Economic recovery fuels significant upswing in sales in Canada's recreational
property markets, says RE/MAX

79 per cent of markets report upward trending in recreational sales in 2010

LAVAL, QC, May 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Serious year-over-year gains have characterized sales in most major Canadian recreational property markets this year, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The 2010 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, highlighting sales, prices, trends and developments in close to 50 markets from coast-to-coast, found that 79 per cent of recreational areas reported an upswing in the number of properties sold during the first three months of the year. Starting prices for recreational product were also on the move, with 43 per cent posting a nominal increase. Inventory levels, with the exception of the coveted entry-level price point, were healthy and balanced market conditions prevailed in most areas.

"Rising consumer confidence levels and ideal conditions have clearly driven purchasers off the sidelines and into the market," says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. "Opportunities exist for savvy purchasers across the country at virtually every price point. Recreational property buyers in the mid-to-top end have a definite edge in the market, with greater purchasing power than in years past. Those in the lower end will find that there are more waterfront options available than ever before. "

Quebec offered up some of the most inexpensive recreational product in the country, with properties on popular Lakes Labelle, Trois-Montagnes, Nominingue and Simon starting at $175,000. Overall, the most affordable starting prices were found in: Newfoundland Coast, NL ($105,000), Shediac Bay ($230,000), and South Shore/North Shore, NS ($230,000 to $240,000) in Atlantic Canada; The Laurentians ($175,000) in Quebec; Prince Edward County ($200,000 - $250,000), Elliot Lake ($215,000), Parry Sound ($219,900), East Kawarthas ($225,000), and Bancroft ($235,000) in Ontario; and South Central Cariboo ($180,000), Lake Winnipeg ($250,000), Canmore ($270,000) and Ucluelet ($499,000 for oceanfront) in Western Canada.

"Strong economic recovery, combined with additional incentives such as rising interest rates, stricter lending criteria, and a new sales tax, have served to kick-start activity in recreational property markets from coast-to-coast," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Entry-level product is experiencing the greatest demand this year, as value-driven purchasers look to stretch their dollar as far as it will go."

The rebound in stock portfolios and greater stability in personal finances has added fuel to the fire. Baby boomers and Generation X - aged 35 to 55 years - are working in tandem as a result, snapping up modest properties located on prime waterfront. Despite the upward pressure on starting prices, the RE/MAX Report found that one in every four recreational property markets still offers winterized, waterfront product priced below $250,000.

"While sales have been strong out of the gate, the number of waterfront cottages, condominiums, and back lot properties sold in the first quarter still fall short of pre-recession levels," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "However, with peak season fast approaching, stimuli such as softer values, greater selection, and relatively low interest rates may prove difficult for recreational property buyers to resist."

Similar conditions existed in residential housing markets across the country last spring, setting the stage for heated second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009. Affordability was top of mind then, as it is now, with many prospective purchasers cautiously venturing into the market.

Highlights:

    
    - Sales of condominium units in Mt. Tremblant's Intrawest development
      have been brisk in recent months as prudent purchasers take advantage
      of softer values and lower interest rates.

    - The priciest recreational property listed for sale in the Eastern
      Townships sports a price tag of $7.9 million, while the most expensive
      country home in the Laurentians is offered at $11.9 million.

    - The most expensive recreational property markets included: Sylvan Lake,
      AB ($1.2 million); Vernon, BC in the North Okanagan ($1.15 million);
      Tofino, BC ($875,000); Cultus Lake/Harrison Lake, BC in the Fraser
      Valley ($800,000); Whistler, BC ($799,000) and Salt Spring Island, BC
      ($750,000).

    - Of the markets that experienced an increase in starting prices, half
      were value-priced, with winterized waterfront product available under
      $350,000.

    - Americans have virtually fallen off the map in Canadian recreational
      properties. Only Shediac Bay, where recreational property values are a
      fraction of those in the US, continues to draw eager purchasers from
      the eastern seaboard of the United States.

    - Bargain-priced properties in the Southern United States are still
      having an impact on Canadian recreational property markets, drawing
      some purchasers south of the border to areas such as California,
      Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

    - Pent-up demand will continue to prop up recreational property sales in
      markets from coast to coast this season, as buyers who sat on the
      sidelines in 2008 and 2009, finally enter the market, spurred on by
      better prices, good affordability, and economic recovery.
    

To view the complete RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2010, click here: http://media.remax-quebec.com/email/recprop2010eng.pdf

RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 17,500 sales associates situated throughout its more than 680 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 37th year, is a global real estate system operating in 80 countries. Over 6,450 independently-owned offices engage over 92,000 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.

    
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    Starting Prices for Recreational Properties*
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    Market                                 2008          2009          2010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British Columbia - Gulf Islands -
     Salt Spring Island(xx)          $1,300,000      $890,000      $750,000 -
                                                                   $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Comox Valley - Mt. Washington(xx)  $480,000 -    $500,000      $475,000
                                       $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver Island - Ucluelet(xx)    $649,000      $555,000      $499,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tofino(xx)                         $869,000      $789,000      $875,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fraser Valley - Cultus Lake/
     Harrison Lake                     $750,000      $450,000      $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Okanagan Valley - South Okanagan $1,000,000      $800,000      $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Okanagan/Shuswap-
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vernon                           $1,500,000    $1,200,000    $1,150,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shuswap                            $800,000      $800,000      $600,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central South Cariboo              $140,000      $135,000      $180,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whistler(xxxxx)                         n/a           n/a      $799,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Windemere                   $1,300,000    $1,200,000    $1,200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvan Lake                      $1,250,000    $1,125,000    $1,200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canmore(xxx)                       $320,000      $295,000      $270,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatchewan - Last Mountain
     and the Qu'Appelle Lakes          $300,000      $300,000 -    $400,000
                                                     $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba - Lake Winnipeg           $250,000      $300,000      $250,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Ontario - Lake Huron - Grand Bend  $350,000      $400,000      $425,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kincardine, Saugeen Shores         $500,000      $450,000      $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Parry Sound                        $180,000      $185,000      $219,900
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Elliott Lake                       $225,000      $225,000      $215,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Bay                          $300,000      $300,000      $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Haliburton                         $275,000      $240,000 -    $350,000
                                                     $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bancroft                           $225,000      $260,000      $235,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Apsley                                  n/a      $375,000      $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Combermere(xxxx)                        n/a           n/a      $200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Muskoka: Huntsville, Lake of Bays  $299,000      $300,000      $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Port Carling, Bala                 $500,000 -    $450,000      $450,000
                                       $550,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bracebridge, Gravenhurst           $400,000      $350,000 -    $325,000
                                                     $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flesherton                         $450,000      $400,000      $389,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgian Bay: Midland              $600,000      $500,000      $550,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Honey Harbour                      $400,000      $400,000 -    $450,000
                                                     $425,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sauble Beach/Bruce Peninsula            n/a      $350,000      $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Collingwood                        $650,000      $390,000 -    $600,000
                                                     $550,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wasaga Beach                       $550,000      $525,000      $570,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe, Lake
     Couchiching-Orillia               $425,000      $425,000      $430,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Innisfil to Oro                    $480,000 -    $500,000      $520,000 -
                                       $520,000                    $530,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lagoon City                        $300,000      $300,000      $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beaverton                          $350,000      $300,000      $375,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    East Kawarthas                     $150,000      $195,000      $225,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    West Kawarthas                     $410,000 -    $400,000      $400,000
                                       $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston                           $179,900      $250,000 -    $290,000
                                                     $270,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gananoque                          $300,000      $250,000 -    $200,000
                                                     $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward County               $295,000      $200,000 -    $200,000 -
                                                     $250,000      $250,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Arnprior                           $300,000      $300,000      $299,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quebec - Eastern Townships              n/a           n/a      $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laurentians                             n/a           n/a      $175,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia - South Shore,         $200,000      $230,000      $230,000 -
     Lunenburg(xx)                                                 $240,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island(xx)           $250,000      $300,000      $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New Brunswick - Shediac Bay(xx)    $200,000      $200,000      $230,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newfoundland - Labrador -
     Newfoundland Coast (East)(xx)      $95,000       $97,500      $105,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source: RE/MAX
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *     Starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized recreational
            property on a standard-sized waterfront lot
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (xx)    Oceanfront property
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (xxx)   Two-Bedroom condominium
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (xxxx)  Seasonal property
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (xxxxx) Mountain chalet
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE RE/MAX Québec Inc.

For further information: For further information: Geneviève Grégoire, RE/MAX Quebec Inc., (450) 668-7743; Eva Blay, Point Blank Communications, (416) 781-3911; Charlene McAdam, Point Blank Communications, (416) 781-3911

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