Urban buyers drive up prices in cottage country due to COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO -- If you want to buy a cottage, farmhouse or chalet outside the Greater Toronto Area, you’ll have to pay more for the solitude so many people are craving during the pandemic.
The average price of a recreational property in Canada has surged 11.5 per cent in the first nine months of this year and is expected to go up another eight per cent next year.
“More and more people will be not just be living in cottage country, but also working in cottage country," said Phil Soper the President and CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate Services.
While recreational properties have been in demand over the past few years, the pandemic has made more buyers consider a recreational property and there are three specific groups that are driving demand.
“There are young families, retirees and a whole swath of knowledge workers who with today's technology can work from home," Soper said.
People who want to leave cities are not just flocking to waterfront cottages they are buying farmhouses, chalets, cabins and settling in small towns.
Soper says that in the past people moving to rural areas would traditionally be concerned about their water supply and sceptic system. He says now the most pressing thing buyers want to know is how fast the internet is.
“Connectivity, and not just the availability, but also the strength and the size of the pipeline so they can carry on video calls (as well as do other office activities),” Soper said.
It's not clear how long employees may be working remotely, but the survey found Canada’s recreational properties could rise another eight per cent next year.
In Ontario, that number is projected to be slightly higher as Royal LePage is forecasting a 10 per cent increase in the price of recreational properties in 2021.