Even as Canada’s housing sector fizzles, the U.S. is seeing a very strong comeback in its bubble-ravaged residential real estate industry.
Home prices in the U.S. jumped a whopping 9.3 per cent in the year to February, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.
It’s a clear sign that the U.S.’s half-decade-long housing slump — which wiped billions from household balance sheets — is finally coming to an end.
Things have been particularly strong at the top end of the U.S. market. Forbes magazine recently declared the country has entered “the era of $100-million homes.”
“I’m at the point where I’m calling this a new category of housing,” Miller Samuel CEO Jonathan Miller told Forbes. “It is something that’s come of age in the past two years in response to global economic turmoil, where wealthy individuals are looking for ways to invest, and ultra-high-end real estate seems to be the asset of choice.”
When it comes to $100-million homes, the same cardinal rule of real estate still applies, Forbes says: Location, location, location. A house has to be located in one of the U.S. most expensive zip codes in order to break the $100-million barrier.
But pedigree also matters.
“A home tied to an esteemed public figure can offer unique bragging rights, even when the connection isn’t a happy one, as with Casa Casuarina, the $100 million Miami Beach mansion where Gianni Versace was murdered on the front steps,” Forbes reports.
The top end of Canada’s housing market is nowhere nearly as opulent (or as dramatic). Even though home prices in Canada are about 62 per cent higher, on average, than U.S. house prices, the most expensive home for sale in Canada, the last time HuffPost checked, was listed for only $28.8 million.
We use the world “only” loosely here, of course.