KELOWNA, BC, June 10 /CNW/ - After an extended period of extraordinary
growth, more balanced market conditions have emerged in recreational property
markets across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Recreational Property Report found that a substantial increase
in the supply of recreational properties listed for sale, combined with fewer
buyers overall, characterized most recreational markets this year. Of the 45
markets surveyed, 91 per cent (or 41 markets) were in the transition stage,
moving from strong sellers into balanced market conditions. The only
exceptions were Salt Spring Island, two markets in Saskatchewan - Last
Mountain Lake and Qu'Appelle Lakes and Lakes Candle, Emma, and Waskesiu - and
Newfoundland's East Coast - where inventory levels were relatively low.
Affordability was a primary factor in 35 per cent of markets surveyed, given
serious upward pressure on recreational values in recent years.
"We're coming off the longest period of economic expansion since World
War II," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western
Canada. "Recreational property values have appreciated beyond our wildest
dreams across the country. More balanced market conditions are a welcome
change for purchasers."
Adverse winter weather conditions during the first four months of the
year hindered recreational activity. Sixty-seven per cent of markets reported
softening in the number of sales year-to-date, while average prices remained
stable or experienced moderate increases over 2007 levels for the same period.
Economic concerns, fueled by negative GDP growth in the first quarter and
soaring energy costs, have also played a role in the transitioning market.
"Market conditions have shifted, but don't expect to see bargain basement
prices or fire sales," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and
Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "The recreational market
continues to experience solid demand - a trend that is expected to continue
throughout 2008. The influx of new listings has yet to translate into downward
pressure on recreational property prices. Prime waterfront properties, while
more plentiful than in years' past, will still command top dollar."
For the first time in many years, in fact, a good selection of
entry-level waterfront is available in markets across the country. Eighteen
per cent of those surveyed offer properties under the $200,000 price point,
including; Central South Cariboo in British Columbia; Parry Sound, East
Kawarthas and Kingston in Ontario; Summerside, PEI; South Shore, Nova Scotia;
Shediac, New Brunswick; and the East Coast of Newfoundland.
Recreational property buyers also found themselves divided between two
borders this year. The housing market meltdown in the US combined with a
Canadian dollar at par created serious investment opportunities for secondary
properties in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California. Some of those very same
factors have spurred American recreational property owners in Canada to list
their properties for sale, with many looking to take advantage of ideal market
"Many Canadians are capitalizing on market conditions in major American
centres," says Polzler. "For some purchasers, the move is strictly a
short-term investment strategy with a pay-off at the end of the day, while for
others, retirement is the main objective."
The report also found that younger buyers were a factor in 40 per cent of
recreational markets surveyed.
"Baby boomers are clearly not the only purchasers that appreciate the
recreational lifestyle," says Ash. "Generation X is quickly becoming a force
in the marketplace, spurring demand for condominium product on ski hills,
oceanfront properties in good surf locales, and water frontage on trendy lakes
with celebrity residents."
- Alberta's red-hot economy has helped boost recreational property
markets in British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, and some parts of
- Affordability is prompting buyers to consider back lots, riverfront,
condominiums, hobby farms and leased land.
- Some purchasers looking to secure an exit strategy are buying
recreational properties or secondary homes in residential
neighbourhoods in close proximity to the water's edge.
To view the full RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2008, click here:
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For further information:
For further information: Elaine Langhout, RE/MAX of Western Canada,
(250) 860-3628; Eva Blay, Melissa Lucas, Point Blank Communications, (416)