A recent survey by RE/MAX found that more than half of Canadian millennials are in the market for a recreational property, and now it looks like prices are on the rise.
The survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents discovered that recreational property prices went up in 74% of Canadian markets. Compared to 2018, median prices of recreational properties, waterfront residences, non-waterfront residences, homes with water access, and ski-in properties increased 7% overall.
"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. "And ultimately the reasons for the contrast between urban and recreational markets are diverse. Activity is being driven by strong employment and economic conditions, but it's also being influenced by millennial buyers who find themselves squeezed out of the less affordable urban market."
In Ontario, recreational property prices increased 8% year-over-year. Properties with water access in places like Collingwood and Blue Mountain saw median prices going up as much as 36%. The Haliburton waterfront area saw prices increasing nearly 30%. The only areas in Ontario with price drops were Manitoulin Island, French River, and Rideau Lakes Region.
RE/MAX found that 40% of all Canadians are in the market for a recreational property, with 64% wanting the property so they can relax with friends and family. Well over half want to use it as a getaway home, while 43% want a recreational property so they can partake in activities not possible at their primary residence.
Less than a third of Canadians in the market for a recreational property are considering it for investment purposes. Perhaps this number will change now that the news is out that prices are on the rise. Only 20% are considering a recreational property for retirement, which makes sense since these types of properties typically require a lot of maintenance.
We got a little chuckle out of the statistics regarding willingness to travel. Just over half of Canadians are willing to travel up to two hours to get to their recreational property, and only 22% are willing to travel three hours or more. This is kind of funny because if you live in downtown Toronto or a neighbouring suburb and plan on driving up to Muskoka or Tobermory on a long weekend, have fun sitting in traffic for around three hours or more.
Some of the top criteria for people looking for a recreational property included affordability (61%), reasonable maintenance costs (46%), waterfront access (45%), and proximity to town (44%).
We wonder if there’s any correlation between the increasing summer temperatures and the desire for a waterfront property.