AS REAL ESTATE PRICES REMAIN HIGH IN CANADA’S URBAN CENTRES, YOUNG FAMILIES ARE LOOKING FOR UNIQUE WAYS TO FINANCE THEIR DREAMS OF RECREATIONAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP.
In a recent survey conducted by Leger, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Canadians with children under the age of 18 indicated they would consider selling their primary residence in the city in which they live in order to purchase a cottage, cabin or ski chalet. Other options that these potential buyers are willing to consider include fractional ownership in a shared property, purchasing a recreational property with a friend or family member, and renting out the recreational property they purchase on a vacation rental website such as AirBnB.
In a separate survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents, 73 per cent of regions indicated that young families with children were a key driver of demand in their market, including established recreational regions such as the Okanagan Valley in B.C., Canmore, AB, Collingwood, ON and the Laurentians in Quebec. Retirees were also a key driver of demand across Canada, with more than half (55 per cent) of regions surveyed reporting an increase in retiree buyers this year compared to last year. Continued high real estate prices in regions like Toronto and Vancouver have led to large numbers of retirees and Baby Boomers nearing retirement to sell their homes and put the equity they received from the sale into the purchase of a recreational property. This has in turn resulted in the price appreciation that we’ve seen in popular recreational property markets such as Whistler in B.C. and Haliburton in Ontario.
The RE/MAX survey of brokers and agents found that 39 per cent of regions experienced an increase in demand from buyers leaving either the GTA or B.C.’s Lower Mainland compared to last year. More local markets such as Salt Spring Island, located a few hours away from Vancouver and the Kawarthas in Ontario, experienced significant increases in demand as a result of this trend. Regions as far away as Ottawa’s Rideau Lakes Region and P.E.I’s north and south shore also received a boost from buyers leaving the GTA who are looking for great value on properties further out from the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In Leger’s survey of Canadians, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of millennials (18-34 years old) expressed interest in purchasing a cottage, cabin or ski chalet in the next 10 years. A quarter of respondents also indicated they would consider purchasing a recreational property as an investment vehicle to help finance retirement. At the same time however, many millennials feel that high real estate prices in the city in which they live will negatively impact their ability to buy a recreational property in addition to owning a primary residence.
To overcome this gap between demand and affordability, many Canadian millennials are willing to turn to unique financing methods to help purchase a recreational property. Nearly half (44 per cent) of millennials said they would purchase a property with a family member, while 39 per cent would purchase a property and rent it out using a vacation rental site such as AirBnB. Additionally, over a quarter of young Canadians (age 18-34) said they would consider selling the primary residence in which they live, while one in five millennials said they would consider both fractional ownership of a shared a property or buying with a friend.
LOCATED NEAR THE SOUTHEAST BOUNDARY OF BANFF NATIONAL PARK,
just over 80 kilometres west of Calgary, Canmore offers a Rocky Mountain playground to recreational property buyers. Climbing, hiking, skiing and golf are just a few of the many outdoor activities that draw recreational property buyers to this vibrant mountain community year-round.
Retirees seeking an active lifestyle are an important driver of demand in Canmore’s recreational property market. The town’s amenities, along with its proximity to an international airport and good healthcare services, make it an attractive option for these buyers.
With limited space for new developments, inventory is currently at the lowest point it’s been in Canmore in the last 15 years. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future as proposed development projects await approval from the relevant provincial and municipal bodies. As a result, prices are expected to continue to rise in the region in the coming years.
TO THE WEST OF ALBERTA’S CAPITAL ARE SEVERAL COMMUNITIES THAT PROVIDE
city-dwellers with all-season recreational fun. Outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and swimming on the area’s many lakes in the summer, as well as snowmobiling and skiing in the winter, draw buyers to the region. Properties on Isle Lake, Lac Ste Anne and Wabamun are in demand among buyers looking for waterfront properties. Young couples, families and retirees drive demand for recreational properties in the region.
The ongoing downturn in the oil sector has had a dampening effect on the region’s recreational property market in recent years. There has, however, been strong demand for the new Estates at Waters Edge development project, with sales taking off in the last two years. The most expensive property sold in the region this year was a three-bedroom home with an indoor pool, steam room, exercise room and walkout basement, which sold for just over $1 million.
SITUATED HALFWAY BETWEEN CALGARY AND EDMONTON, SYLVAN LAKE
is very popular for recreational property owners as well as tourists. Less than a two hour drive from Alberta’s two largest cities, city dwellers can escape to one of Canada’s top 10 beaches and enjoy the northern lights.
Sylvan Lake is the perfect location for those who are looking for a four season property near lots of amenities and activities.
This luxury region offers fabulous restaurants, lake cruises, water activities, and golf as well as ice fishing and snowmobiling.
Boating enthusiasts will enjoy the Sylvan Lake Sailing Club’s weekly races across the lake.
Demand for recreational properties in central Alberta has received a boost this year as Canadians who bought properties in the U.S. when the dollar was high are selling these homes and returning to Canada. The most expensive property sold in Sylvan Lake this year to date was a three-bedroom, waterfront property in Jarvis Bay
that sold for $1.6 million.
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