Balance returns to recreational property markets across Canada this year, says RE/MAX



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, 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.
    "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 year's past, will still command top dollar."
    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.
    "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."
    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
conditions here.
    "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."

    
    Other highlights:

    -   Alberta's red-hot economy has helped boost recreational property
        markets in British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, and some parts of
        Ontario.
    -   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:
    http://files.newswire.ca/348/REMAX_report_2008.pdf

    RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 18,000
sales associates in more than 656 independently-owned and operated offices.
The RE/MAX franchise network is a global real estate system operating in over
65 countries. More than 7,000 independently-owned offices engage over 110,000
member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations,
experience and production while providing real estate services in residential,
commercial, referral and asset management. For more information, visit:
www.remax.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada, (905) 542-2400; Eva Blay, Melissa Lucas, Point Blank Communications,
(416) 781-3911


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