by Ephraim Vecina May 2018

A fresh study has found that retirees were the main driving factors of activity in 91% of Canada’s recreational property markets.

According to the latest RE/MAX nationwide survey, a growing number of retired and would-be retiring consumers in British Columbia, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada are purchasing recreational properties outside of urban centres for use as retirement homes, a trend that is 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,” RE/MAX of Western Canada regional executive vice president Elton Ash said. “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.”

24% of those surveyed indicated that they would consider buying a recreational property in the future. 54% of Canadians will source their recreational property purchase payments from their savings, while 20% will get funds from their home equity or loans.

Distance is no object to 68% of current or would-be recreational property owners, as this segment is willing to travel up to two hours to their purchases. 31% said that they would travel for two hours, while 28% are willing to travel three or more hours.

In a separate survey conducted by Leger, 58% of Canadians said that they enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family, although 84% do not actually own properties in this category.

“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,” RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region executive vice president and regional director Christopher Alexander said. “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.”