RE/MAX 2018 Recreational Property Report

14 August 2018
Life and the City

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As Canada’s residential market recovers, recreational property experiences a surge

Canada’s increasingly aging population has retirees driving and inflating the recreational market in popular leisure locations

  • Recreational properties are experiencing a surge in pricing with 78 per cent of regions surveyed showing growth
  • A RE/MAX survey showed that retirees drive demand for recreational properties in 91 per cent of regions examined
  • An older Canadian population with more purchasing power is driving prices up

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The RE/MAX 2018 Recreational Property Report has just been released. This report was jam-packed with a handful of interesting findings, revealing a surge in the recreational property market while Canada’s residential market begins to recover. 

A recent survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents found that recreational properties are experiencing a surge in pricing, with 78% of regions surveyed showing a higher median price in 2018 compared to 2017. A RE/MAX survey conducted in the spring showed that 91% of popular Canadian recreational markets are being driven by retirees, and with seniors outnumbering children in Canada for the first time as reported last year, retirees as a population are also driving up prices.

Compared to 2018, the median price of recreational properties, including waterfront, non-waterfront, water access and ski-in properties, has increased by 13% across Canada. Median price information was calculated for the periods of July 2016 to June 2017, and July 2017 to June 2018.

“Compared to 2017, when only 55% of regions surveyed had retirees driving the market, this year’s 91% are having a much bigger impact,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Combined with the fact that Canada’s senior population is the largest it has ever been, and many of these retirees are using recreational properties as retirement properties, pricing has increased across the majority of markets.”

Ontario saw an overall price increase of 15%, with the median price in areas like Haliburton’s waterfront properties increasing by as much as 98 per cent. The same rings true for its water access properties, with the median price increasing by 71%. The median price of waterfront communities in the French River also showed strong growth of 36%.

RE/MAX brokers foresee current trends continuing into 2019. In Ontario, brokers see both retirees and younger buyers driving demand in the next few years.

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Key Findings from the 2018 RE/MAX Recreational Property Omnibus Survey

1. One-quarter (24%) of Canadians would consider buying a recreational property in the future.

2. Canadians cite the following reasons to own or want to own a recreational property:

  • It is where I can go and relax and spend time with friends and family = 58%
  • It is a getaway home = 46%
  • I can do activities I can’t do at my permanent residence (hiking, fishing, etc.) = 41%
  • It is an investment property = 33%
  • It is a retirement home = 19%
  • Other = 4%

3. More than two-thirds (68%) of Canadians who own or are considering owning a recreation property are willing to travel up to two hours, with 31% saying they would travel two hours. Slightly less (28%) are willing to travel three or more hours.

4. Canadians identify the following features as important when considering their current recreational property or a future purchase of a recreational property:

  • Affordable purchase price = 64%
  • Waterfront access = 55%
  • Reasonable maintenance costs = 53%
  • Proximity to town = 43%
  • Reasonable distance from primary residence = 37%
  • Relative seclusion = 33%
  • Land access = 30%
  • Proximity to sports/recreation = 25%
  • Accessible medical facilities = 24%
  • Nearby neighbouring properties = 15%
  • Island property = 12%
  • Other = 1%
  • None, don’t mind which features my recreational property has = <1%
  • Don’t know/prefer not to answer = 3%

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