vacation condos

Winter vacation condos post strong 2018 price gains

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Homes in many key winter recreational real estate markets in Canada are experiencing strong year-over-year price appreciation due to demand from retirees, investors and buyers interested in winter getaways, finds the recently released Winter Recreational Report from Royal LePage.

In western Canada, the average price of a condominium in winter recreation regions climbed at a faster pace compared to detached properties, while the median price for detached homes fell.

In Whistler, B.C., home prices in both the detached and condominium segments have climbed considerably. The average price of a detached home rose 14.5 per cent year-over-year to $2,400,000, while the average price of a condominium jumped 26.5 per cent on an annual basis to $610,000.

“More affordable properties are still seeing high demand, despite a slowing in overall activity,” said Pat Kelly of Royal LePage Black Tusk, in a press release. “The B.C. foreign buyer tax and speculation tax does not apply to Whistler, and as such there has been no drop in interest from international buyers. That being said, recreational properties in the area are primarily bought and sold by individuals who are local to the province, while international buyers only represent a small proportion of sales in Whistler. In 2019, we expect further price appreciation, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years.”

Kelly went on to say that the increase in tourism over the last five years has resulted in an increased demand for condominium properties, as many buyers are looking for short-term income rental and investment properties.

The region of Invermere, B.C. features more affordable recreational properties, with the average price of a detached home falling to $401,250, resulting in an increase of sales in lower-priced properties, which impacts the median home value. The wildfires that occurred in the region earlier this year also slowed sales activity over the summer months, but sales activity in the region is expected to ramp up in 2019.

In Canmore, Alta., located just 20 minutes from Banff, the average price for a detached home fell by 1.1 per cent on an annual basis to $918,500. Meanwhile, condos in the region saw prices climb 9.6 per cent year-over-year to $472,000, along with a sizable increase in sales activity.

In Collingwood, Ont., median property prices continued to climb this year. Detached home prices increased 6.3 per cent on an annual basis to $549,900. Meanwhile, condo properties saw prices rise 5.4 per cent year-over-year to $407,700.

According to Royal LePage, there has been an increase in sales activity in the $300,000 to $500,000 price range. Next year, the demand for recreational properties in Collingwood is predicted to remain steady, as baby boomers purchase these properties for use after retirement.

Average home prices in most of Quebec’s recreational regions have posted year-over-year increases due to increased demand, mostly for condo units, from vacation home-seeking Gen Xers. Royal LePage finds that the province’s strong economic performance and consumer confidence have driven demand for the region’s winter recreational properties as Quebec home buyers with more flexible incomes put upward pressure on recreational property prices.

Between January and October 2018, the average price of a condo located at the foot of Mont-Tremblant’s ski station climbed 30.0 per cent year-over-year to $325,000. During that same period, the average price of a condo in Mont-Tremblant’s Village increased 8.1 per cent on an annual basis to $186,500, while the price of a detached home rose 1.9 per cent to $425,000.

Moving further away from the slopes saw home prices drop, as in St-Jovite, where detached home prices fell 1.3 per cent year-over-year to $230,000, while the average price of a condo unit saw a 2.2 per cent increase to $199,950.

“Proximity to the slopes is a key requirement for many buyers. Mountain-side properties are appreciating at a healthy pace, especially in Mont-Tremblant where the resort is undergoing significant improvements,” added Paul Dalbec, real estate broker. “Mont-Tremblant’s popularity keeps growing as a renowned ski resort, including among international buyers whose numbers are increasing over the years.”

Other vacation regions in the province, such as Saint-Sauveur, saw prices of detached homes and condos climb 18.9 per cent year-over-year to $305,000 and $270,000, respectively. Meanwhile, Bromont saw condominium prices rise 8.9 per cent year-over-year to $247,500, as Orford and Sutton experienced price increases of 12.6 and 10.1 per cent to $295,000 and $345,000, respectively.

Most coveted by buyers are waterfront and slope side homes, which allow residents to ski in and out of the property, although these are usually more expensive. Meanwhile, many baby boomers are looking to purchase secondary homes, intending to move in permanently after their retirement.

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