June 6, 2012

Canadians Eager for Recreational Property

Potential buyers willing to do what it takes to own one: survey

Canadians appear ready to make some sacrifices to own their dream cottage, a new survey suggests. The online survey conducted by Leger Marketing for Royal LePage Real Estate Services between April 5 and April 12 sampled 1,000 Canadians who own a recreational property or are looking to purchase a recreational property within the next five years.

The survey found 32 per cent would cut discretionary spending to be a cottage owner, another 25 per cent are willing to buy a “fixer-upper,” 23 per cent would buy land with a plan to build in the future and 22 per cent are willing to purchase with friends or family. Renting it out is also an option, with 10 per cent of owners saying they would like to do so. However, 83 per cent of owners say they don’t actually do it. Among intended buyers, 51 per cent said they would rent out their property if the potential tenant was referred by someone they knew.

The real estate company notes cottage costs can include mortgage payments, property tax, utilities, condo fees and snow removal, which makes renting an attractive option. “Many Canadians aspire to own a recreational property because of the lifestyle benefit it provides, but potential buyers must understand how they plan to finance their purchase to ensure they can afford it,” said Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage. “While renting out your property is an attractive option to improve affordability, the ability to do so profitably varies by region. Some areas have bylaws that restrict rental activity while other regions have strict noise regulations that might limit your ability to attract renters.”

LePage also asked people what they were looking for in a cottage. Quiet was the No. 1 goal, cited by 55 per cent of respondents. Four-season use was second at 38 per cent, followed by boating and fishing at 25 per cent. “Recreational properties are an excellent way to bring families together and to help reduce the stress associated with city living,” Soper says. “This type of real estate can also be a solid investment, particularly if you are interested in a cottage or cabin on the waterfront. Recreational property supply near Canada’s urban centres is fixed while populations grow.”

Financial Post

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