Cottage and vacation home prices in Ontario expected to rise 17% this year as demand continues to outpace supply – Royal LePage

Properties with four-season usability in particular demand

Homes in recreational regions of Ontario and Atlantic Canada will see the highest price appreciation in Canada this year.

The Royal Lepage 2021 recreational property forecast sees average price increases of 17 per cent.

“From coast to coast, the line between a primary residence and recreational property is blurring,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “The trend began last summer when the option of travelling abroad was taken away and continued to gain popularity as it became clear that with access to high-speed internet, many people can do their jobs from just about anywhere.”

Supply shortages are forcing buyers into multiple-offer situations, which Royal Lepage says often result in properties selling above the asking price. In Ontario, 87 per cent of real estate professionals who specialize in recreational properties say more than half of those available are selling above the asking price.

“Life during the pandemic has made cottage country and country living more desirable than ever, in every part of Canada. The flexibility provided by working remotely, excess savings from months sitting at home, and low-interest rates have left Canadians young and old alike to seek properties with more space, easy access to nature, and the ability to achieve that ever-elusive work-life balance.”

The Royal LePage survey found, among Canadians aged 25 to 35, just under half (47 per cent) would choose a small town or country living in the city.

The lack of inventory not only hampers prospective buyers but sellers, too, said Soper. “Without enough supply to meet demand, prices continue to increase at above normal rates. And with so few listings to choose from, owners are concerned they will have nowhere to go if they sell before buying, so they hesitate to list. This cycle makes it difficult for anyone to move ahead.”

Muskoka, Kawartha Lakes and Prince Edward County continue to be the destinations of choice.

“Muskoka, like many smaller communities within a reasonable drive from the GTA, was particularly impacted by the migration out of the GTA, and by buyers who accelerated their long-term plans to purchase a second property,” said John O’Rourke, broker, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka. “A scarcity of inventory added more fuel to the fire, creating competition in the market unlike anything we’ve seen before.”

Fifty-six per cent of Royal LePage recreational property experts representing buyers in Ontario reported their clients are making on average four to ten offers before closing a deal.

Properties with four-season usability are particularly attractive to buyers in Ontario, and experts expect another brisk spring market.

banner image courtesy James Wheeler via Worldwide Elevation Map Finder