If a record has been broken, chances are that Liza Kaufman of the Kaufman Group at Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec has something to do with it. Her latest sale – a prestigious Ritz-Carleton penthouse in Montreal – set a new record as the highest recorded MLS condominium sale in Quebec’s history. The 6,979-square-foot penthouse was listed Oct. 5 for $12.9 million and sold less than three months later for $11 million.
Kaufman was a listing broker for the Ritz-Carleton Residences when it first hit the market in 2008/09. The residences are atop and beside the original 1910 Ritz-Carlton hotel. This suite was nicknamed Rockstar by the developer because the two-storey residence is the finest in the building.
Rockstar has unbeatable views of the mountain, Golden Square Mile and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The three-bedroom, four-plus ensuite bathroom penthouse has a first floor dedicated to entertaining. There are dual living rooms with 25-foot ceilings and a formal dining room. The kitchen has a butler’s pantry and prep area. A guest suite with an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet are also on this level.
Access to the second level is via a stunning glass-and-steel staircase or private elevator. The main bedroom suite has a sitting area, walk-in closets, high ceilings and access to a private terrace with views. The residence has 1,578 square feet of outdoor terraces and 5,301 square feet of interior living space.
Ritz-Carleton Residences amenities and services include a spa, fitness centre, valet, concierge, doorman and porter. Condo owners also have access to hotel amenities, including a pool, room service, restaurant, concierge services and catering. The availability of hotel suites for overflow of visitors is another bonus.
The American buyer, who owns several properties, completed the deal virtually from his island home in the Caribbean. The buyer had expressed immediate interest when it hit the market and wanted the suite because it’s the best one in the building and the best in the city, and because he could afford it, Kaufman says. There was also interest from a European buyer and one local individual.
The suite appealed to mostly couples in their early 50s, formerly empty nesters “buying bigger places as the kids move home and they quarantine together,” she says.
What is significant about this sale, she says, is that the narrative has been that it’s been an active home market and condos have been active but have not been keeping up with the housing market. “But 2021 is starting off with a bang,” says Kaufman, who represented both the seller and buyer.
“Montreal is becoming a stronger emerging market,” says Kaufman, who also sold the highest priced home in Quebec during the pandemic. The approximately 10,000-square-foot home in Golden Square Mile was listed for $20 million and sold for $18 million.
“Even during COVID, for us to break records shows Montreal is the next best place to invest. Montreal never attained the prices of Toronto and Vancouver but unlike those two cities does not have taxation for foreign buyers.”
She says she noticed the Quebec market starting to change when she sold the Chinese consulate in Quebec. It was listed for $9.5 million in 2010 and sold for $8 million.
“Montreal’s residential real estate market showed great strength throughout 2020,” says Daniel Dagenais, managing broker of Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec in a news release. “Across both the conventional and luxury real estate markets, we experienced record setting sales. According to the latest statistics released for the Montreal census Metropolitan area by our real estate board, the median price of residential condominiums was projected to be up well over 10 per cent in 2020.”
“In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the performance of the Canadian real estate market well surpassed consumer and industry expectations in 2020, signalling strong consumer confidence in our country’s market fundamentals,” says Don Kottick, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in a news release. “While the condominium market is expected to balance in 2021, this record sale illustrates that demand for top-tier luxury condominiums remains substantial. Sold to a U.S. buyer, this transaction also demonstrates that there is significant demand for Canadian real estate from local, national and international buyers.”
Kaufman, a founding partner of Sotheby’s Quebec network and the Kaufman Group built her local and international network over the last 15 years.
“I always knew I wanted to be in luxury real estate…. I heard about Sotheby’s and (knew the company was) the best home for the client base I wanted to build. Its online marketing was second to none and that was 15 years ago. No one has caught up.”
Update: The original version of this story said this was the second time Kaufman had sold the suite, which is incorrect.