Buying Vacation Homes in Alberta on the Rise

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


vacation homes on the rise in AlbertaIt appears as though more homeowners are looking to purchase home insurance not for their primary residence but rather for a vacation home, thanks in large part to how affordable lending rates are.

According to the survey that was conducted by Royal LePage, nearly 85 percent of respondents polled said that interest rates would have a heavy influence on whether they decided to buy a home that they could use for vacation-related purposes this year. In addition, nearly six in 10 Canadians - 58 percent - said that they felt a degree of urgency to buy now rather than later, fearing that mortgage rates may increase if they put off their purchase.

Phil Soper, president and chief executive of the Toronto-based real estate firm, noted that many of today's homeowners are recognizing the market as an opportunity to take advantage of.

"Despite financial and economic uncertainty, or perhaps because of it, we have found that the enduring value of recreational properties is widely-recognized by Canadians," said Soper. "In contrast to our large urban centers, where home prices shot up in recent years before rapidly cooling in 2013, the recreational property market has remained remarkably stable and resilient."

Vacation homes in Alberta more affordable than national average

There's a fairly broad number of vacation properties available in Alberta at differing price points. For instance, for the average waterfront property with at least three bedrooms, asking prices range between $110,000 and $650,000. That's about $60,000 less than the national average.

While some homeowners may be looking to purchase a vacation home as an investment, wherein they will buy a residence and sell it at a profit after fixing it up, most say that they intend to use these dwelling areas as a place they will live in for many years. Approximately six in every 10 Canadian respondents said that they were "somewhat" or "very" unlikely to sell their property, whether in retirement or at some other point in their lives.

They may decide to keep these properties long term so that they can enjoy a lifetime's worth of positive experiences with their loved ones.

"Canadians have long valued the ability to escape the city to spend time with friends and family," said Soper. "A place to get away from the pressures of daily life seems to be more attractive now than ever."

Canada serves as ideal vacation destination

He added that whether people are native to Canada or they're coming from another country, they may have some trouble deciding where they best place is to purchase a recreational facility as the friendly communities and lush landscapes are voluminous.

Vacation and travel statistics indicate that Alberta often serves as the best place for people to get away to, especially if they want wall-to-wall sunshine. According to Environment Canada, the province witnesses more sunny days than any other province, seeing about 312 days of sunshine versus the nine other provinces. Even in the winter - when the sun is typically less present - Alberta sees more sunny days than its contemporaries at 115.