Economic recovery fuels significant upswing in sales in Canadian recreational property markets, says RE/MAX

May 20, 2010 - Updated: July 14, 2010

79 per cent of markets report upward trending in recreational sales in 2010
Mississauga, ON (May 20, 2010) --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.


“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.
“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.”


RE/MAX 2010 Recreational Property Report…2
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.
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.


“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. ”


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.
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. 

Starting Prices for Recreational Properties*
Market 2008 2009 2010


British Columbia - Gulf Islands- Salt
Spring Island** $1,300,000 $890,000 $750,000 - $800,000
Comox Valley-Mt. Washington** $480,000 - $800,000 $500,000 $475,000
Vancouver Island -Ucluelet** $649,000 $555,000 $499,000
Tofino** $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***** 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*** $320,000 $295,000 $270,000


Saskatchewan - Last Mountain and
the Qu'Appelle Lakes $300,000 $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
Haliburton $275,000 $240,000 - $350,000 $350,000
Bancroft $225,000 $260,000 $235,000
Apsley n/a $375,000 $400,000
Combermere**** n/a n/a $200,000
Muskoka: Huntsville, Lake of Bays $299,000 $300,000 $300,000
Port Carling, Bala $500,000 - $550,000 $450,000 $450,000
Bracebridge, Gravenhurst $400,000 $350,000 - $400,000 $325,000
Flesherton $450,000 $400,000 $389,000
Georgian Bay: Midland $600,000 $500,000 $550,000
Honey Harbour $400,000 $400,000 - $425,000 $450,000
Sauble Beach/Bruce Peninsula n/a $350,000 $350,000
Collingwood $650,000 $390,000 - $550,000 $600,000
Wasaga Beach $550,000 $525,000 $570,000


Starting Prices for Recreational Properties*

Market 2008 2009 2010


Ontario - (continued)
Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching-Orillia $425,000 $425,000 $430,000
Innisfil to Oro $480,000 - $520,000 $500,000 $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 - $450,000 $400,000 $400,000
Kingston $179,900 $250,000- $270,000 $290,000
Gananoque $300,000 $250,000- $300,000 $200,000
Prince Edward County $295,000 $200,000-$250,000 $200,000 - $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,
Lunenburg** $200,000 $230,000 $230,000 - $240,000


Prince Edward Island** $250,000 $300,000 $300,000


New Brunswick - Shediac Bay** $200,000 $200,000 $230,000


Newfoundland - Labrador -
Newfoundland Coast (East)** $95,000 $97,500 $105,000
*Starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized recreational property on a standard-sized waterfront lot

**Oceanfront property
***Two-bedroom condominium
*****Mountain chalet

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