Paul Liberatore

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Stunning drone footage hypes Toronto and Vancouver luxury real estate


Toronto’s ongoing real estate boom is rivaled by Vancouver’s, a situation Canada’s federal housing agency is concerned with.

“In Toronto, overall strong evidence of problematic conditions reflects a combination of price acceleration and overvaluation,” says a recent report from the CMHC. “We are also monitoring for the potential emergence of overbuilding in Toronto due to the high number of condominium units under construction. Inventory management therefore continues to be necessary to make sure that these condominium units under construction do not remain unsold upon completion.”

In select parts of Canada, a million dollars doesn’t go a long way. But the rest of us can dream, right?

The use of drones to show off pricey real estate has given rise to a kind of “house-porn” that was previously unavailable. Forget glossy magazines that “romance the kitchen”, today anyone who can find their way to YouTube can get up close and personal with a $10-million crib.

And while the idea of an unmanned aerial vehicle snooping around your city may bring to mind a dystopian Blade Runner-like future, their use is completely legal, if they weight less than 25 pounds. Heavier than that, and Transport Canada says you will need a permit, something that isn’t that hard to get: more than 1500 permits to operate a drone were handed out between 2010 and 2013.

The kind of footage that drones can get is often nothing short of remarkable, and for real estate agents it’s really effective. Colliers says a recent video of a commercial property in North Vancouver has nearly 1500 views, far more than the 20 or 30 the real estate agent says it would normally get for such a property.

“It’s a completely different perspective,” says Windsor realtor Paul Rouillard. “They can see the complete area, and they can see the entire property all around in a 360-degree view.” Rouillard says he is now getting sales that are almost entirely the result of drone footage, a result that ironically may not bode well for his chosen profession in the years to come

“They didn’t even see the property and they wrote an offer on the property right away, just from the virtual tour,” he told CTV recently about one sale. “It ended up being sold a few days later.”

In some cases, drones have turned selling real estate into an art form. That might not have been the express intention of the person who grabbed this footage, but who wouldn’t want to live in a city that looks like this?


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