Luxury residential real estate in North America - Statistics & Facts

North America is home to most of the wealthiest individuals in the world, which means that there is also a high demand for luxury homes in the United States and Canada. The region alone has almost 75,000 ultra high net worth individuals, several times more than any other region in the world. A survey of private bankers and wealth advisors from across the world found that the average ultra high net worth individual in North America owned 2.7 homes.

In terms of property prices worldwide, with the exception of New York City, most major cities in America are less expensive than many notoriously expensive major cities in Europe, such as London, Paris, and Zurich. Meaning that for most of the United States, purchasing a luxury home would be more affordable than doing so in Europe. Across the world, an increasingly large share of luxury homes is being purchased using traditional financing methods rather than cash purchases, suggesting that high-end homes are attracting more domestic buyers, who are less likely to buy in cash than foreign buyers, or that competition among buyers has increased, as sellers usually prefer cash for its simplicity and expediency.

There is a significant disparity between the costs of a luxury home or apartment across different regions and cities in the United States. While the average rent in a high-end apartment in Manhattan was around 4,400 U.S. dollars per month in 2018, a luxury apartment in Detroit, Michigan can be rented for as low as 1,650 dollars a month. In places like Silicon Valley, where there has been a significant amount of economic growth in the past decade, the share of homes valued at one million U.S. dollars or more has tripled or quadrupled. In 2012, only about 20 percent of homes in San Francisco, California were valued at a million dollars or more, a figure that grew to 66 percent in 2017.

In Canada, over 3,500 luxury homes were sold in Toronto in the first half of 2018, more than any other Canadian city; whereas the highest year-on-year growth for luxury home sales was reported in Montreal, which grew by 24 percent in 2018.

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