RE/MAX released its upper-end market trends report on Tuesday and says demand for luxury homes in the country is on the rise particularly in Western Canada.

The report takes a look at luxury sales and trends in 16 major Canadian housing markets over the last year and includes; Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London-St. Thomas, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton-Burlington, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Greater Montreal, Halifax-Dartmouth and St. John’s.

"Canada's luxury housing market has undergone serious transformation in recent years, setting a new standard for lifestyles of the rich and famous," said Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "High-end homes are commanding top dollar in blue chip neighbourhoods from coast to coast. Condominiums are hitting price points that rival single-detached homes. The market is maturing and the appetite is unprecedented."

The report also outlines growth in market activity over the past five years and suggests that accelerated demand is pushing it into double and triple digits.

Highlights from the RE/MAX Upper End Report include:

  • 75 percent of markets experienced year-over-year percentage increases in sales
  • Eight markets posted double-digit gains in luxury sales in 2013

o   Greater Vancouver  36 percent
o   Calgary at 34 percent
o   Edmonton at 32 percent
o   Hamilton-Burlington at 31 percent
o   Kitchener-Waterloo at 27 percent
o   Winnipeg at 26 percent
o   Greater Toronto at 18 percent
o   Saskatoon at 15 percent

  • Over two-thirds of markets set new records for high-end sales in 2013

o   Calgary
o   St. John's
o   Quebec City
o   Greater Toronto
o   Hamilton-Burlington
o   Kitchener-Waterloo
o   London-St. Thomas
o   Winnipeg
o   Regina
o   Saskatoon
o   Edmonton

  • Increase in Luxury sales since 2009:

o   Regina up 288 percent
o   St. John's up 219 percent
o   Winnipeg up 189 percent
o   Hamilton-Burlington  up 173 percent
o   Saskatoon up 157 percent
o   Greater Toronto Area up 147 percent
o   Greater Vancouver up 125 percent
o   Calgary up 115 percent
o   London-St. Thomas up 90 percent
o   Ottawa up 86 percent
o   Edmonton up 81 percent
o   Quebec City up 76 percent
o   Montreal up 61 percent

The report shows that a number of factors contributed to the upswing in luxury homes sales including; a relatively low interest rate last year,  substantial equity gains in Canadian real estate markets, stellar performance in US equities and improving economic conditions.

Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton were the country's top three high-end markets in 2013.