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Canadian Recreational Property Prices Forecast to Rise 4.7%

  • Low inventory results in 7.2 per cent price gain in Ontario’s cottage country
  • Despite spring flooding in Quebec, prices are projected to remain strong (5.6%)
  • Prices in British Columbia’s soft recreational property market forecast to remain stable while sales continue to decline

TORONTO, June 6, 2019 – Recreational property in Canada saw healthy price gains leading up to the 2019 spring market, rising 5.0 per cent to $411,471 compared to the previous year.[1] Royal LePage is forecasting another year of solid gains (4.7%) as high demand in Ontario and Quebec continue to put upward pressure on prices, offsetting softer market conditions in British Columbia. Low inventory in Ontario and weak demand in British Columbia were the primary drivers of a decline in Canadian recreational property sales (-8.3%).

In most of the country, young families are competing with baby boomers for homes in popular recreational property regions.

“With the youngest baby boomers a decade away from retirement, and their older peers well on their way, we are seeing robust demand for cottage, cabin and chalet-style retirement properties,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage.

“Young families have traditionally made up a significant portion of the demand for recreational property, as they look to create a special place for children to grow up,” Soper continued.  “Today they find themselves having to compete with their parents for that spot on the water, with boomers leveraging the significant equity from their existing urban homes. In Ontario and Quebec, this has resulted in exceptional demand and upward pressure on prices. In Western Canada, it has supported demand and stabilized prices.”

Both Ontario and Alberta saw greater aggregate price increases than other provinces, rising 7.2 and 10.2 per cent, respectively. Alberta’s increase was largely due to an 11.4 per cent pickup in the larger market of Canmore, with mostly healthy single digit gains elsewhere in the province.

Royal LePage forecasts the aggregate price of a single-family home in recreational regions in Canada to increase by 4.7 per cent by spring 2020, rising from $411,471 to $429,714.[2]

Most provinces witnessed a year-over-year decline in recreational property sales. While a lack of inventory to meet demand resulted in a sales decline in Ontario, British Columbia’s sluggish sales mirrored trends in the province’s residential real estate market. The exception was Quebec, which experienced a 6.3 per cent year-over-year sales increase in single-family properties in reporting recreational communities as supply met demand. 

Regional Summaries 

Atlantic Canada

Buyers looking to Atlantic Canada to purchase a recreational property can expect to find good selection this spring at affordable price points. Over the past year, the aggregate price of a single-family home in reporting recreational regions rose 5.9 per cent to $257,965 compared to the year prior. Waterfront recreational properties in the region are among the most affordable in Canada, with the median price for a waterfront single-family home sitting at $363,335.

“The affordability in the Atlantic region, particularly Halifax, continues to draw Canadians to the area for both recreation and retirement,” stated Marc Doucet, broker of record, Royal LePage Atlantic. “You’d be hard-pressed to find as much variety of recreational homes and unique landscapes.”

Royal LePage is expecting home prices in recreational regions to be stable over the next twelve months. The aggregate price of a single-family home is forecast to rise 0.7 per cent over the next year to $259,671. 


Both sales and prices were up in the province’s recreational regions, reflecting the overall health of the economy. The aggregate price for a single-family home in the province’s reporting recreational regions rose 4.5 per cent to $194,315. With a good supply of inventory to meet demand, sales increased 6.3 per cent, well above the national average, which decreased 8.3 per cent.

“Quebecers are benefitting from one of the healthiest economies in the country right now and are confident investing in real estate and long term projects, including recreational property,” explained Dominic St-Pierre, vice president and general manager, Royal LePage, for the Quebec region.

Despite the floods that affected several regions in the province this spring, demand for recreational properties is expected to remain strong, with experts forecasting a 4.4 per cent increase in sales activity over the next twelve months. Over the same period, Royal LePage is forecasting the aggregate price of a single-family home in the province’s recreational region to rise 5.6 per cent to $205,148.

“The increase in sales activity is driven by Quebec’s job market strength, where the unemployment rate in April sat below 5 per cent for the first time since 1976. Salaries continue to rise in the province due to full employment, providing further consumer confidence,” said St-Pierre. “We are also noticing a surge of buyers between the ages of 40 and 60 looking to enjoy the cottage lifestyle and spend more time with the family.”


Although sales are down 7.9 per cent among reporting recreational regions across the province, the aggregate price for a single-family home rose 7.2 per cent to $393,253. The reason most often cited by Royal LePage recreational property experts for the price increase is low inventory, as retirees compete with young families looking to get away from the city.

“In Muskoka, we are seeing people in their 50s and 60s cashing out with significant amounts of money, as well as those who are coming into money and want to get out of the rat race,” said Bob Clarke, sales representative, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka. “A 300-foot lot on southern Lake Joe once would be about $1.6 million. Now, if I found one west-facing it would likely be $3.0 million. That puts pressure on 100- and 200-foot lots.”

Demand is high in the province and buyers have not been put off by late spring weather, rain or even flooding. Royal LePage is expecting the aggregate price of a single-family home in the province’s recreational regions to rise a further 8.0 per cent over the next twelve months, rising to $424,905. 

The Prairies

Reporting recreational property regions in the Prairies saw softening in both prices and sales over the past year as the aggregate price for a single-family home decreased 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $194,147 and sales dipped 3.4 per cent during the same period. Royal LePage recreational property experts cited the region’s soft economy, which has limited families’ ability to purchase secondary properties, as the primary driver for the decline in both sales and prices.

In Saskatchewan’s popular Christopher Lake, Emma Lake and Candle Lake, the median price of a single-family home decreased 11.7 per cent compared to last year.

“We’ve had an economic downturn in our region, and this has affected lake properties. We are seeing fewer listings, which is creating some balance despite the slowdown in sales,” said Lou Doderai, owner and broker, Royal LePage Icon Realty. “Properties are selling but sellers are waiting a little longer.”

In Manitoba’s Interlake Area, both single-family home prices and sales have remained stable compared to last year as prices remained flat while sales dipped 1.8 per cent.

“Good affordability and proximity to Winnipeg has sustained demand and supported home prices in the region,” said Tyler Bucklaschuk, sales representative and broker, Royal LePage JMB & Associates. “Buyers are seeking access to beautiful lakes while still getting good internet reception and other conveniences. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Royal LePage forecasts single-family home prices in the Prairies’ recreational regions to decrease a further 3.1 per cent to $188,101 over the next year. However, softening prices are expected to spur some activity, and sales may increase over 2.0 per cent for the same period. 


Driven by price gains in Canmore, the largest reporting region in Alberta, the aggregate price of a single-family home in recreational regions rose 10.2 per cent to $819,583. The aggregate price in the province is expected to increase 2.4 per cent in 2020.

Although sales in Canmore were flat compared to the same period last year, the median price of a single-family home in the region increased 11.4 per cent year-over-year to $930,000.

“We are seeing good demand in most segments of the market, including retirement, local, and recreational,” said Brad Hawker, broker and owner, Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty. “While most buyers already know about the year-round recreational activities and lifestyle, many are surprised to find the area with so many cultural opportunities and how incredibly welcoming Canmore is for new residents of all ages.”

While Canmore saw the largest year-over-year price gains, single-family homes in other reporting regions saw healthy single-digit gains. 

British Columbia

Recreational property in British Columbia is showing significant softening compared to last year as sales decreased 22.5 per cent in reporting recreational regions and all regions posting a decrease. While the aggregate price of a single-family home is relatively flat (0.4%) compared to last year, Royal LePage recreational property experts in the region are citing reduced sales volumes in the lower end of the market skewing the median price upwards. Over the next year, the aggregate price is forecast to increase an additional 1.7 per cent in 2020.

“While demand has softened across the recreational property market, low inventory has kept prices stable,” said Gregg Hart, broker and owner of  Royal LePage In The Comox Valley. “Mt. Washington had a good snow year and sales on the mountain were well ahead of last year. The inventory on both Denman and Hornby Island is very low, which is pushing prices higher just as the selling season gets going.”

Hart added that there is a good selection of waterfront properties currently on the market in the Valley and most of the buyers have been from the Lower Mainland.

The most popular region for buyers in British Columbia is the central Okanagan region where the median price for a single-family home decreased 3.0 per cent to $640,000 compared to last year.

“While sales are down, buyers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Vancouver are still active in the Okanagan region,” stated Mark Walker, sales representative, Royal LePage Kelowna. “Despite a slowdown in the Alberta economy, there are some positives that help offset the challenges we see. Our population is growing, as is the tech sector. And it’s beautiful here.” 

National and Regional Recreational Price Chart (.PDF)

List of Royal LePage recreational property experts



Richard Potter, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Summitview Realty


Brad Hawker, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty

Pigeon Lake

Barbara Howey, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Parkland Agencies

Pine Lake

Dusty Smith, Associate Broker
Royal LePage Network Realty Corp.

Wabamun Lake and Lac St. Anne

Tom Shearer, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate


British Columbia 

Comox Valley

Gregg Hart, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage In The Comox Valley

Denman Island

Sylvie Schroeder, Sales Representative
Royal LePage In The Comox Valley

Gulf Islands

Janet Moore, Sales Representative
Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty

Mount Washington

Rick Gibson, Sales Representative
Royal LePage In The Comox Valley

Central Okanagan

Mark Walker, Sales Representative
Royal LePage Kelowna

North Okanagan

Monty Davis, Managing Broker
Royal LePage Downtown Realty

100 Mile House

Melvyn Grahn, REALTOR®
Royal LePage 100 Mile Realty

Sunshine Coast

John Mckenzie, Real Estate Agent
Royal LePage Sussex


Patrick Kelly, President/Owner
Royal LePage Black Tusk



Bruce Peninsula

Paul Annett, Sales Representative
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage

Haliburton Highlands

Anthony vanLieshout, CRA, Broker of Record
Royal LePage Lakes of Haliburton, Brokerage

Honey Harbour

Laurie Belsey, Broker
Royal LePage In Touch Realty, Brokerage

Kawartha Lakes

Rhonda Bischoff, Branch Manager
Royal LePage Frank Real Estate, Brokerage

East Kawarthas

Gail Burton, Sales Representative
Royal LePage Frank Real Estate, Brokerage

Land O’Lakes

Chris Winney, Broker
Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty, Brokerage

Meaford, Thornbury, & Collingwood

Rich Crouch, Broker/Manager
Royal LePage Locations North, Brokerage


Bob Clarke, Sales Representative
Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka – Clarke Muskoka Realty, Brokerage

Orillia & South Muskoka

Stewart R McNeely, Broker of Record
Royal LePage Real Quest Realty, Brokerage

Parry Sound

David Kingshott, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Team Advantage Realty, Brokerage

Rideau Lake

Pauline Aunger, Broker of Record
Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate, Brokerage

St. Joseph Island & Lake Huron

Carl Thomas, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Northern Advantage, Brokerage

Southwestern Ontario

Fred Lobb, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Heartland Realty, Brokerage


Alex Dumas, Broker
Royal LePage North Heritage Realty, Brokerage




Jessica Vaillancourt and Martin Gauthier, Real Estate Brokers
Royal LePage Humania
jvaillancourt@royallepage.ca | marting@royallepage.ca
819-808-9807 | 819-681-9857


Pierre Vachon, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Humania


Christian Cyr, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Village

La Jacques-Cartier

Marc Bonenfant, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Inter-Québec

Laurentians (Mont-Tremblant and surroundings)

Paul Dalbec, Manager
Mont-Tremblant Real Estate, a division of Royal LePage

Les Appalaches

Mélissa Roussin, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Pro

Les Pays d’en Haut

Éric Léger, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Humania


Guylaine Pelletier, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Habitations, Real Estate Agency


Christian Longpré, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Au Sommet


André Mayer, Manager
Royal LePage Vallée de l’Outaouais


Sandra Tremblay, Real Estate Broker
Royal LePage Inter-Québec



Shediac, NB

Norah Higgerty, Sales Representative
Royal LePage Atlantic

Halifax, NS

Marc Doucet, Broker of Record
Royal LePage Atlantic

Avalon Peninsula, NF

Glenn Larkin, REALTOR®
Royal LePage Professionals 2000


Interlake Area, MB

Tyler Bucklaschuk, Sales Representative/Broker
Royal LePage JMB & Associates

Lac du Bonnet, MB

Tammy Beutel, REALTOR®
Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate

Lake Manitoba, MB

Warren Neufeld, Broker of Record
Royal LePage Portage Realty

Christopher Lake, Emma Lake & Candle Lake, SK

Lou Doderai, Broker/Owner
Royal LePage Icon Realty


About the Royal LePage Recreational Property Survey

The Royal LePage Recreational Property Survey polled 48 Royal LePage recreational property professionals, including REALTORS® and brokers, in the represented regions. Each respondent compiled data regarding median prices and unit sales, and shared insights and forecasts for regional recreational market trends.

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 more than 18,000 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 interviews or photos for media use, please contact:

Angela Pinzon
Kaiser Lachance Communications

[1] Actual (2018, 2019) values reflect twelve month periods ended March 31st.

[2] Forecast reflects twelve month period ended March 31st, 2020.