Buying a cottage this summer? Here’s what’s happening in some of the most popular recreational regions in Canada.

Two kayakers on a peaceful lake at sunset

As thousands of Canadians make their way to cottage country this May long weekend – the unofficial start of summer – many will be on the hunt for a recreational property to call their own. If you’re one of them, you may be curious to know what’s new since the release of the Royal LePage Spring Recreational Property Report in March of this year. We checked in with our real estate experts in some of the most popular cottage regions across the country to understand the latest market trends, and to find out what we can expect this season.

Pays-d’en-Haut (Laurentians), Quebec

In the Regional County Municipality of Pays-d’en-Haut in the Laurentians, single-family home sales were down 38% in the months of March and April, 2022, compared to the same period last year, due to the supply shortage. In April, active listings in the single-family segment dropped by more than 18% year-over-year. Éric Léger, real estate broker, Royal LePage Humania, says that 26 months into the pandemic, demand for real estate remains strong, even if less so than the spring of 2021. 

“Properties priced below $500,000 continue to attract multiple offers,” he said. “There are still a large number of experienced buyers in the market prepared to compete. But, for first-time buyers, the challenge remains and some have been priced out due to high home ownership costs.”

The median price of a single-family home in the region reached $515,000 over the course of March and April, 2022, a 22.6% increase over the same period last year; a jump of nearly $100,000. 

Memphrémagog (Eastern Townships), Quebec

In the Regional County Municipality of Memphrémagog, strong demand continues to outstrip supply. Single-family home sales were down 27% in the months of March and April, 2022, compared to the same period last year. Dan Coutu, real estate broker, Royal LePage Au Sommet in Estrie, says there has been a slight uptick in inventory in recent weeks.  

“New inventory is being added for all property types, which could help to alleviate some of the competition in the market, although it is unlikely there will be enough supply to have a significant impact on prices in the short-term,” he said. “Buyers with a budget of less than $700,000 will have to compromise on something, including moving further out to find an affordable property close to the water.”

The median price of a single-family home in the region reached $491,000 over the course of March and April, 2022, a 16.9% increase over the same period last year. For properties on or close to the water, that figure jumps to more than $800,000. 

Southern Georgian Bay, Ontario

As reported in March, the median price of a single-family home in Southern Georgian Bay – which includes Collingwood, Meaford, Wasaga Beach and Thornbury – was 27.5% higher in 2021 than the year prior. Desmond von Teichman, broker, Royal LePage Locations North, says home prices are continuing to rise despite lower activity levels at the start of the spring market. 

“So far in 2022, total sales in the region are down 25% compared to the same period last year, but prices are up almost 30%. Compared to an average pre-pandemic year, however, sales remain well above the norm. Even with less demand than last year, there is still not enough supply to satisfy all those in search of a home in Southern Georgian Bay, be it a vacation property or a primary residence,” he said, adding that open houses have once again become popular. Royal LePage expects demand will continue to outstrip supply this year.

Muskoka, Ontario

As reported in March, the median price of a single-family home in Muskoka was 49.0% higher in 2021 than the year prior, while waterfront properties were up 28.7%. John O’Rourke, broker, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka, says home prices in the region are continuing to rise as a chronic shortage of waterfront homes continues to create tight competition for buyers. 

“While the rise in interest rates, the high price of gas and other consumer goods, and a general sense of fatigue have reduced the number of buyers in the market, at least for the time being, we remain firmly in a seller’s market. In the first four months of 2022, waterfront property sales were down 58% compared to the same time last year. However, an attractive waterfront property is still going to sell at a premium. Educated buyers who are serious about owning in Muskoka are willing to pay top dollar. I don’t expect that to change,” he said. O’Rourke noted that the months of inventory was four times higher in April than the same month last year, indicating an eventual return to a more balanced market.

Canmore, Alberta

As reported in March, the median price of a single-family home in Canmore was 32.7% higher in 2021 than the year prior. Brad Hawker, associate broker, Royal LePage Solutions, says current demand remains strong in the region, which continues to be extremely popular with buyers from all across the country, since the start of the pandemic. 

“In the first four months of 2022, sales in Canmore were approximately 35% higher than an average year, but compared to the record-setting 2021 figures, sales were actually down 39%.This is due in large part to a drop in active inventory,” he said. Hawker noted that low supply is continuing to drive strong competition in the market, resulting in many homes still selling in multiple-offer scenarios, above the asking price; fewer, however, than during the peak in February and early March. Royal LePage expects home prices will continue to rise through the remainder of 2022.  

Central Okanagan, British Columbia

As reported in March, the median price of a single-family home in Central Okanagan was 22.2% higher in 2021 than the year prior, while waterfront properties were up 20.2%. Francis Braam, broker, Royal LePage Kelowna, says that market activity is now beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

“Although supply shortages continue to challenge buyers across the region, inventory was up 8% year-over-year in April. Demand has reduced in recent months due to rising interest rates as well as buyer fatigue. And, some buyers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, in the unlikely event that prices drop significantly. In April, unit sales were down 35% compared to the same month last year,” he said. Royal LePage expects home prices to hold steady, and that activity in the condominium market will remain popular among buyers looking for vacation properties that can be rented out.

For price data in these and many other recreational regions across the country, use the links below to read the Royal LePage Spring Recreational Property Report and price chart.

Do I need a REALTOR® to sell my home?

 

Asian couple, woman in red dress, sitting on a couch, smiling and shaking hands with a realtor

These days, you can find an online video or how-to article for just about any DIY project… but when it comes to the single biggest financial decision of your life, there are sound reasons for choosing a professional. 

A REALTOR®1 will guide you through the entire process from start to finish. They provide skilled guidance on preparing your home for the market, viewings, negotiations and navigating the legal process of the transaction. Their expertise in the real estate market can also help you set the correct listing price for your home.

Here are some benefits to consider:

MARKETING AND SHOWING YOUR HOME: Top realtors will have access to best-in-class marketing services to show your home at its best and to as wide of an audience as possible. From photography services, staging, viewings and digital marketing, having a skilled professional on your side will get the most traction to your listing.   

ACCESS TO A LARGE NETWORK: A licensed real estate agent will have access to a large network of potential buyers. Through their professional databases and relationships with other agents, a realtor may have other clients, or colleagues with clients, who are interested in purchasing your home. They also have access to insights that can help you make a more informed decision, like comparable prices, market conditions and other trends.

NEGOTIATING: It’s called the art of negotiation for a reason – it is a real skill. A realtor is a professional negotiator who understands your local market. They know what has sold in the area and where demand is coming from. Lean on them to help you get the best sale price for your home.

NAVIGATING THE TRANSACTION: Having an experienced professional on your side will take the stress out of the critical paperwork that is necessary when selling your home. When working with a realtor, you will have the confidence that all your affairs are in order.

ACCESS TO OTHER PROFESSIONALS: It’s always helpful to have referrals from friends and family when hiring a professional. Just as you may be referred to an agent, your agent can refer others to you. Real estate professionals have access to a large network of home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, financial advisors and mortgage brokers, and movers, to name a few.

Want to find a Royal LePage real estate agent in your area?


1The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

Single Story For Sale in Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Falls

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•  5542 sqft , 6 bath , 7 bdrm single story – FOR SALE  CAD2,750,000 . Charm and exquisite craftsmanship MLS® 194219

ONE OF A KIND! This newly built contemporary 5,542 sq. ft. home exudes charm and exquisite craftsmanship the moment you walk through the door. Home Features; Extensive use of windows (with remote blinds) generously showcasing the South Okanagan, 6 bedrooms, of which 2 are primary bedrooms with glamorous en-suites, main floor features connected living & dining room with direct access to the beautiful infinity pool, two hot tubs and a rooftop patio to take in perpetual panoramic Skaha Lake views! Lower level is perfect for entertainment, movie theatre or billiards. This resort-like home offers over 1200 square feet of patios and over 800 square feet of balconies. To complete this package a triple garage with the potential for a car lift. Distinctively rare living experience is what this home offers. Start living the Okanagan Dream. State of the art Heating and Cooling System, no costs spared on this immaculate home

Click here for: Property information

Planning to renovate your home? Here’s what you need to know to maximize your return on investment.

 

Bright, modern, renovated white kitchen with blue island and gold fixtures

If you’re working on a home improvement project – whether for you to enjoy, or in preparation to put your property on the market – you may be interested to know which renos will give you the most bang for your buck.

A kitchen renovation is the most worthwhile home improvement, and has the potential to increase the value of your property by 20%, according to a recent survey of Royal LePage experts.  

“A kitchen is perceived as the gathering place and the heart of the home,” said Mike Heddle, broker and team leader, Royal LePage State Realty. “When a potential buyer views a home for the first time, the one thing that will stand out – for better or worse – is what the kitchen looked and felt like. They may not remember the size of the bedrooms or the colour of the walls, but they will remember the kitchen.”

Highlights from the national release: 

  • Royal LePage professionals say, on average, bathroom renovations can increase the value of a home by 16%
  • Finished basements and basement apartments have the potential to increase a home’s value by 15%, according to survey results
  • Outdoor entertaining space and landscaping have the potential to increase a property’s value by an average of 10%, according to respondents
  • For Canadians looking for general guidance on where to invest in their home renovation projects, 87% of surveyed experts recommend interior renovations

Do I need a REALTOR® to purchase a home?

 

Realtor in a blue suit shows a young couple a property, couple entering through front door

While there are plenty of great resources available to help you narrow down what you’re looking for, and research the region or neighbourhood that may best suit your lifestyle, consider these benefits to hiring a real estate professional when buying your next home.

A REALTOR®1 will not only take the time to help you find the right property, but also assist you through the buying and closing process. By getting to know you they can make suggestions of similar properties in similar neighbourhoods that may be off your radar. They have their fingers on the pulse of communities across the region they cover. They will advise you through the offer process and once a bid is won, they can recommend trusted professionals to help you complete the transition. 

Here are some benefits to consider:

ACCESS TO A LARGE NETWORK: A licensed real estate agent will have access to more available properties than the general public. Through their professional databases and relationships with other agents, a realtor knows what properties are coming on the market before they are posted, and may have other clients, or colleagues with clients, who are preparing to sell a home that fits your criteria. Some homes are sold prior to being listed and others are only publicly listed for a very short time. You could miss out on your perfect home.

NEGOTIATING: A realtor is a professional negotiator, and it is part of their job to get you the best possible deal on a property. They have insights into the local market, and with access to important data, they have a deep understanding of property values in a particular area at a given point in time.

NAVIGATING THE TRANSACTION: A real estate agent is an expert in their field, and having an experienced professional on your side will take the stress out of the critical paperwork that is necessary when purchasing a home. A realtor will guide you through one of the most significant and important transactions of your life.

ACCESS TO OTHER PROFESSIONALS: It’s always helpful to have referrals from friends and family when hiring a professional. Just as you may be referred to an agent, your agent can refer others to you. Real estate professionals have access to a large network of home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, financial advisors and mortgage brokers, and movers, to name a few. When you hire experienced experts, you get what you want the first time while saving time and money.

Want to find a Royal LePage real estate agent in your area?


1The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

Apartment For Sale in Main South, Penticton

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Plenty of natural light, floor to ceiling windows in the living room

•  950 sqft , 2 bath , 2 bdrm apartment – FOR SALE  CAD444,900 . This immaculately kept, NE corner home  MLS® 193987

This immaculately kept, NE corner home offers 950 sq. ft. comprising of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Notable features of this home are; plenty of natural light, floor to ceiling windows in the living room, open and nice flowing living space for easy entertaining, cozy balcony off of living room, well laid out kitchen w/sit up island, cozy gas fireplace, upgraded window coverings, spacious master with double closets and 3pc ensuite. This home also has a 5×8 storage locker located on the second floor and one secure, heated underground parking stall (#12). There is even a place for your pet to burn off some pent-up energy! All this conveniently located across the street from Cherry Lane Mall. No age restrictions, 2 pets permitted w/restrictions, 3-month min rentals. All measurements are approx.-Buyer to verify if important.

Click here for: Property information

Sold over asking: What does this mean for homebuyers?

 

Royal LePage sold sign in front of a house on a sunny day

In a hot seller’s market with low inventory and house prices rising in many regions in Canada, many homebuyers are paying over the asking price. 

For example, a Bank of Canada report in April notes that roughly two-thirds of homes in the Greater Toronto Area were selling for more than the listing price in February of this year.

Whether these buyers found the perfect home and are willing to pay the elevated price, they believe the home is undervalued, or they just want to buy now before prices rise further, homebuyers need to consider the impact this will have on them if they are financing the purchase.

How does paying over asking impact financing?

Homebuyers that pay over asking may find it difficult to secure the full amount of the financing they need. 

Lenders rely on an appraiser’s opinion of the value of the home, which is most often determined by looking at the local area’s comparable sales and other local market factors. The appraised value, and not the actual purchase price, is used, in part, to determine the size of the loan. If the value is too low, homebuyers may not be able to secure the full amount of financing they need and may need to look for alternatives to cover the deficiency. 

Why is the appraised value different than what I paid?

Lenders require an appraised value from a licensed, experienced local appraiser expert to determine the current value of the property for lending purposes.

In many neighbourhoods, if the homes are being sold over asking, the prices of the comparable homes will reflect this and the appraiser will provide a value that is more in line with the purchase price. However, if homes are not being sold over asking, the appraised value could come in lower than expected.

Where does that leave homebuyers?

Valuation company RPS Real Property Solutions recommends caution and preparation as approaches to take for anyone looking to buy a home in a competitive market.

Buying over asking makes sense for many homebuyers, especially if you want a home in a certain neighbourhood close to family or work in a competitive market. Before you buy, stay in close contact with your real estate agent and your lender or mortgage professional to explore different scenarios and your options.

2022 home price forecast increased after exceptionally strong first quarter

 

Happy couple sits on a couch with their young daughter looking at a laptop in a room with several plants

Royal LePage has increased its 2022 forecast following record price gains in the first quarter of 2022. The aggregate price of a home in Canada is expected to be 15% higher in the fourth quarter of this year compared to the end of 2021, following a supercharged start to the year. As we enter the spring market, buyer hopefuls continue to be challenged by tight competition, due to a chronic shortage of supply, despite a slight increase of inventory hitting the market in some regions. 

“Entering 2022, we had anticipated a strong first half, and moderating real estate markets thereafter. Call it buyer fatigue or easing demand, these periods of uncomfortably high home price appreciation do run their course. We are seeing the first signs of moderation in some regions, as more inventory is becoming available and competition eases slightly,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “The first quarter of the year was so strong, however, that we are bumping up our 2022 outlook. And, home prices will continue to climb in the months ahead as a result of our relentless low supply-high demand imbalance.”

While some properties may be attracting fewer bids than last year, and buyer behaviour is beginning to shift – given the recent increase in interest rates and the expectation of several more to come – listings in popular neighbourhoods that are priced appropriately continue to draw multiple offers and are selling above the list price. 

Nationally, the aggregate price of a home increased 25.1% year-over-year to $856,900 in the first quarter of 2022; the highest gain on record since the Company began tracking aggregate prices. When broken out by housing type, the national median price of a single-family detached home rose 26.7% year-over-year to $906,100, while the median price of a condominium increased 19.7% year-over-year to $612,900.21.

Read Royal LePage’s first quarter release for national and regional insights. 

First quarter press release highlights:

  • Early signs of moderation appear as some urban markets unveil improved conditions for buyers
  • Promising new federal and provincial policies aimed at tackling housing availability and affordability not expected to provide relief in 2022
  • Kingston, Ontario, posts highest year-over-year aggregate and detached home price gains in Canada for the second straight quarter 
  • Four markets in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region report median single-family detached home prices above $1 million for first time
 

Single Story For Sale in Main South, Penticton


Fabulous custom built, 1744 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms home

•  1744 sqft , 3 bath , 3 bdrm single story – FOR SALE  CAD749,900 . Lots of skylights, immaculate home  MLS® 193725

The Springs. One of a kind! Fabulous custom built, 1744 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms home. Large bedrooms, Vaulted ceiling, gas fire place, newer furnace and central air, newer flooring, plumbing updated, u/g irrigation, partially remodeled and updated decor. Lots of skylights, immaculate home. Private patio and great location. RV Parking. Low maintenance fee $75.00/month. *Restrictions, 1 pet allowed, 55 plus, and limited amount of rentals

Click here for: Property information

Click here for virtual tour: https://youriguide.com/201_3400_wilson_st_penticton_bc/

$3.3 Million raised for women’s shelters and domestic violence prevention programs by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

 

Mother holds her young child, smiling

Through contributions from thousands of Royal LePage agents and supporters, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation raised $3.3 Million in 2021 in support of women’s shelters and domestic violence prevention programs from coast-to-coast. This has been one of the most significant fundraising results in the nearly 25-year history of the charity. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised a remarkable $38 Million and Royal LePage continues to lead as the only Canadian real estate company with its own branded charity. 

“Thousands of the Royal LePage faithful, their families, their clients, and their friends, worked together during this challenging pandemic year to support women and children in desperate need of safe shelter,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. 

Soper added that the foundation is the largest of its kind in Canada dedicated to eradicating violence and supporting women and children seeking safe shelter and a life free of abuse. Soper was among the 60 Royal LePagers who participated in the 2021 Challenge for Shelter, climbing the British Columbia Purcell Mountains in support of the cause. This bi-annual fundraiser has raised $3 Million to date. 

Purcell Mountains Challenge for Shelter, August 2021

The Foundation, along with hundreds of local shelter partners, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Women’s Shelters Canada, the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, TD Bank, Sagen and other critically important organizations, are working to make home a safer place for everyone.

Royal LePage offices across Canada partner with local women’s shelters to provide financial and in-kind support through local fundraising events and commission donations. All funds raised by brokerage offices remain within the communities in which they serve. Royal LePage pays all administration costs of the Foundation so that 100 per cent of funds raised go directly towards the cause.

Learn more at rlp.ca/shelter