“There’s more money around today than there’s ever been in the high-end market” flowing in from the Middle East, China and Asia, says luxury agent Malcolm Hasman. Hasman, who’s on track to rack up $200 million in sales this year, just sold a penthouse suite at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel and the unit below it to a Middle Eastern royal for $40 million — a new Canadian record, Bloomberg News reports.

Although Canadian home sales have posted gains for six months in a row, some analysts are skeptical. One called the strong housing numbers a “dead cat bounce,” as economic growth is slowing and unemployment remains above historic norms.

Canadian household debt, including mortgages and credit cards, is among the highest in the world, at 163.4 percent of disposable income. That compares with 91.9 percent in the U.S., down from a peak of 112.7 percent in 2009. Julien Reynaud, desk economist for Canada at the International Monetary Fund, thinks household debt will keep a lid on consumption. Source: bloomberg.com

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