buying recreational property

Navigating the Canadian Winter Recreational Property Market: Insights from Royal LePage


Key Takeaways:

– The market is regaining balance with a decrease in sales and an increase in inventory.
– Prices are expected to rise modestly, with a 2.9% increase nationally and a 4.5% increase in Southern Georgian Bay.
– Buyers and sellers should navigate the market with an understanding of current trends and future forecasts.

In today’s ever-evolving real estate landscape, understanding market trends is crucial for both home buyers and sellers. The 2023 Royal LePage Winter Recreational Property Report sheds light on the current state and future outlook of Canada’s winter recreational real estate market, particularly in popular ski regions. This comprehensive analysis offers valuable insights for those navigating this unique sector.

The Royal LePage report indicates a nuanced scenario in Canada’s recreational property market. In the first 10 months of 2023, national single-family home prices in winter recreational areas experienced a slight year-over-year decrease of 0.7%, settling at a median price of $1,068,200. This modest decline reflects the broader market dynamics, including rising interest rates and an increased cost of living, contributing to a cooling effect on buyer demand.

Southern Georgian Bay, known for its picturesque landscapes and ski resorts, echoes this national trend. Here, the median price of single-family homes decreased by 10.1% year over year to $800,000, and condominium prices fell by 8.9% to $640,000. Despite these price adjustments, total sales in the area have seen a slight uptick, increasing by 2.7%.

“Our market is one in transition, but is still holding strong compared to other regions in Southern Ontario. Despite some buyers feeling paralyzed with uncertainty over interest rates and a potential recession, sales have remained stable in the region. Recreational home prices have softened due to reduced buyer demand compared to 2020 and 2021, which is causing some frustration among sellers whose pricing expectations are not being met,” said Desmond Von Teichman, broker, Royal LePage Locations North. “So far, most homeowners have been able to cope with higher interest rates, though we do hear the occasional anecdote of residents offloading their properties as a result of rising monthly mortgage costs.”


The report highlights several factors influencing the recreational property market. A significant 41% of market experts noted an inventory increase due to rising interest rates. Additionally, environmental factors, like the unprecedented wildfire season, have impacted 24% of markets, contributing to a decline in buyer demand.

Looking ahead, Royal LePage forecasts a modest 2.9% increase in the median price of single-family homes in Canada’s ski regions over the next year, with an expected stabilization or slight decrease in interest rates. For Southern Georgian Bay specifically, a 4.5% price increase is projected, aligning with a return to historical market norms.

The changing market dynamics impact both buyers and sellers. For buyers, the increased inventory and stabilized prices offer more options and potentially more negotiating power. Sellers, on the other hand, may need to adjust expectations and strategies in light of the current market conditions.

The Canadian winter recreational property market is experiencing a phase of rebalancing, with regional variances reflecting broader economic factors. For those looking to invest in or sell properties in these areas, staying informed and adaptable is key. The coming year promises modest growth and a return to market stability, offering opportunities for both buyers and sellers in this unique and dynamic segment of the real estate market.