After the coldest winter in decades, cottage sales are finally starting to pick up steam.

Based on a survey of its brokers who specialize in the market, Royal LePage says inventory levels are rising along with sales.

“Advisors across the country are reporting a significant increase in buyer interest and are anticipating the return of a healthy market for the remainder of the spring and summer. In many areas, snow remained well into the spring, hampering efforts to open and list summer properties, but sellers and buyers returned following the Victoria Day long weekend,” according to a release, which does not cite any sales statistics.

“The subsequent economic downturn dampened demand in the sector,” said Mr. Soper, in the release. “Post-recession, our research found that incremental sales were driven largely by low interest rates and investors. With the 2014 market, we are seeing a return to primarily lifestyle-driven demand for cottages, cabins and chalets. Canadians continue to seek the opportunity to escape to a weekend retreat.”

LePage said a stable employment rate, low mortgage rates and consumer confidence are all  leading the charge in the cottage market.

The Canadian market has also been helped by an increase in prices for cottages in the United States.

“U.S. regions favoured by Canadians, such as Arizona, Florida and California, coupled with a lower Canadian dollar relative to the American currency, is beginning to impact our domestic recreational market,” said Mr. Soper. “People who were previously wooed by bargain shopping for real estate south of the border are finding the real deals are now at home.”

The report states the higher-priced end of the market is seeing “healthy-price growth” in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. LePage says there At “particularly good deals” at the lower end on in-land properties in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and some interior regions of British Columbia.

Published Date: Jun 22 2014