In a survey released by Royal LePage, interest rates factor “hugely” into Canadians’ decisions when it comes to purchasing a recreational property.

The survey, which polled people intending to purchase a recreation property within the next five years, found 82 per cent of respondents said interest rates will influence their decision to buy while 82 per cent feel added urgency to buy a recreation property while rates are low.

When asked what they believe recreational property prices will do in the coming year, 50 per cent of respondents said prices will increase and 32 per cent said prices would stay the same. Of those planning to make a recreational property purchase, 76 per cent said they are more inclined to buy a property in Canada rather than the United States or elsewhere.

“Despite financial and economic uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, we have found that the enduring value of recreation properties is widely recognized by Canadians,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services. “In contrast to our large urban centres, where home prices shot up in recent years before rapidly cooling in 2013, the recreationalproperty
market has remained remarkably stable and resilient.”

According to the survey, more than half of respondents are thinking in the long-term when it comes to recreational properties with 60 per cent replying they are unlikely to sell upon retirement. In that same thread, 64 per cent of respondents said they are not planning to use their recreation property as their primary residence once they retire.

Lake properties took the lead in Canadians’ recreational preferences with 41 per cent indicating lakeside as their first choice followed by 17 per cent saying mountains or woods and 13 per cent saying a condominium in a recreational community.

“Canadians have long valued the ability to escape the city to spend time with friends and family,” said Soper. “A place to get away from the pressures of daily life seems to be more attractive now than ever. From coast to coast, Canada offers some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and friendly communities.”

Respondents were also asked what financial or lifestyle changes they’d be willing to make in order to purchase a recreational property. Almost a third of respondents (31 per cent) said they’d rent their property throughout the year, 25 per cent said they’d reduce discretionary spending and 24 per cent said they’d downsize their primary residence.

Royal LePage 2013 Recreational Properties Report