Business in Vancouver

Young Canadians struggle to escape rental housing while their parents buy recreational properties

Most advisers are expecting recreational property sales to surpass last year's figure while the number of young homeowners drops

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 June, 2016, 2:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 June, 2016, 12:25pm

Almost two-thirds of potential recreational property purchasers are between the ages of 36 and 51, according to a report by Canadian real estate company Royal LePage report.

Baby boomers, defined as those between 52 and 70 years of age, were responsible for the remainder of recreational property purchases.

This comes at a time when millennials are struggling to find both affordable housing and the disposable income to purchase it. According to government statistician Statistics Canada, the homeownership rate of people below the age of 35 decreased from 51.3 per cent in 2006 to 46.9 per cent in 2011.

Vancouver and Toronto property owners under 35 will, on average, have virtually no disposable income in 2016, according to a Vancity Credit union report released in May.

This does not appear to be a problem felt by the older generations who make up the majority of recreational homebuyers. Two thirds of advisers polled said they have seen increased sales in recreational properties, and over half expect 2016 sales to exceed those of 2015.

Americans are also coming north to purchase vacation homes and recreation properties. Although foreign sales makes up less than 10 per cent of recreational property sales, 64 per cent of foreign purchases originated in the United States, according to the poll.

“Canadians have been, for years, the principal foreign buyers of sunbelt property in states like Florida and Arizona, while a lower Canadian dollar has encouraged a new wave of U.S. buyers here,” said Soper.

The majority  — 65 per cent —of poll respondents who were looking into recreational properties said they were taking their retirement planning into consideration.

“We found it interesting that a majority of respondents identified retirement as a driving factor for a recreational property purchase consideration, but Gen Xers, sill decades away from retirement, were identified as the typical buyer in the current market,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage in a press release.

The real estate company surveyed advisers who specialise in recreational property across Canada.