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Recreational property sales in B.C. down 22% over last year: report

WATCH: (May 28) Keith Baldrey looks at whether government policies are partially to blame for B.C.'s real estate market drop.

Recreational property in British Columbia is showing significant softening compared to last year as sales decreased 22.5 per cent, according to Royal Lepage.

Meanwhile, the average price of a single-family recreational home is staying fairly flat, increasing by $2,700 or 0.4 per cent.

Royal Lepage says that while demand has declined across the recreational property market, low inventory has kept prices stable.

READ MORE: Consumer confidence drives recreational property prices higher in Okanagan

The most popular region for buyers in B.C. is the central Okanagan region, where the median price for a single-family home decreased 3.0 per cent to $640,000 compared to last year.

The median price of a single-family home in the north Okanagan increased 4.5 per cent to $489,500.

“While sales are down, buyers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Vancouver are still active in the Okanagan region,” said Mark Walker, sales representative with Royal LePage Kelowna.

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The average price of a single-family recreational home is staying fairly flat, increasing by $2,700 or 0.4 per cent.
The average price of a single-family recreational home is staying fairly flat, increasing by $2,700 or 0.4 per cent. Royal Lepage

“Despite a slowdown in the Alberta economy, there are some positives that help offset the challenges we see. Our population is growing, as is the tech sector. And it’s beautiful here.”

Meanwhile, the recreational property market is witnessing a generational shift of buying power from Baby Boomers to Millennials, according to a new survey conducted by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX 2019 Recreational Property Trends survey finds that the majority of Millennials (56 per cent) are in the market to purchase a recreational property.

This is up 14 per cent from last year, when 42 per cent of Millennials were considering buying a recreational property.

READ MORE: Recreational property in B.C. still red hot, report says

The survey finds that Baby Boomers continue to be the driving force in 2019, but the increase in buying intentions in the 18-34 age group alludes to the start of a new trend in recreational buyer demographics.

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WATCH: B.C.’s recreational properties seeing a price increase (2017)

B.C.’s recreational properties seeing a price increase
B.C.’s recreational properties seeing a price increase

Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president with RE/MAX in Western Canada, said the speculation tax in Kelowna, B.C. is driving buyers to other areas of the B.C. Interior.

“We’re not seeing the kind of volume that we’ve seen in the past, especially with condominiums, with out-of-province buyers, because Alberta buyers were a huge part of this segment of the market in the central Okanagan,” he said.

READ MORE: Horgan defends speculation tax during Okanagan visit

“The (result of the) so-called speculation tax that the government brought in is that people are now turning their attention to the Shuswap and further afield where the tax doesn’t exist.”

Ash agrees demand for recreational property in the region has softened.

“It’s accurate based on markets that were crazy before, where we were seeing double-digits increases, so you have to look at historical norms and that’s where we are seeing more balanced conditions, so it’s not really a bad news thing, it’s just we’re returning to more historical markets,” he said.