Recreational property market heats up...CBC News May 20,2010

A lakefront summer home in Canada still costs less than it did in pre-recession times but as the days warm up, so does the market.

The RE/MAX recreational property report says prices have been rising on increased demand over the past three months.

Nearly 80 per cent of recreation areas posted an upswing in market activity this spring with higher prices recorded on 43 per cent of sales.

But while prices are down from 2008, buying that summer dream home still takes a chunk of change.

The most expensive property listed was an $11.9-million vacation home in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains. The least expensive property is on the Newfoundland coast, with prices starting at $105,000.

A fixer-upper on B.C.'s Saltspring Island now goes for $750,000, well down from the $1.3 million it would have cost two years ago.

The highest starting price for recreational property in Canada is at Sylvan Lake, Alta., where the price is $1.2 million, down only nominally from the record prices set in 2008.

"Rising consumer confidence levels and ideal conditions have clearly driven purchasers off the sidelines and into the market," said Sylvain Dansereau, executive vice-president of RE/MAX Quebec.

With baby boomers now competing with the Generation X crowd of 35 to 55-year-olds, the least expensive properties are being scooped up quickly.

"Entry-level product is experiencing the greatest demand this year as value-driven purchasers look to stretch their dollar as far as it will go," said Elton Ash, executive vice-president of RE/MAX in Western Canada.

Only one-quarter of the lakefront property in Canada is listed under $250,000.

For the truly value-conscious buyer, a vacation home in B.C.'s Cariboo region can still be had for around $180,000.

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Paige Gregson

Paige Gregson

CENTURY 21 Executives Realty Ltd.
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