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The 2018 RE/MAX Recreational Report

In the survey, it found that in 91 percent of popular Canadian recreational property markets examined, retirees were the key factor driving activity compared to 55% last year. Similar to what we have noticed here in the Collingwood-Blue Mountain markets, more retirees and soon-to-be retirees are purchasing recreational properties outside of urban centres for use as retirement homes, increasingly blurring the line between recreational and residential properties.

  • One in three survey respondents (33 percent) say that they own or want to own a recreational property for investment purposes
  • Buyers are increasingly renting in urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver while purchasing recreational properties
  • Other than affordable purchase price, waterfront rated as the most important feature to Canadians when considering spending time at a cottage or cabin, beating out reasonable maintenance costs

With the serious shortage of waterfront properties for sale in South Georgian Bay in recent years, it’s been difficult to fulfil the demand for waterfront Buyers.

The survey found that many individuals are engaging in more active forms of retirement, choosing to maintain physical fitness and emotional fulfilment by pursuing passion projects and leading lifestyles that involve farming, hiking and maintaining vineyards. This is particularly the case in regions such as South Okanagan, Wasaga Beach and Rideau Lakes.

In a separate survey conducted by Leger, six in 10 Canadians (58 percent) enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family. However, the majority of Canadians (84 percent) do not actually own recreational properties.

“Many Canadians want to live out the ‘Canadian Dream’ and spend time at the cottage or cabin but today, that doesn’t necessarily mean owning a recreational property outright,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Many are choosing to rent recreational properties, often by pooling resources with friends and family, which speaks to recreational properties still being in high demand.”

In fact, one in three Canadians (33 percent) say that they own or would want to own a recreational property for investment purposes. Using their recreational properties every so often while renting them out for the rest of the year, these individuals are renting a principal residence where they live while buying where they play.

In Leger’s survey, more than half of Canadians (54 percent) who own a recreational property, or are considering buying one, identify savings as their source of funding. Twenty percent would use a loan, 20 percent would rely on home equity and only 11 percent would rely on inheritance.

The survey also found that other than affordable purchase price, Canadians who own or would consider owning a recreational property named waterfront access (55 percent), reasonable maintenance costs (54 percent) and proximity to town (43 percent) as the most important factors when purchasing.

Here are some other key findings from the 2018 RE/MAX Recreational Property Omnibus Survey

  1. One-quarter (24 per cent) 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.) = 46%
  • It is an investment property = 33%
  • It is a retirement home = 19%
  • Other = 4%
  1. Canadians identify the following sources of down payment when considering their current recreational property or their next purchase of a recreational property:
  • Savings = 54%
  • Loan = 20%
  • Home equity = 20%
  • Inheritance = 11%
  • Other = 4%
  • I don’t know = 11%
  • I prefer not to answer = 3%
  1. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Canadians who own or are considering owning a recreation property are willing to travel up to two hours, with 31 percent saying they would travel two hours. Slightly less (28 percent) are willing to travel three or more hours. Since our region fits within that time frame for GTA Buyers, it’s not a wonder it has become so popular.
  2. Canadians identify the following features as important when considering their current recreational property or their next 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%t
  • Other = 1%
  • None, don’t mind which features my recreational property has = <1%
  • Don’t know/prefer not to answer = 3%
  1. Canadians 55 and older (vs <55), who own or would consider owning a recreational property are significantly more likely to say waterfront access, reasonable maintenance costs, proximity to a town, reasonable distance from primary residence and accessible medical facilities are important.

Marg Scheben-Edey is a Broker with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited, Brokerage in beautiful Collingwood, ON. With three decades of experience, Marg is a leader in the local real estate marketplace and is ready to help guide both Buyers and Sellers in achieving their real estate goals. Email Marg

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Marg Scheben-Edey

Real Estate Broker
Market Value Appraiser - Residential
Accredited Green Broker™
(designated by the National Association of Green Agents & Brokers)

RE/MAX four seasons
realty limited, Brokerage
Each Office Independently Owned & Operated
67 First Street, Collingwood L9Y 1A2

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