of the U.S. dollar increasing Americans’ purchasing power”,” we may see more U.S. persons crossing the border.

Key highlights include:

  • Ontario led the country as the top-researched destination by Americans on royallepage.ca in the fourth quarter of 2016, with 41.4% of U.S. regional pageviews directed toward the province. Over the same period, Ontario listings received a significant boost in U.S. pageviews, rising 54.5% this year over last.
  • According to the survey, 62.5% of real estate advisors polled in Ontario cited the Greater Toronto Area as the most desirable location for U.S. parties making inquiries into a home purchase since October 2016, while just over two-thirds (67.2%) pointed to the GTA as the region in which Americans purchased the most property over the same period of time.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2016, British Columbia accounted for 17.4% of U.S. regional pageviews, while also showing a 62.9% increase year-over-year. Victoria garnered the most attention among B.C. cities from prospective U.S. home-buyers, being cited as the preferred location by approximately one third (32.1%) of respondents. In comparison, one quarter of respondents cited Greater Vancouver.
  • S. traffic to Royal LePage’s Quebec listings accounted for 13.9% of the total website sessions logged across provinces in the fourth quarter of 2016, and showed a 17.6% increase in U.S. pageviews, year-over-year.
  • Despite accounting for a smaller percentage of U.S. website traffic provincially, Atlantic Canada saw the highest percentage of sales inquiries from Americans since October 2016 (7.4% in Nova Scotia; 5.7% in New Brunswick; 2.3% in Prince Edward Island; and 2.1% in Newfoundland and Labrador). In fact, during the fourth quarter, Royal LePage’s data showed a year-over-year increase in U.S. website sessions of 180.4%, 125.5%, 53.4% and 41.7%, respectively, for the provinces.
  • Provinces affected by recent economic downturns saw minimal interest from American buyers, with U.S website sessions for Alberta accounting for only 7.6% of the total, for example. The survey showed that, of those interested in Alberta, Calgary (54.6%) and Edmonton (27.3%) were cited by respondents as receiving the most interest from potential U.S. buyers.
  • The other provinces in the Prairies saw the least amount of interest by prospective American homeowners since October 2016, with only 1.6% of U.S. website sessions being associated with Manitoba and 0.5% with Saskatchewan. According to survey respondents, of the U.S. buyers interested in these provinces, Americans mostly inquired about property purchases in Winnipeg (50%), Saskatoon (20%) and rural Saskatchewan (15%).

Royal LePage polled 1,226 real estate advisors across Canada between January 12 and 17, 2017. Each respondent was asked to complete a survey composed of questions regarding their region of expertise and observations and beliefs pertaining to U.S. interest in Canadian real estate since the 2016 presidential election.


Is mortgage fraud on the rise?

REITs could return up to 10.5% in 2017, despite higher rates

Pressure points for U.S. commercial real estate

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.