Recreational homes prices are rising across most regions

The price of recreational homes across most Canadian regions are rising according to a survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents.

The Leger poll reveals that 74% of regions surveyed posted healthy year-over-year price gains; with a national gain of 7%.   

“In the mainstream urban housing market, we're seeing a marked contrast between Eastern and Western Canada, with the former showing promising gains while the latter is flat to negative. Meanwhile, the recreational market is strong across much of the country except in the Prairies, where the region's softer economy has kept demand low," says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

He added that activity is being driven by strong employment and economic conditions, but also by Millennial buyers who find themselves squeezed out of the less affordable urban market; 51% of Millennials are in the market to buy a recreational property, up 14% from a year ago.

Regional gains

British Columbia posted an 8% year-over-year rise in recreational home prices.

Those with homes in the Tofino market have seen a 35% increase in median price, unless they have a waterfront property with an eyewatering 80% increase in median price.

Ontario also posted an 8% gain with water-access showing a 35% gain while Atlantic Canada gained 7% over 2018 figures and well above the 0.13% price increase between 2017 and 2018.

The Prairies though, saw a 3% year-over-year decline in median price.

"There is little doubt that economic factors in the Prairies have affected demand in the recreational market," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "At the same time, BC's economy is still going strong and has experienced an increased interest in its recreational market in recent times."

Brokers are expecting conditions to remain strong into 2020 as Millennials use their spending power.

Other key findings

  1. 40% of all Canadians, and 56% of Millennials, are in the market for a recreational property;

  2. Canadians cite the following reasons to own or want to own a recreational property:

    • It is where I can go and relax and spend time with friends and family = 64%

    • It is a getaway home = 58%

    • I can do activities I can't do at my permanent residence (hiking, fishing, etc.) = 43%

    • It is an investment property = 30%

    • It is a retirement home = 20%

    • Other = 2%

    • 30% of all Canadians say they use or would use a recreational property as an investment opportunity with Millennials ranking highest among this group, at 33%, compared to Boomers at 28%

  3. More than half (54%) of Canadians who own or are considering owning a recreational property are willing to travel up to two hours, and 24% saying they would travel two hours. Slightly less (22% cent) are willing to travel three or more hours.

  4. Canadians identify the following features as important when considering their current recreational property or a future purchase of a recreational property:

    • Affordable purchase price = 61%

    • Reasonable maintenance costs = 46%

    • Waterfront access = 45%

    • Proximity to town = 44%

    • Reasonable distance from primary residence = 35%

    • Relative seclusion = 28%

    • Land access = 24%

    • Proximity to sports/recreation = 24%

    • Nearby neighbouring properties = 12%

    • Island property = 7%

    • Other = 1%

    • None, don't mind which features my recreational property has = 7%

    • Don't know/prefer not to answer = 7%

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