Buyers Seize Opportunities in Flourishing Recreational Property Market

2015 Recreational Property Report from Royal LePage shows stronger demand nationwide

Toronto, ON, June 4, 2015 – For the second consecutive year, the recreational property market got off to a slow start in 2015, as harsh weather delayed sales activity in most regions until well into the spring buying season. Brokerages and agents that specialize in cottage, cabin or chalet properties are now experiencing a rush of activity as buyers make up for lost time, according to the 2015 Royal LePage Recreational Property Report released today. Unlike 2014, when the extended winter dampened total sales volumes, increased activity levels in mid to late spring 2015 show that buyers had merely delayed purchase decisions this year versus putting them off entirely. The exception to this is in Alberta, some border areas of eastern B.C. that cater to Albertans, and in Newfoundland, where a depressed energy sector has reduced activity levels and put downward pressure on prices.

The Royal LePage Recreational Property Report compiles information from a cross-Canada survey of brokers and agents who specialize in the recreational real estate market. Advisors across the country are reporting a surge of interest from buyers who have already absorbed a good deal of the available inventory, including many listings that sat unsold last year. In spite of another long winter, buyers have come out in droves in late spring, encouraged by asking prices that have remained relatively flat, year over year. However, brokers warn that prices could begin to climb again as new inventory has not kept up with sales volumes.

“The dream of recreational property ownership is very much alive and well across the country,” observed Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “Dominated primarily by buyers in their 40s and 50s with families, these are people who are seeking to re-create the idyllic weekends and summers of their youth. Looking ahead, many see their current weekend getaway as a future full-time residence, both as a base for ‘work from home’ arrangements as they become empty-nesters, and onward into retirement.”

“Today’s low interest rate environment has supported discretionary, aspirational purchases in a number of sectors,” continued Soper. “Our agents that serve the urban luxury home market have been extremely busy this year. Further, adult Canadians have accumulated considerable wealth. They are buying luxury automobiles and products like expensive smartwatches in record numbers. While a cottage is clearly a non-essential purchase, in many ways it’s less selfish, as the benefits of a country get-away accrue to the entire family.”

“In a roundabout way, the fall in oil prices is supporting the recreational property market this year,” concluded Soper. “Cheaper gasoline makes the prospect of a weekend commute to the lake a more affordable proposition. And cheap oil means a lower Canadian dollar, which has more people looking at Muskoka, Tremblant and the B.C. interior and fewer casting covetous glances at Florida and Arizona. We are even seeing money making its way north, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, as the strong U.S. currency has increased American buying power.”

The 2015 report shows that all property types have experienced a strong start to the recreational property buying season. Consistent with previous years, the demand for waterfront properties continues to produce the greatest price appreciation. Experienced agents are quick to point out that waterfront is finite and there is only so much property to go around.

While each community has its own unique characteristics, the brokers and agents who specialize in the sector agree fully on one important factor when searching for a recreational property: the need to do your homework before purchasing. From understanding shorelines to septic systems, owning a cottage is a different proposition to that of a city property. Each region has its own regulations that cover renovations; your ability to rent the property to others; and environmental obligations. While banks will provide financing to purchase a second residence, the requirements and loan terms will be different. It is highly recommended that buyers take their time to assess what is most important to them, from commute times to sun exposure to affordability. To do all this, it is essential to engage an agent that specializes in the local recreational property market who can walk buyers through the complex process.

The Royal LePage Recreational Property Report is an annual market analysis of recreational property prices, trends and activity in select leisure markets across the country and the full report can be found here.

2015 Recreational Property Report

2015 Recreational Property Report Price Summary

The chart below shows the price range for standard recreational properties across Canada in 2015.

Area

Standard Recreational Property

Waterfront: Access by land

Waterfront: Access by water

Inland

Prince Edward Island

130,000 – 350,000

N/A

75,000 – 150,000

Newfoundland

150,000

200,000

100,000

Nova Scotia

405,000

300,000

180,000

New Brunswick

Fredericton

116,700

N/A

105,800 – 116,000

Perth & Rowena on Tobique River

200,000 – 400,000

N/A

100,000 – 150,000

Southeast New Brunswick

150,000

150,000

150,000

Québec

Eastern Townships

700,000

N/A

300,000

Lanaudière

250,000

N/A

125,000

Memphremagog

250,000 – 500,000

150,000 – 300,000

N/A

Mont-Tremblant

500,000 – 1,500,000

500,000 – 1,000,000

225,000 – 350,000

Ontario

Blind River

200,000

150,000

150,000

Bruce Peninsula

275,000 – 450,000

N/A

150,000 – 200,000

East Kawarthas

450,000

350,000

300,000

Haliburton Highlands

350,000

200,000

150,000

Honey Harbour

500,000

300,000

N/A

Kawartha Lakes

370,000

250,000

170,000

Land O’ Lakes

315,000

190,000

131,000

Meaford, Thornbury & Collingwood

416,000

N/A

474,000

Muskoka

540,000 – 700,000

390,000 – 450,000

175,000 – 210,000

Niagara-on-the-Lake

600,000

N/A

450,000

Orillia & South Muskoka

530,000

300,000

200,000

Parry Sound

350,000 – 450,000

300,000 – 400,000

275,000 – 350,000

Rideau Lake

265,000 – 450,000

175,000 – 350,000

150,000 – 200,000

St. Joseph Island & Lake Huron

175,000

150,000

125,000

Southwestern Ontario

280,000 – 1,400,000

N/A

168,000 – 750,000

Sudbury

200,000

160,000

100,000

Manitoba

Interlake Area – Lake Winnipeg

215,000

N/A

107,000

Grand Beach District

200,000

220,000

150,000

Lac du Bonnet

290,000

N/A

150,000

Lake Manitoba

175,000

199,000

155,000

Lake Winnipeg

260,000

N/A

100,000

Saskatchewan

Christopher & Candle Lake

420,000

N/A

210,000

Regina

300,000

N/A

130,000

Alberta

Canmore

1,000,000 – 2,000,000

N/A

650,000 – 1,000,000

Glennifer Lake & Pine Lake

370,000

N/A

310,000

Pigeon Lake

379,000 – 1,490,000

N/A

179,000 – 499,000

Sylvan Lake

1,000,000

N/A

350,000 – 500,000

Wabamun Lake & Lac St. Anne

280,000

525,000

225,000

British Columbia

100 Mile House – South Cariboo

260,000

N/A

100,000

Cranbrook, Sparwood, Kimberly, Fernie

800,000

400,000

300,000

Gulf Islands

100,000

35,000

50,000

Kelowna

1,000,000

300,000

300,000

Rathtrevor Beach & Horne Lake

154,000 – 270,000

280,000

244,000

Vernon

1,000,000

N/A

650,000

About Royal LePage 

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 16,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence.
Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

For more information visit: www.royallepage.ca.

For further information, please contact: 

Ray McIlroy
Kaiser Lachance Communications
647-680-8316
ray.mcilroy@kaiserlachance.com