Blog by Daren Gull, Realtor

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Sotheby's Expansion to Banff and Canmore

CALGARY - Sotheby's International Realty Canada is expanding its luxury real estate brand to other parts of Alberta, the Herald has learned.

Ross McCredie, president and chief executive of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, said the Calgary office, which opened in June of last year, has been a smashing success and now the firm has plans to expand its presence in the market.

"That office is performing incredibly well ... Right now we have about 30 people. We probably won't add much more to the Calgary operation," said McCredie.

"We are going to be opening very shortly in Canmore and we'll have a marketing/gallery office in Banff opening very shortly as well. We are currently in discussion with a number of people in Edmonton and we're actively looking for locations in Edmonton right now."

The company is targeting some time in 2013 for the opening of an Edmonton office.

The luxury home market in Calgary has been booming with no signs of letting up.

The city experienced a record-breaking month in October with 51 MLS sales of properties over $1 million in Calgary, which was the most ever for an October, and that pushed year-to-date sales in the luxury market to 459, one more than previous record set in 2007 for the entire year.

Last year, there were 35 luxury home sales in October and year-to-date in 2011 there were 395 sales in the luxury market up to the end of October.

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, the following are the highest sales for luxury homes outside of this year: 2007 - 458; 2011 - 446; 2008 - 369; and 2010 - 365.

"Talk of fiscal cliffs and budget deficits has done nothing to curb Calgarian's appetite for luxury homes with sales still going strong in November," according to Mike Fotiou, associate broker with First Place Realty, on his blog.

"Between November 1-20, there have been 29 single family homes sold in Calgary for a million dollars or more. That's on pace to set a record high for the month of November, after already setting an October high last month and a total record high earlier this year in May."

Recently, it was announced that 360 VOX Corporation has acquired the real estate businesses known as Sotheby's International Realty Canada, Sotheby's International Realty Quebec and Blueprint Global Marketing.

"It really elevates our platform," said McCredie of the merger.

360 VOX is a publicly-traded company, incorporated under the laws of Ontario and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. It is engaged in the business of managing and developing international hotel, resort, residential and commercial real estate projects.