The idea of a millennial buying a cottage may sound odd when you say it out loud, but it’s actually becoming way more common than you think.
According to the 2019 RE/MAX Recreational Property Omnibus Survey, 56% of Canadian millennials are considering buying a recreational property. This is a 14% increase compared to last year.
In 2018, it was reported that 91% of recreational markets surveyed said that baby boomers were the primary drivers of the market, but clearly there’s a shift happening. More millennials (33%) see a recreational property as an investment opportunity, compared to baby boomers (28%).
"We are finally witnessing the long-anticipated generational shift of purchasing power from Baby Boomers to Millennials," says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "With the high cost of urban living taking many young homebuyers out of those markets, more Millennials are turning to recreational properties as a viable option for home ownership."
When looking to buy a recreational property, 61% of Canadians say affordability is the most important factor. Other top considerations include reasonable maintenance costs, waterfront access, and proximity to town. RE/MAX found that those in Ontario placed a higher importance on proximity to town, as well as access to medical facilities.
"This new buyer demographic comes with a different lifestyle and property criteria than those of their Boomer counterparts," says Alexander. "Factors like Internet connectivity, recreational activities and proximity to towns with urban conveniences are becoming a more important selling feature."
We found it odd that only 64% of Canadians consider their recreational property a place to relax and spend time with friends and family. What else are they using these properties for? Maybe the other 36% are renting them out? And only 58% consider their recreational properties as getaway homes. If it’s not a getaway home, then you might be doing it wrong.
Another finding we found interesting was that only 43% of Canadians said they partake in activities at their recreational properties that are not possible at their primary residence. Why have a recreational property if you’re just doing the same thing as you’re doing at home? Baby boomers are more guilty of this than millennials, with only 38% of boomers partaking in activities not possible at their primary residence, and 50% of millennials doing so.
"Owning a recreational property is all about liveability – those crucial criteria, such as the great outdoors, access to water, mountains and community that improve our overall quality of life," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "It's not surprising to see more Millennials pushing into the recreational property markets. Recreational living is very much aligned with this generation's quest for work-life balance and is representative of a growing trend of Millennials choosing to make recreational properties their primary residence."