There’s a boom for Canada’s recreational homes market right now as an aging population helps drive demand, pushing up prices.

More than three quarters of the regions have seen increased median prices year-over-year according to a survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents.

In 91% of Canadian recreational markets, the survey reveals that it is retirees driving the market.

"Compared to 2017, when only 55 per cent of regions surveyed had retirees driving the market, this year's 91 per cent are having a much bigger impact," says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. "Combined with the fact that Canada's senior population is the largest it has ever been, and many of these retirees are using recreational properties as retirement properties, pricing has increased across the majority of markets."

Year-over-year the median price of Canadian recreational properties has risen 13% but there are higher surges in local markets.

In British Columbia for example, the median has risen 19% year-over-year with some markets surging as much as 114% (Tofino).

In Ontario, there was an overall price increase of 15%, with the median price in areas like Haliburton's waterfront properties increasing by as much as 98%. The same rings true for its water access properties, with the median price increasing by 71%.

Decrease for The Prairies
Not all areas are showing the same upward trajectory though.

In the Prairies the median price of a recreational property is down 4% with the median price for non-waterfront properties in Qu'Appelle Valley, SK dropping by as much as 25%. The changes to mortgage rules and economic slowdown are part of the reason for the decline.

"The economic slowdown in the Prairies, combined with stricter mortgage qualifications, has affected demand in its recreational market," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "On the other hand, B.C.'s economy is the fastest growing in the country and its status as a destination market has contributed to the strong growth of its recreational market."

Atlantic Canada saw a very modest median price increase of 0.13%.

"Atlantic Canada's market is faced by slow economic growth, compared to Ontario," says Alexander. "Those still recovering from the 2017 market downturn in places like Newfoundland and Labrador are delaying purchases of recreational properties at the moment."

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