Significant price increases in the Lower Mainland are encouraging buyers to invest in Okanagan recreational property, shows the results from the 2016 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report. Soon-to-be retirees are purchasing their future homes now in order to take advantage of today’s prices.

"As the large demographic of Baby Boomers retires, we are seeing sellers who benefitted from significant price appreciation in cities like Vancouver and Toronto putting that equity into recreational markets," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive VP of RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Some buyers who may still be five or 10 years away from retirement are taking the opportunity to enter those markets now, renting out their property until they are ready to retire."

A waterfront recreational property in the South Okanagan has nearly jumped 11 per cent in price over last year. The 2015/16 median price for waterfront is $382,283. The top median price for recreational property with water access is $426,000, while a ski-in property median price is $515,000. In the Shuswap, the median prices for waterfront property is $640,000. Ski-in property at Sun Peaks has been selling on average for $262,000.

Low dollar boosting Canadian recreational regions

The low Canadian dollar is having a positive effect on Canada's recreational property markets. Canadians, mainly Baby Boomers, who bought properties in the U.S. when U.S. real estate prices were comparably low are selling them at a profit and investing in Canadian recreational markets. The low dollar is also encouraging Canadians to vacation within the country rather than going abroad, putting their money into vacation rentals closer to home.

Recreational property a good investment

The report found that 81 per cent of Canadians have spent time at a cottage or cabin. Millennials (18-34) are most likely to have spent time at a cottage or cabin in the past year, compared with Canadians in other age groups.

More than half of Canadians agree that online vacation rental services have made it easier to rent out an investment property versus five years ago and more than half of Canadians agree that a recreational property is a good financial investment.

Top photo: The Cottages at Osoyoos Lake; see the full article of lifestyle on the lake.