Gen X to flex new purchasing muscle in recreational property markets across Canada, says RE/MAX



    Demographic shift underway in 74 per cent of markets surveyed

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 2 /CNW/ - Generation X purchasers are poised to
replace aging baby boomers as the major force in recreational property markets
across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
    The demographic shift was noted in the 2009 RE/MAX Recreational Property
Report highlighting sales, pricing, trends and developments in 50 Canadian
markets. The report found demand from Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1980)
has nearly doubled over one year ago. Seventy-four per cent of markets
surveyed this year reported a marked trend toward thirty-something buyers
snapping up affordably-priced product, ranging from waterfront cottages to
resort condominiums, compared to just 40 per cent in 2008.
    "After being priced out of most markets for the better half of the last
decade, Gen X purchasers now have the financial wherewithal to buy
recreational product at virtually every price point," says Michael Polzler,
Executive Vice President, Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
"Gen X is ideally positioned to pick up any slack in recreational property
markets caused by softer demand from baby boomers and retirees. They represent
the next wave of recreational property owners in Canada and they know it."
    The financial strength of the cohort dovetails well with current market
realities. Sixty-six per cent of recreational property markets surveyed
reported a decline in the number of recreational product sold in the first
four months of 2009, while 22 per cent indicated sales were either up or on
par compared to one year ago. While the combination of inclement weather and a
global recession clearly hampered sales activity earlier in the year, many
major centres are currently experiencing an upswing in activity as the
traditional cottage season gets underway.
    "Much of the activity in the marketplace today has to do with the mindset
of this particular generation," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice
President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "More important than the investment
aspect is the commitment to lifestyle. The purchase of a waterfront home or a
condominium is more than a simple transaction to Gen X purchasers - owning a
recreational property underscores their dedication to family and balance."
    The time to buy has never been better. With four exceptions, recreational
property prices have softened in most major markets across the country. Only
on the Newfoundland Coast and in Ontario, from Innisfil to Oro, Kingston, and
Beaverton, have values increased this year compared to 2008. Starting prices
remain similar to one year ago and in some cases are even higher.
    "While buyer's market conditions exist virtually across the board,
sellers of recreational properties from coast-to-coast are clearly content to
wait out the storm," says Polzler. "They are in no hurry to unload their
product. Many have held on to their properties for generations - they're
fully-owned yet underutilized, which has prompted some aging owners to list
them for sale."
    The report also found that while lowball offers are on the rise, very few
meet with success. Through tough negotiations with multiple sign backs,
purchasers who are serious tend to find out the hard way that sellers are
serious too. As a result, the sales-to-list ratio remains relatively high in
most recreational property markets across the country.
    "The prospect of greater stability down the road is creating cautious
optimism in the marketplace," says Ash. "Purchasers are seeking to buy quality
product, whether it be situated on lakes, rivers, or ponds, before values
start to once-again edge up."

    
     Highlights:

    -   Supply is adequate in most markets, but heated activity in the
        lower-end has resulted in tight inventory levels for entry-level
        product in 18 per cent of markets including: Bancroft, Combermere,
        Honey Harbour/Port Severn, West Kawarthas, Orillia, Flesherton, North
        Saskatchewan, and Salt Spring Island.
    -   Older cottage owners, many who own their properties outright, are
        selling to younger purchasers with families.
    -   Some American cottage owners in Canada are taking advantage of the
        stronger dollar to cash out of the market.
    -   American purchasers have largely fallen off the radar, with some
        exceptions: Lake Winnipeg, Shediac Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie.
    -   Pent-up demand is a factor in the marketplace, as those purchasers
        who had intended on buying recreational properties in the latter half
        of 2008 deferred their purchases to 2009.
    -   Older Canadians continue to seek secondary homes in warmer parts of
        the U.S such as Florida, Arizona, California, and Nevada.
    -   Generation X purchasers are prepared to spend their hard-earned
        dollars on recreational properties, but at the end of the day, they
        want to know that they've negotiated the best deal possible.
    -   The upper-end has somewhat softened in markets across the country.

    To view the full RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2009, click here:
    http://files.newswire.ca/348/REMAXReport.pdf
    

    RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 17,600
sales associates situated throughout its more than 677 independently-owned and
operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its
36th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 70 countries.
Over 6,700 independently-owned offices engage nearly 100,000 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

    
    Starting Prices for Recreational Properties(*)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Market                         2008                 2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newfoundland - Labrador -
     Newfoundland Coast(xx)               $95,000              $97,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New Brunswick - Shediac Bay          $200,000             $200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia - South Shore,
     North Shore(xx)                     $200,000             $230,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island -
     South Shore, North Shore,
     Summerside(xx)                      $250,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario - Lake Huron -
     Grand Bend                          $350,000             $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kincardine, Saugeen Shores           $500,000             $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Parry Sound                          $180,000             $185,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Elliott Lake                         $225,000             $225,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sault Ste. Marie                        N/A               $200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Temagami                        $250,000 - $300,000       $275,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Bay                            $300,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Haliburton                           $275,000        $240,000 - $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bancroft                             $225,000             $260,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Apsley                                  N/A               $375,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Combermere                              N/A               $290,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Muskoka: Huntsville,
     Lake of Bays                        $299,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Port Carling, Bala              $500,000 - $550,000       $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bracebridge, Gravenhurst             $400,000        $350,000 - $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flesherton                           $450,000             $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Georgian Bay: Midland                $600,000             $500,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Honey Harbour                        $400,000        $400,000 - $425,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sauble Beach/Bruce Peninsula            N/A               $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Collingwood                          $650,000        $390,000 - $550,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wasaga Beach                         $550,000             $525,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching -
     Orillia                             $425,000             $425,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Innisfil to Oro                 $480,000 - $520,000       $500,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lagoon City                          $300,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beaverton                            $350,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    East Kawarthas                       $150,000             $195,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    West Kawarthas                  $410,000 - $450,000       $400,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingston                             $179,900        $250,000 - $270,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gananoque                            $300,000        $250,000 - $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fort Erie                            $360,000             $299,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward County                 $295,000        $200,000 - $250,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Arnprior                             $300,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba - Lake Winnipeg             $250,000             $300,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatchewan - Last Mountain
     and the Qu'Appelle Lakes            $300,000        $300,000 - $350,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Saskatchewan                   $350,000             $250,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta - West of Edmonton           $400,000             $390,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sylvan Lake                        $1,250,000           $1,125,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Canmore(xxx)                         $320,000             $295,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    British Columbia - Gulf Islands
     - Salt Spring Island(xx)          $1,300,000             $890,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Comox Valley -
     Mt. Washington(xx)             $480,000 - $800,000       $500,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vancouver Island - Ucluelet(xx)      $649,000             $555,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tofino (including inlet
     waterfront)(xx)                     $869,000             $789,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fraser Valley - Cultus
     Lake/Harrison Lake                  $750,000             $450,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Okanagan Valley - South
     Okanagan                          $1,000,000             $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Okanagan/Shuswap -
     Vernon                            $1,500,000           $1,200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shuswap                              $800,000             $800,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central South Cariboo(xxx)(*)        $140,000             $135,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whistler                                N/A             $1,000,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lake Windermere                    $1,300,000           $1,200,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (*) Starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized recreational property
    on a standard-sized waterfront lot
    (xx) Oceanfront Property
    (xxx) Two-Bedroom Condominium
    (xxx)(*) Seasonal property
    





For further information:

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


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