Our Canadian climate provides great incentive to travel to warmer locations come winter. Although many of us enjoy winter sports, European, Asian or U.S. destinations are often part of a Canadian’s travel and vacation plan when the frigid temperatures set in. However, Covid-19 changed all that: Few are travelling anywhere at the moment, and for many that includes the daily commute to the office. Working from home has become commonplace within Canada and so has the definition of “HOME”.
Recreational properties have always been popular for those whose budget allowed the purchase of a second property. However, with so many workers no longer required to be physically present in big cities like Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary on a daily basis, the appeal of trading an urban home for a 4-season property in the mountains or on a lake has caused a surge in demand and soaring prices in the recreational housing market. Some Canadians have traded their American homes for a seasonal property in Canada.
Teri-Ann Begin, a realtor in Calgary, has experienced this shift in lifestyle first-hand. As she states “While recreational home sales are soaring both in volume and value, Alberta is home to some of the priciest and most coveted recreational property in the country. Canmore, Alberta impacts the average price with its luxurious mountain properties and proximity to Banff National Park. The average price for vacation properties is projected to increase by 6% by the end of 2021 and the trend is expected to continue as quality of life and time with family take precedence over long commutes and higher density living”.
Todd Bradley, an Edmonton realtor has been experiencing a similar shift in the Edmonton area. However, they types of recreational parcels in demand are more varied. As Todd points out, “It is truly amazing what Covid has done in pushing up demand for ‘Getaway Properties’ “.
As more people receive vaccinations and travel returns in some form, some suggest the interest in Canadian seasonal properties will dwindle. However, in recent studies, over 80% of respondents wished to continue some form of remote employment, and it appears many companies are open to granting that flexibility. Only time will tell if this will continue to have an impact on recreational property sales but it is a market to watch.
Janice Ayotte is president of Janice Ayotte Professional Corporation based in Calgary, Alberta ,Canada, and a WINNER of Bristol's prestigious 2020 Strategic Partner of the Year award. Janice may be reached at 780-577-0047 / firstname.lastname@example.org.