For the past year, soaring home prices and a desire for more space have sent homebuyers flocking beyond the suburbs and into beautiful cottage country.
It’s a trend that is playing out right across the county, and one that’s expected to continue throughout 2021. High demand is expected to push average recreational property prices higher by 15% to $502,730, according to an updated forecast from Royal LePage.
Recreational properties in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are expected to see average prices rise 17%, while Quebec and B.C. should see prices increase by 15% and 13%, respectively. That would be on top of the 16% national price gain seen for this segment between 2019 and 2020.
“From coast to coast, the line between a primary residence and recreational property is blurring,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage said in a release. “The trend began last summer when the option of travelling abroad was taken away and continued to gain popularity as it became clear that with access to high-speed internet, many people can do their jobs from just about anywhere.”
That, plus rising prices in many of Canada’s urban markets, has led many buyers to look well beyond the city limits for more affordable housing options. In February, for example, the average home price in Toronto soared above $1 million for the first time, with many of its suburbs not far behind.
“Life during the pandemic has made cottage country and country living more desirable than ever, in every part of Canada,” Soper added.
And in many cases, younger buyers—those between 25 and 35—are making up an increasing share of buyers trading in the big city for country life, with nearly half of buyers in that demographic (47%) saying they would choose a small town or rural living.
Who can blame them, given the world-class beauty found in many of the “cottage country” regions throughout Canada, not to mention pandemic-related concerns about high-density living. Many are thinking about expanding their families and want their kids to grow up with a little more space to roam.
“The flexibility provided by working remotely, excess savings from months sitting at home, and low-interest rates have left Canadians young and old alike to seek properties with more space, easy access to nature, and the ability to achieve that ever-elusive work-life balance,” Soper said.
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