Albertans to rekindle B.C. property market
Albertans are expected to provide much of the fuel that will fire up the smouldering recreation property market in B.C., including the Comox region, says a pair of surveys on the future of the recreation property sector.
“Empty nesters, many of them from Alberta, are behind the push for recreational product this year — and they are a welcome sight after a twoyear absence,” says Re/Max in its annual Recreation Property Report.
The strengthening oil sector has also brought Albertans back into the mix, the report adds, driving demand for both local and coastal B.C. properties — and 2011 could be the turning point for this sector of the province’s housing sector.
In the other survey, in which rareEarth Project Marketing polled 1,000 people earlier this year, 61 per cent of potential vacation home buyers would consider Vancouver Island as a destination — higher than both the Okanagan and the United States.
“The research also shows the Alberta market is strong and they desire Vancouver Island real estate with full ownership,” says rareEarth president James Askew. The company is overseeing sales for the Comox Bay Marina and Residences by Howard Land Group.
Its survey also showed that 53 per cent of Alberta respondents who own their primary residence are considering purchasing recreational property on Vancouver Island.
As well, 80 per cent of Albertans who own recreational property are considering the purchase of additional recreational property — and 56 per cent want full ownership.
The Re/Max report says that in B.C. the recreation property prices are at or near bottom.
“Astute purchasers — many of whom were scooping up product south of the border — are starting to cherry-pick in markets where oceanfront prices are down from peak, prerecession levels,” it says.
Softer values have driven up sales in Western Canada, with transactions up or on par in 58 per cent of markets, well ahead of the national average.
“Opportunities that haven’t been seen in years are now presenting themselves, especially on the West Coast,” says Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of Re/Max of Western Canada. “Prices are down as much as 20 per cent from peak levels reported in 2006-2007, bringing ownership within reach to many potential purchasers.”
An interesting aspect of the Re/ Max report talks about Americans who have recreation property in Canada.
Many of them are cashing out. And for many, the timing couldn’t be better.
The majority purchased when the Canadian dollar fell to 65 cents against the U.S. dollar — and they are now taking advantage of the abovepar loonie and price appreciation.