A recent survey of ReMax brokers and agents found that in 91 percent of popular Canadian recreational property markets examined, retirees were the key factor driving activity. This includes established recreational regions such as Prince Edward County and Comox Valley. This is in stark contrast to last year’s findings when retirees were a dominant driving force in only 55 percent of markets examined.
The survey found that in British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, 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.
“Last year, we found that Baby Boomers and retirees were increasingly selling their homes in urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver,” says Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, ReMax of Western Canada. “It’s clear that many put the equity they received from those sales into the purchase of a recreational property with the intention to retire in comfort and away from the city.”
Many of these individuals are engaging in more active forms of retirement, choosing to maintain physical fitness and emotional fulfillment 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.
Recreational properties considered an investment
In a separate survey conducted by Leger, six in ten Canadians 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,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax 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.
Top factors when choosing a property
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. Waterfront access was considered the most in-demand amenity in most regions, overall.
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