Canada’s recreational property market appears to be bouncing back from a recessionary lull as buyers seek to capitalize on equity and stock-market gains, Re/Max says in a report Monday.
Demand rose 78% in the 46 markets across the country covered by the realtor’s Recreational Property Report, while sales had risen or were on par in 41% of those centres.
“Buyers who held off during the recession are back in recreational property markets from coast-to-coast,” says Pamela Alexander, chief executive of Re/Max for Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Their patience has been rewarded with more affordable recreational values and greater inventory levels.”
While prices have remained stable in many markets, values could be found for higher-end properties, pushing luxury sales higher in almost half of the markets examined, Re/Max said in its report.
Opportunities were also to be found in Western Canada.
“Prices are down as much as 20% from peak levels reported in 2006-2007, bringing ownership within reach to many potential purchasers,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of Re/Max in Western Canada.
On British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island, for example, starting prices for oceanfront properties have fallen to $669,000 today from $1.3-million in 2008.
In the North Okanagan Valley, a three-bedroom, winterized recreational property on a standard-sized waterfront lot — the common measures used in Re/Max’s report — that sold for $1.5-million in 2008 now sells for $995,000.
Starting prices for similar properties on Alberta’s Sylvan Lake are now at $800,000 from $1.25-million previously and in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Canmore, a two-bedroom condo has fallen to $229,000 from $320,000.
“The strengthening oil sector has . . . brought Albertans back into mix, driving demand for both local and coastal B.C. properties,” Ash said.
Another factor influencing the recreational property market has been that Americans who bought when the Canadian dollar was at 65 U.S. cents are now cashing out, boosting inventories.
The report found that there has been some tightening for entry-level properties in about one-third of the markets covered. As well, it noted, the supply of properties has tightened considerably at the lower end in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
It also noted that recreational properties are moving more toward year-round homes, with fewer traditional cottages available for sale.
“These waterfront properties are disappearing from the landscape. Meanwhile, today’s average recreational getaways are truly earning the distinction as the “home away from home,” with many of the bells, whistles and comforts of their residential counterpartshttp://business.financialpost.com/2011/06/13/recreational-property-markets-bouncing-back-remax/