Hong Kong overtook London as the world’s top luxury real estate market in 2016, as the city-state saw continued demand from wealthy Chinese buyers despite hefty stamp duties, according to a report released Wednesday by Christie’s International Real Estate.

London, which topped the “Luxury Index” for the previous four years, dropped to second place partly due to tax hikes and Brexit-related uncertainty, according to Christie’s annual report on 100 prime property markets worldwide.

Meanwhile, Toronto replaced Auckland, New Zealand, as the hottest performing prime property market in the brokerage’s “Luxury Thermometer” rankings, which measures the pace of growth. Toronto showed sales of million-dollar-plus homes almost doubling over a year period.

Other major findings in the report include:

  • Overall, the global luxury real estate market trended slightly upward last year, with sales increasing 1% and prices growing 2%.
  • For the first time ever, the world’s top-10 reported residential property sales were all priced above $100 million, and sold for more than $1.3 billion in aggregate, with an average sales price of $131 million.

  • Hong Kong registered four residential sales above $100 million in 2016 and set a world record with a $270-million home sale.
  • Miami dropped to 10th place from seventh in 2015 in the Luxury Index, which measures the actual state of the market. The city’s luxury market was hit by a decline in sales, an influx of new development condos and a steep increase in inventory.

  • Canada’s Toronto and Victoria, British Columbia, claimed the top two spots in the Luxury Thermometer rankings. New additions to this year’s top 10 Luxury Thermometer list include Charleston, South Carolina; Paris, France; Austin, Texas; and San Diego, California.


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