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Heat from Metro Vancouver's real estate radiating into recreational properties

(Kenny Mason, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Aggregate price for a vacation home, condo or cabin in BC now nearly $600,000

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From a cabin in the woods near 100 Mile House to prime lakefront in the Okanagan, BC’s recreational property market is heating up as more Gen Xers and Baby Boomers cash in on their equity in red hot urban areas like Metro Vancouver.

A report from Royal LePage finds there has been a jump in sales and prices in most recreational property markets across the province compared to this time last year, with the aggregate price for a vacation home, condo or cabin hitting $595,077 last month.

“Low inventory levels and the return of consumer confidence are driving prices up in many recreational markets across the province,” says Jim Morris, manager, Western Canada, Royal LePage.

“We are back to where we were a year ago, seeing a significant increase in prices across all product types. Affordability remains an issue in BC, as demand and prices for recreational properties increase but incomes simply cannot keep pace. As a result, in our core recreational markets, we continue to see interest in micro condos and fractional ownership to fill in the gap.”

And it seems many urbanites are shifting their focus away from trying to claw their way up the property ladder, instead looking beyond the ‘burbs, well outside city limits.

“As price appreciation across Greater Vancouver resumes its previous pace from a year ago, and homeowners accumulate more wealth, many prospective buyers have decided to forgo upsizing within the highly competitive Vancouver marketplace, electing to instead push outwards in search of a recreational property,” explains Morris.

“Now, with the Fraser Valley feeling the heat, prospective purchasers are turning to the islands for relatively more affordable recreational properties, accelerating market demand within these regions.”

The desirable Okanagan is still on the high end of the market, with the average price for lakefront rising to $2.1 million dollars.

Buyers looking for less expensive options are pushing up prices around 100 Mile House, where a cabin in the woods now goes for an average $180-thousand.

Other recreational markets heating up include Cranbrook and Kimberly, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Mount Washington and the report suggests less than 10 per cent of the transactions are being made by foreign buyers, with many of them Americans.

“BC continues to be a favoured destination for the US, particularly the prominent recreational markets near the border, where Americans have increasingly sought to capitalize on the Greenback’s strength, relative to the Loonie,” concludes Morris.

“As part of the Pacific Rim however, our province attracts people from everywhere, including Asia and Australia.”