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

KELOWNA, BC, May 20 /CNW/ - 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.

"Stronger than expected 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. This is especially true in Western Canada, where values have softened considerably year-over-year, but are now starting to firm up."

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.

"Opportunities exist for savvy purchasers across the country at virtually every price point," says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. "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."

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.

"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:

    
    -   Of the markets that experienced an increase in starting prices, half
        were value-priced, with winterized waterfront product available under
        $350,000. The remainder was typically comprised of prime, sought-
        after markets favoured among purchasers such as the Georgian Bay and
        Lake Simcoe areas and the Muskoka Region.

    -   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).

    -   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 full 2010 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, click here: http://files.newswire.ca/771/REMAXRecPropRpt2010.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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British Columbia - Gulf
     Islands - Salt Spring                                         $750,000-
     Island(xx)                     $1,300,000       $890,000      $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Comox Valley -                    $480,000-
     Mt. Washington(xx)               $800,000       $500,000      $475,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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                     $300,000-
     and the Qu'Appelle Lakes         $300,000       $350,000      $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba - Lake Winnipeg          $250,000       $300,000      $250,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $240,000-
    Haliburton                        $275,000       $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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      $500,000-
    Port Carling, Bala                $550,000       $450,000      $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $350,000-
    Bracebridge, Gravenhurst          $400,000       $400,000      $325,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flesherton                        $450,000       $400,000      $389,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgian Bay: Midland             $600,000       $500,000      $550,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $400,000-
    Honey Harbour/Port Severn         $400,000       $425,000      $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sauble Beach/Bruce Peninsula           n/a       $350,000      $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $390,000-
    Collingwood                       $650,000       $550,000      $600,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wasaga Beach                      $550,000       $525,000      $570,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching
     - Orillia                        $425,000       $425,000      $430,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      $480,000-                    $520,000-
    Innisfil to Oro                   $520,000       $500,000      $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
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      $410,000-
    West Kawarthas                    $450,000       $400,000      $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $250,000-
    Kingston                          $179,900       $270,000      $290,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $250,000-
    Gananoque                         $300,000       $300,000      $200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     $200,000-     $200,000-
    Prince Edward County              $295,000       $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,                                     $230,000-
     Lunenburg(xx)                    $200,000       $230,000      $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 of Western Canada

For further information: For further information: Rhia Bachynski, RE/MAX of Western Canada, (250) 860-3628; Eva Blay/Charlene McAdam, Point Blank Communications, (416) 781-3911

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RE/MAX of Western Canada

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