Le Lézard
Classified in: Business, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: SVY, ECO

House prices in Canada's popular ski regions set to rise a modest 2.9% over the coming year


Royal LePage predicts continued stability in Canada's winter recreational real estate market as interest rates expected to hold or moderate

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2023 /CNW/ - According to the Royal LePage Winter Recreational Property Report released today, home prices in Canada's popular ski regions1 posted a modest year-over-year decline since the beginning of 2023 as buyer demand continues to soften. This softening is largely due to high interest rates and the rising cost of living as well as a general uneasiness about the state of the economy, the report found. Nationally, in the first 10 months of 2023, the median price of a single-family detached home remained essentially flat, decreasing 0.7 per cent year over year to $1,068,200.

"Although recreational real estate markets vary greatly from one region to the next, activity on the whole in Canada's winter recreational communities has noticeably slowed. Annual sales are down in most regions and inventory has climbed modestly as the market continues to regain balance. This has not, however, translated to steep price declines in a majority of markets. While the rising cost of living has had an impact on demand for recreational real estate, prices have remained stable due to relatively low supply and sellers' capacity to hold out for a desirable deal," said Pauline Aunger, broker of record, Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate. "Market activity is trending back to historical norms, following an unprecedented boost in activity during the pandemic. In addition to a return to normal work and social routines, today's elevated interest rate environment has exacerbated this cooldown, as consumers are more concerned about mortgage expenses and the overall economy, including those shopping in high-end recreational markets."

Market Forecast

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Canada's recreational ski regions will increase 2.9 per cent over the next 12 months to $1,099,661. This forecast is based on the expectation of stable interest rates through 2024 or a modest decline.

"Recreational house prices in Canada's popular ski regions are expected to remain stable in the year ahead. While demand has weakened and supply has increased compared to the pandemic-fueled boom, market activity is trending back to normal historical levels. This will keep prices on a modest upward trajectory in the coming year as Canadians continue to seek out a spot on some of the world's most desirable slopes," added Aunger.

Rising interest rates weigh on consumers

Since March 2022, the Bank of Canada has raised the overnight lending rate 10 times, lifting its policy rate to a more than two-decade high. Coupled with the rising cost of living, increased borrowing costs have produced a cooling effect on recreational markets, similar to the one felt in the residential segment, although to a lesser extent. Forty-one per cent of recreational property market experts reported an increase in properties for sale in their respective markets as a direct result of rising interest rates, compared to last year. The Bank of Canada is widely expected to hold its key lending rate steady at the next announcement in December.

"Though recreational homeowners may have a higher tolerance for increased costs, they are not totally immune. Many recreational property owners purchase their homes in cash, while others opt for financing," said Aunger. "Some would-be buyers who require financing are pausing their purchase plans and are waiting for rates to come down to avoid higher monthly payments. Given the current economic climate, some homeowners are finding their monthly expenses too cumbersome, and are cutting costs or downsizing."

Aunger added that crackdowns on short-term rentals in some municipalities are making it increasingly challenging for recreational property owners to offset increased expenses by renting out their cottages and chalets. Recent changes to legislation were announced in the federal government's Fall Economic Statement last week, in an effort to encourage homeowners to list their homes for sale or for longer leasing periods.2

Recreational markets attract year-round residents

Historically, recreational properties have served as secondary and vacation homes for Canadians. However, since the onset of the pandemic and the shift toward remote work opportunities, more Canadians are choosing recreational markets for their primary residences. The majority of recreational regions surveyed (59%) recorded double-digit declines in the number of homes sold during the first 10 months of 2023, compared to the same period last year. Royal LePage recreational property market experts across the country reported less demand in their respective regions (47%), and an increase in both inventory (88%) and the average number of days on market (82%), compared to 2022.

"While residents are no longer flocking to recreational markets en masse like they were at the peak of the pandemic, when prices and sales were soaring upward, access to high-speed internet in more remote regions has led to an increase in the number of year-round residents," said Aunger. "We are still adjusting to a softer recreational market that is seeing fewer buyers and rising inventory levels as consumers carefully monitor their discretionary spending under the weight of higher borrowing costs. Unlike purchasing a primary residence, most people in the market for a recreational property have the luxury to wait for the right home to come along, or for more favourable market conditions."

Unprecedented wildfire season disrupts market activity

Record-breaking wildfires significantly impacted real estate markets during the summer months, including in Canada's recreational communities.

An unprecedented 16.5 million hectares of land has been destroyed across the country as a result of more than 6,000 fires this year.3 Dry conditions and extreme temperatures provided the optimal conditions for wildfires to spread throughout Western Canada, the Atlantic provinces, and northern regions of Ontario and Quebec over the summer. The wildfires destroyed hundreds of buildings, and evacuation orders displaced tens of thousands of residents across Canada. Some recreational communities not directly hit by wildfires were also impacted by smoke blowing into their region. 

"This was the worst year for wildfires in Canadian history. For those buying or selling a home, this crisis was a source of concern and confusion as dangerous conditions prompted market disruptions," said Aunger. "As the intensity and frequency of wildfires are expected to increase as a result of climate change, we can anticipate that extreme weather events will continue to influence our recreational property markets and consumer decisions."

According to the report, 24 per cent of recreational market experts reported a decline in buyer demand this year as a result of climate factors or environmental disasters.

Data chart - Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report: rlp.ca/table_2023winterrecreationalreport

REGIONAL SUMMARIES
QUEBEC

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home in Quebec's popular ski regions increased 7.8 per cent year over year to $501,600. Meanwhile, the median price of a condominium increased 4.9 per cent to $399,300. In the province's recreational market, the median price of a single-family detached home is forecast to modestly rise, increasing 1.8 per cent over the next 12 months.

Mont-Tremblant
(Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Blanc, La Conception)

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home in Mont-Tremblant increased 7.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, reaching $539,000, while sales fell 13.2 per cent year over year. The median price of a condominium in the region declined 2.1 per cent over the same period, while sales in this market segment decreased 33.5 per cent year over year.

"During periods of rising interest rates, the luxury real estate market in the Mont-Tremblant area is typically less affected, since a significant proportion of buyers do not finance their homes. This accounts for the fact that prices continued to rise in the region this past year," said Corina Enoaie, residential and commercial real estate broker at Mont-Tremblant Real Estate, a division of Royal LePage. "Although we're noticing that buyers are more confident when it comes to negotiating for a better price, sellers still have the advantage as they're not exposed to strong market competition from fellow sellers." 

The real estate professional reiterated that while the law prohibiting the purchase of residential property by non-Canadians does not apply to many areas of Mont-Tremblant, foreign buyers should always be sure to do their due diligence before making a purchase.

For those looking for real estate near the slopes, the current minimum price threshold is around $1,400,000 for a single-family home and $150,000 plus taxes for a condominium (condotel).

"Year after year, Mont-Tremblant ranks among the top ski resorts in North America," said Corina Enoaie. "We are fortunate to live in a four-season resort close to two major urban centers, Montreal and Ottawa. Although economic conditions have limited household purchasing power, Mont-Tremblant's real estate market should still do well and remain slightly up in 2024."

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family detached home in the region will appreciate 4.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Mont Saint-Sauveur
(Saint-Sauveur, Morin-Heights, Piedmont)

In the first 10 months of the year, the real estate markets near Mont Saint-Sauveur showed contrasting trends between property types, as the median price of a single-family home rose 6.7 per cent over the same period in 2022 to reach $600,000, while sales fell 7.2 per cent year over year. Conversely, the median price of a condominium in the region fell 6.5 per cent compared to the first 10 months of 2022 to $357,500, while sales declined 2.3 per cent year over year.

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local real estate market was more vulnerable to economic fluctuations. However, improved high-speed internet access and the flexibility of remote working has created steady demand, making the market more resilient. The region is now home to a significant proportion of primary residence owners," said Éric Léger, residential and commercial real estate broker, Royal LePage Humania E.L.

As for the dynamic between buyers and sellers, Léger believes that sellers still have room to maneuver when it comes to selling prices, as a result of the considerable increases in the market value of their properties over the last few years. However, the rate of appreciation is set to slow in the coming months.

For those looking for a property near the slopes in Saint-Sauveur, the current minimum price threshold is around $800,000 for a single-family home and $600,000 for a condominium.

"The scarcity of supply should prevent property prices in the Saint-Sauveur region from softening in 2024, but sales are still expected to decline as households act with more caution and wait for lower interest rates," said Léger. "Consumers are advised to plan carefully for major purchases, including the acquisition of a property, and surround themselves with experts such as a real estate broker, financial advisor and mortgage broker, to inform their decisions."

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family detached home in the region will increase 4.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Val Saint-Côme et Mont Garceau
(Saint-Côme, Saint-Donat)

During the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family home near Val Saint-Côme and Mont Garceau remained essentially flat, decreasing 0.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, to $431,000. Sales also stabilized, increasing 0.7 per cent year over year.

For those looking for real estate near the slopes, the minimum price threshold is around $500,000 for a single-family home.

"The market was very active up until the summer, when days on market became longer and sellers began to make concessions on prices. This explains why prices and sales have stabilized," said Éric Fugère, real estate broker, Royal LePage Habitations. "These are direct effects of the rise in interest rates that are starting to be felt.

"Access to winter sports and tranquility continue to be important factors for buyers in Lanaudière. High-speed internet access is essential for buyers, especially those wishing to settle permanently and work remotely," he said, adding that the territory is increasingly well connected.

Fugère believes that 2024 home prices in the Lanaudière recreational markets could be among the most affected by the recent interest rate increases.

"The Bank of Canada's aggressive efforts to slow inflation initiated in March of 2022 are now showing results, putting a lid on real estate demand," he said. "Lanaudière was one of the only markets in our report to show a decline in recreational property prices in the first 10 months of 2023, and all indicators are pointing to the expectation that they will continue to soften, given households' reduced purchasing power."

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family detached home in the region will decrease 2.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Bromont, Mont Sutton (Sutton, Brome et Lac Brome) and Mont Orford (Orford et Magog)

The median price of a single-family detached home in all Eastern Townships' ski area markets increased during the first 10 months of the year.

Of the three regions analyzed, Sutton saw the biggest increase in the median price of single-family homes, rising 27.3 per cent between January 1 and October 31, 2023 compared to the same period in 2022 to $697,500, surpassing the median price in Bromont for the first time since this report has been published. The median price of a single-family home in Bromont reached $650,000, an increase of 10.9 per cent during the first 10 months of the year, a noticeable change after declining 0.9 per cent between 2021 and 2022. Meanwhile, the median single-family home price in the Mont Orford region saw a moderate increase of 5.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2022, rising to $495,000. As for condominiums, the median price increased 11.3 per cent in Bromont year over year to $555,000, and 4.8 per cent in the Mont Orford area, to $305,000. During the same period, condominium sales decreased 4.3 per cent and 30.8 per cent, respectively.

"Like in 2022, the Eastern Townships' winter recreational markets showed great disparity this year, but proved extremely resilient in the face of economic ups and downs," said Véronique Boucher, real estate broker at Royal LePage Au Sommet. "Property prices in Sutton surpassed those in Bromont for the first time, with an unprecedented annual increase approaching 30 per cent. At the same time, Bromont once again reported price gains, after experiencing a slight decline in 2022. Meanwhile, the Orford/Magog market recorded a healthy rise in prices, but a considerable decline in sales." 

Boucher notes that this price appreciation has taken place despite an environment of rising property taxes and rising interest rates, demonstrating that real estate demand is still strong in the region.

For those looking for real estate near the slopes, the current minimum price threshold is around $1.5 million for a single-family home in Bromont, while it stands at $800,000 and $900,000 in Mont Orford and Mont Sutton, respectively. A condominium slopeside starts at $550,000 in Orford and $1,000,000 in Bromont.

"Currently, the luxury real estate market is more buoyant than the mid-range," said Boucher, adding that multi-million-dollar purchases don't require lending in many cases. "In Sutton, for example, we're seeing an increase of around 30 per cent in sales above the million-dollar mark for 2023 compared to 2022.

"The rest of the market remains active, but selling times are longer compared to this time last year," she said. "First-time homebuyers remain on the sidelines, waiting for more favourable conditions to enter the real estate market with a better quality-price ratio."

In 2024, Boucher expects the effects of this year's interest rate hikes to be felt more strongly, limiting the growth in property prices around the region's ski areas.

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family detached home will increase 2.0 per cent in Bromont, 8.0 per cent in Sutton and 2.0 per cent in Orford over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Mont Sainte-Anne
(Beaupré, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Saint-Joachim)

In the Mont Sainte-Anne region, the median price of a single-family home rose 1.3 per cent year over year during the first 10 months of 2023 to $290,000, while sales fell 24.6 per cent. For condominiums, the median price jumped 83.4 per cent year over year to $266,000, while sales fell 10.8 per cent over the same period.

For those looking for real estate near the slopes, the entry-level price is around $600,000 for a single-family home and $300,000 for a condominium.

According to Marc Bonenfant, chartered real estate broker, Royal LePage Inter-Québec, the sharp rise in the median price of a condominium near the slopes of Mont Sainte-Anne reflects the wide disparity in property types in the region and the scarcity of properties for sale.

"The condominium segment in the Mont Sainte-Anne region is highly varied, with apartments of all sizes, as well as townhouses in very luxurious complexes, so prices can fluctuate greatly from one year to the next," he explained. "For example, in 2022, the most expensive property sold for $725,000, whereas we're talking about $1,215,000 in 2023. The appeal of ski-in, ski-out continues to be the main driver of real estate demand in the region."

According to the broker, property prices are likely to experience a moderate decline in 2024 in the region, in response to the environment of higher borrowing costs that will continue to weigh on buyers' wallets. He admits, however, that recent updates in the short-term rental framework could cool sales in areas that no longer allow it, but on the other hand, push up prices in areas where it is still permitted.

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family home in Mont Sainte-Anne will dip 4.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Stoneham/Lac-Beauport
(Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury, Lac Delage, St-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Lac-Beauport)

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home in Stoneham/Lac-Beauport decreased 3.9 per cent, compared to the first 10 months of 2022, to $457,000, while sales increased 10.0 per cent over the same period.

"The real estate markets near Stoneham/Lac-Beauport remain very popular with young households looking for a recreational property to enjoy the slopes on evenings and weekends," said Marc Bonenfant, chartered real estate broker, Royal LePage Inter-Québec.

For those looking for a property near the slopes, the minimum price threshold today is around $600,000 for a single-family home and $300,000 for a condominium.

Since 2019, home prices in the region have grown nearly 50 per cent, said Bonenfant, who is concerned about the financial capacity of households as mortgage renewals come due. Households that purchased a property before 2022 at an interest rate below 2 per cent will now be renewing at over 7 per cent.

"Rising borrowing costs are affecting more and more households who are about to renew their mortgages, and some are now realizing the impact on their monthly payments," said Bonenfant. "When investing in the purchase of a higher-end property, it's important to anticipate that the cost of living will also increase, usually in addition to property taxes and other maintenance costs that come with the purchase of a property."

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family home will decrease 3.0 per cent in the Stoneham/Lac-Beauport market over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Massif de Charlevoix
(Baie-Saint-Paul, Les Éboulements, Isle-aux-Coudres, Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, Saint-Hilarion, Saint-Urbain)

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home near Le Massif de Charlevoix climbed 21.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2022, to $398,800. Meanwhile, sales fell 28.3 per cent year over year.

For those looking for real estate near the slopes, the minimum price threshold today is around $450,000 for a single-family home.

"The arrival of Charlevoix's Club Med has certainly turned the area into a major attraction, and is a major driver of local economic activity," said Denis Lavoie, residential and commercial real estate broker at Royal LePage Blanc & Noir. "The new facilities have boosted tourism in the region, in addition to stimulating other real estate investments and the creation of new infrastructures, such as the construction of a brand new hospital in Baie-Saint-Paul."

According to the broker, the recent influx of real estate developers into the region should push up inventory levels in the coming year, a trend that would slow price appreciation.

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family home in the region will increase 3.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Mont Grand Fonds
(La Malbaie, Clermont, Saint-Siméon, Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, Notre-Dame-des-Monts, Sainte-Irénée, Baie Sainte-Catherine)

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home near Charlevoix's Mont Grand Fonds climbed 21.6 per cent, compared to the same period in 2022, to $231,000. Meanwhile sales fell 21.1 per cent year over year.

"The area attracts real estate investors, mainly from France, who are attracted to the riverside landscape, mountains and our four seasons of recreational options," said Denis Lavoie, residential and commercial real estate broker, Royal LePage Blanc & Noir. "Many consider Mont Grand Fonds to be the best-kept secret in Eastern Charlevoix, a family ski resort that drives sales in the real estate market. In addition to the large pool of rental cottages, real estate activity is largely stimulated by the many winter sports available, from downhill and cross-country skiing to snowmobiling."

Royal LePage forecasts that the median price of a single-family home in the region will increase 3.0 per cent over the next 12 months. This forecast is based on stable interest rates for most of 2024 or a modest decline.

Data chart - Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report: rlp.ca/table_2023winterrecreationalreport

ONTARIO

Southern Georgian Bay (Collingwood/Meaford/Thornbury)

The median price of a single-family detached home in Southern Georgian Bay's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year decreased 10.1 per cent year over year to $800,000. Meanwhile, the median price of a condominium decreased 8.9 per cent to $640,000 during the same period. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $1,000,000 and $400,000, respectively. Total sales were up 2.7 per cent year over year in the region.

"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."

Von Teichman added that renting out a recreational property on the short-term market to alleviate increased mortgage expenses is not an option in Southern Georgian Bay, as the area has restricted such rentals for decades. Some adjacent communities are adopting similar stringent policies on short-term rentals in an effort to manage housing affordability and supply.  Additionally, prices for seasonal and ski resort rentals have softened considerably as more snowbirds head south of the border, adding more rental inventory to a market that has already seen less demand post-pandemic.

"In the months ahead, I imagine both inventory and pricing will keep with typical seasonal trends, with a pause in activity in the later months of the year before rebounding in the early spring," said von Teichman. "We will continue to see a small but steady number of buyers from the Greater Toronto Area relocate to Southern Georgian Bay full-time, attracted to the region's all-season recreational access and enticing work-life balance."

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Southern Georgian Bay will increase 4.5 per cent over the next 12 months, as market conditions continue to trend towards historical norms.

Data chart - Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report: rlp.ca/table_2023winterrecreationalreport

ALBERTA

Canmore

The median price of a single-family detached home in Canmore's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year increased 9.6 per cent year over year to $1,707,300, while the median price of a condominium increased 4.3 per cent to $696,900. For those looking to buy a house or condominium adjacent to the Canmore Nordic Centre, prices typically start at $850,000 and $900,000, respectively. Total sales were down 17.2 per cent year over year in the region.

"The sales volume of Canmore's recreational real estate market continues to revert back to pre-COVID norms, and the double-digit price gains we saw during the height of the pandemic-fueled market boom have subsided. Still, market conditions remain in favour of the seller in most segments, inching slowly towards a balanced market," said Brad Hawker, associate broker, Royal LePage Solutions. "Inventory levels for active listings are moving up from all-time lows, but are still about 30 per cent below the 10-year average and 35 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, which is keeping strength in the recreational market."

As the majority of recreational property transactions in Canmore are made without financing, higher interest rates have not dissuaded most homebuyer hopefuls from making a purchase, Hawker added. This also means homeowners are much less likely to rent out their home to offset increased borrowing costs.

"For the last couple of decades, Canmore's zoning laws have restricted short-term rentals to specific areas. This is nothing new. As a result, we have not faced the same supply challenges as other provinces with an influx of investor-owned properties," said Hawker. "In the coming months, I do not anticipate we will see a lot of new product hitting the market. I expect buying and selling activity will remain status quo for the foreseeable future, as purchasers with the luxury of time wait for the right recreational home to come along."

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Canmore will remain relatively flat, decreasing just 0.5 per cent over the next 12 months.

Data chart - Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report: rlp.ca/table_2023winterrecreationalreport

BRITISH COLUMBIA

In the first 10 months of the year, the median price of a single-family detached home in British Columbia's popular ski regions decreased 1.6 per cent year over year to $2,026,400, while the median price of a condominium decreased 1.4 per cent to $525,000. In the province's recreational market, the median price of a single-family detached home is forecast to increase 4.1 per cent over the next 12 months. 

Whistler

The median price of a single-family detached home in Whistler's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year remained flat, decreasing 0.4 per cent year over year to $3,632,400, while the median price of a condominium increased 3.4 per cent to $600,000. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $3,000,000 and $1,000,000, respectively. Total sales were down 12.3 per cent year over year in the region.

"Although there are buyers out there, very few people are putting pen to paper at the moment. With all of the conversation around rising interest rates, many consumers ? including luxury homebuyers ? have temporarily withdrawn from the market and are prepared to wait and see what the Bank of Canada decides to do in December and next year," said Frank Ingham, associate broker, Royal LePage Sussex. "This year, British Columbia experienced the worst wildfire season on record, which has also driven some business away from recreational markets in the province. In addition to physical dangers, purchasers are concerned over insurance risks. Many insurance policies include a clause which can halt the closing of a property should a wildfire come within a specific radius of the affected home. This policy is pushing some buyers to less disaster-prone markets, and could spell more challenges in the future as wildfires become more frequent."

Although increased mortgage costs can be more easily absorbed by affluent homeowners, Ingham added that the true effects of higher interest rates have yet to be felt in Whistler. The impact of elevated borrowing costs will likely be seen between 2024 and 2026, when many five-year mortgages will be up for renewal.

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Whistler will increase 5.0 per cent over the next 12 months.

Invermere

The median price of a single-family detached home in Invermere's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year increased 1.1 per cent year over year to $659,000, while the median price of a condominium increased 1.3 per cent to $400,000. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $440,000 and $275,000, respectively. Total sales were down 23.4 per cent year over year in the region.

"Higher interest rates are having an impact on Invermere's recreational market. We are seeing more homes come online as mortgage rates have climbed over the past year and a half. The short-term rental market has also seen a boost in supply as homeowners look to rent out their properties to gain additional income to help cover monthly expenses," said Barry Benson, broker, Royal LePage Rockies West Realty. "As a result, the pool of homes available for sale has increased, which is a welcome sign for buyers who now have more options to choose from. Although demand for Invermere homes has stayed steady, growing supply levels have moderated price growth. I expect this will be the norm for the near future as borrowing rates remain higher than normal."

Benson added that clients have found it more challenging to sell their recreational properties in 2023 as a result of climate factors. Wildfires burned west, east and south of Invermere in August, prompting evacuations in nearby towns.

"Forest fires have had an impact on the Invermere market, as fires burning close to the community caused disruption during the summer. Still, demand has remained consistent throughout the year," said Benson. "With its proximity to the Alberta border, buyers from Calgary who are looking for year-round recreational opportunities continue to cross provincial lines to achieve their recreational property goals."

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Invermere will increase 5.0 per cent over the next 12 months.

Revelstoke

The median price of a single-family detached home in Revelstoke's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year decreased 1.1 per cent year over year to $816,000, while the median price of a condominium decreased 12.7 per cent to $680,000. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $4,000,000 and $750,000, respectively. Inventory for slopeside houses is extremely limited in Revelstoke. Total sales were down 1.9 per cent year over year in the region.

"Though our inventory and average days on market have grown, demand for Revelstoke properties has remained somewhat stable this past year. While the frenzy of the pandemic market has dramatically pushed property prices up over time, Revelstoke still provides good value compared to other major ski resort regions, which continues to draw buyers to the area," said Don Teuton, broker and owner, Royal LePage Revelstoke. "Although wildfires were active throughout the province over the summer, it was not enough to dissuade new buyers from visiting the area, or homeowners from listing their properties. If wildfires occur more frequently, however, this could impact demand down the road."

Teuton added that rising interest rates have negatively affected the return on investment for rental properties, as higher mortgage costs eat into rental profit. The region has seen a slight decrease in the number of buyers who intend to use their recreational properties for rental purposes compared to last year. Although mortgage costs have increased, Teuton noted that Revelstoke has not seen a material increase in recreational properties for sale as a direct result of rising interest rates.

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Revelstoke will decrease 2.0 per cent over the next 12 months, as both demand and inventory levels remain stable.

Mount Washington/Comox Valley

The median price of a single-family detached home in the Mount Washington/Comox Valley region's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year increased 26.5 per cent year over year to $1,075,000, while the median price of a condominium decreased 2.1 per cent to $465,000. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $700,000 and $280,000, respectively. Total sales were down 47.1 per cent year over year in the region. Lower than usual sales in the region resulted in greater price fluctuation.

"Like many housing markets across the country, Mount Washington/Comox Valley has seen demand soften this year. Home inventory and the number of days properties are staying on the market have increased, giving homebuyers more time and choice when shopping around," said Rick Gibson, sales representative, Royal LePage in the Comox Valley. "As cash buyers are common in this community, higher interest rates have not prompted many residents to list their recreational homes for sale due to increased mortgage costs. However, more homeowners are renting out their properties, as many paid a higher-than-average purchase price during the peak of the pandemic-fueled market."

Gibson added that until buyers and sellers gain more confidence about the trajectory of interest rates and the overall economy, home price appreciation and market activity will remain subdued.

"Buyers are drawn to this region not only for its affordability, but also its all-season recreational options, proximity to airports, and access to nearby communities," said Gibson. "Although there has been a reduction in overall buyer demand compared to 2022, the market continues to receive interest from locals and buyers from other communities on Vancouver Island."

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in MountWashington/Comox Valley will flatten, increasing 0.5 per cent over the next 12 months, as buyer demand remains muted.

Sun Peaks

The median price of a single-family detached home in Sun Peaks' recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year decreased 21.3 per cent year over year to $1,212,500, while the median price of a condominium decreased 9.9 per cent to $449,500. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $1,349,000 and $350,000, respectively. Total sales were down 47.7 per cent year over year in the region, which is located outside Kamloops, British Columbia.

"Higher borrowing costs have put a noticeable damper on the secondary property market this year. Our home sales have dropped by almost half compared to 2022, and the number of days on market has increased dramatically as buyer demand wanes," said Kyle Panasuk, sales representative, Royal LePage Westwin Realty.

Panasuk noted that inventory has grown compared to 2022 levels. This rise in supply is partially due to an uptick in residents listing their homes for sale as a result of elevated monthly mortgage costs. Meanwhile, short-term rental listings have continued to be in high demand.

"The Sun Peaks rental market has been strong as of late," said Panasuk. "Homeowners are not only incentivized to rent out their properties on account of increased demand, but also to counterbalance their mortgage payments, which have increased significantly for variable-rate borrowers over the past year and a half."

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Sun Peaks will increase 3.0 per cent over the next 12 months, as buyers are expected to return to the market when interest rates stabilize or dip.

Big White

The median price of a single-family detached home in Big White's recreational property market for the first 10 months of the year decreased 6.3 per cent year over year to $1,500,000, while the median price of a condominium decreased 9.1 per cent to $500,000. For those looking to buy a house or condominium slopeside or at mountain base, prices typically start at $1,000,000 and $800,000, respectively. Total sales were down 30.5 per cent year over year in the region, located outside Kelowna, British Columbia.

"Despite activity being lower than the 2021-2022 pandemic-fueled boom, we are not experiencing the same downturn that some other recreational markets have seen this year. Big White has transitioned from a community that was slightly overbuilt to one with dwindling inventory, as the few properties for sale are being quickly snapped up. As a result of inflation and increased borrowing costs, it is taking longer and becoming more costly to replenish supply, meaning new homes come at a higher premium. Fewer homeowners are choosing to rent out their properties, which is constraining accommodation options for vital resort staff," said Andrew Braff, sales representative, Royal LePage Kelowna. "Although buyers in this market rarely make their purchases with financing, the negativity surrounding interest rates and the economy as a whole has given consumers reason to pause, which has kept prices stable despite low supply levels."

Braff noted that nearby wildfires in Kelowna interrupted the market for a full month as insurance policies could not be issued and some buyers felt hesitant to transact. Big White Ski Resort served as an evacuation centre for those affected by wildfires in the Okanagan Region. Buyers are unlikely to be dissuaded by future fires, however, as Big White's large homes and popularity among avid skiers continue to attract affluent buyers from Toronto and other major Canadian cities.

Royal LePage is forecasting that the median price of a single-family detached home in Big White will increase 5.0 per cent over the next 12 months, as demand continues to outstrip supply.

Data chart - Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report: rlp.ca/table_2023winterrecreationalreport

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Royal LePage's media room contains royalty-free assets, such as images and b-roll, that are free for media use.

About the Royal LePage Winter Recreational Property Report

The 2023 Royal LePage Winter Recreational Property Report compiles insights, data and forecasts from 18 popular ski regions. Median price and sales data was compiled and analyzed by Royal LePage for the periods between January 1, 2023 and October 31, 2023 and January 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022. Data was sourced through local brokerages and boards in each of the surveyed regions. Data availability is based on a transactional threshold and whether regional data is available using the report's standard housing types. 2022 price data may vary from the 2022 Winter Recreational Property Report as a result of updated transaction records from local real estate boards.

About Royal LePage

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country's leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of approximately 20,000 real estate professionals in over 670 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, which has been dedicated to supporting women's shelters and domestic violence prevention programs for 25 years. Royal LePage is a Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE. For more information, please visit www.royallepage.ca.

____________________________

1

 Median price and sales data for 18 popular ski regions across Canada was compiled and analyzed by Royal LePage for the periods between January 1, 2023 and October 31, 2023, and January 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022. Data was sourced through local brokerages and boards in each of the surveyed regions. 2022 price data may vary from the 2022 Winter Recreational Property Report as a result of updated transaction records from local real estate boards.

2

 2023 Fall Economic Statement, Government of Canada, November 21, 2023

3

 Canada's record-breaking wildfires in 2023: A fiery wake-up call, Natural Resources Canada, Government of Canada

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services


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