Summer time brings Canadians out of hibernation and on the road/sky to their favourite destination, which at some point of the summer, involves going to a property at or near a lake in Canada. Vacation and Recreational homes, a place to escape to and get a little nature in, is just a part of our Canadian culture.
Recreational properties are being bought, not only for the enjoyment and as a vacation destination, but also by homebuyers who are seeking a good investment or starting to plan for retirement. In a 2016, recent RE/MAX survey on recreational properties, RE/MAX found an increase in buyers planning on renting out their property full or part-time. And now that Airbnb and other rental services are gaining popularity, vacation property owners are taking this opportunity to supplement their income when they are not using their cabin. This allows owners to take advantage of their recreational property as a hybrid of recreation and rental property.
So who’s buying recreational properties in Canada? Baby Boomers, especially from big cities like Vancouver and Toronto, putting their home equity into recreational markets? Yes. But, a survey done by Royal LePage, mentioned in the 2016 Canadian Recreational Housing Report, found GenXers (36 – 51yrs of age), still decades from retiring and the majority with children, were the biggest demographic purchasing these recreational properties.
So where is the best place to buy a recreational property in Canada…
From West to East we’ll go over what we think are some ideal spots to purchase recreation properties!
Kelowna/ Okanagan/ Shushwap
Kelowna is in the heart of British Columbia and has always been a hot spot for a fun weekend at the lake with the family or a place just to relax and enjoy a winery tour. Kelowna, and the entire Okanagan, is and has been a popular destination for water sports and other outdoor activities throughout the whole year. Due to its popularity, prices have increased significantly and are projected to continue to climb. There are many investors from the Vancouver area, as well as potential buyers from other Western provinces that are interested in the Okanagan Valley. The time to purchase a recreational property here is now.
Water-front : $1.6 M
Non water-front: $450,000
Sunshine Coast “British Columbia’s best kept secret”
Ideal coastland for a recreational property along the province stretching across 180km. There is something here in many different price points for almost every buyer! This is a good time to get in because the prices have not significantly increased yet. Due to Vacnouver’s increase in foreign interest in real estate, it’s predicted that it will be only a matter of time before demand increases and prices will soar.
Cranbrook & Kimberley
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and surrounded by the Kootneys, this spot offers lots of natural wilderness, fresh-off-the-glacier rivers/lakes, and a quiet atmosphere. If you love to golf, this is your destination! There are many championship golf courses to choose from in the summer, and two top notch ski destinations in the winter.
Located near the border of Banff National Park and 80 km’s from Calgary, Canmore offers a playground of adventure for the outdoorsy. If you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy outdoor activities on your vacation, this is the spot for you all year round! This is a very popular retreat for Calgarians and Edmontonians. The demographic you can typically find living and vacationing in Canmore is the Baby Boomer. That is no surprise of course once you’ve seen the average price for a property.
Riverside: $2.5 mill
South of Edmonton and North of Calgary, Sylvan Lake a very popular middle ground for the two cities to enjoy and relax Lakeside. There’s been a slight decline in price due to Alberta’s economy, but fortunately, for prospectors trying to get in the recreational market at a low, this is great news!
Lakefront: $1 mil
Wabamun, St. Anne, & Pigeon Lake
These lakes offer long sandy beaches, beautiful weather, and lots of activities an outdoorsy person would love! Prices have remained steady throughout the years, but like majority of Alberta, prices are at a low making it a good time to buy.
Christopher, Emma, and Candle Lake
All three lakes have close proximity to each other and located in the heart of Saskatchewan, 40 km’s from Prince George which makes them a popular it spot in the province. Demand has remained stable throughout the years and the price range is great for new homebuyers trying to get into the recreational market!
A short drive north of Winnipeg, this is a beautiful get away with very close proximity to many conveniences. In addition to being a quick get away from the city, it is beautiful and extremely affordable!
Manitoulin Island/ Georgian Bay
Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island located within the Georgian Bay, which is one of Ontario’s most popular destinations to vacation and spots to purchase recreational properties. No surprise, this location is perfect for people who enjoy boating and all watersport recreational activities. It is also close to Michigan’s peninsula making it a popular island destination with homebuyers from America. Because the island is very affordable, this attracts a younger demographic making it perfect for younger families. The more south you go along Georgian Bay, you’ll notice a substantial price increase. The southeast part of the bay has over 30,000 island and thousands of km’s of shoreline. It is a very popular destination year-round.
Manitoulin Island waterfront: $161,421
Georgian Bay SE waterfront: $800,000
Southern Georgian Bay Lakefront: $845,000
Muskoka & Simcoe
The Muskoka’s is one of the most desirable recreational property markets in Canada. Demand is high and so are the prices. Sales and prices in this area have increased significantly over the years. Muskoka and Simcoe are smaller lakes but are a popular destination for big cities surrounding to escape to. These lakes provide the perfect vacation spots for those looking to relax and/or enjoy lots of outdoor recreational activities.
Lake Muskoka waterfront: $790,000
Muskoka non-waterfront: $290,000
Lake Simcoe waterfront: $945,000
Simcoe non-waterfront: $365,000
RE/MAX Recreation Property Report 2016
Royal Le Pages Canadian Recreational Housing Report 16