As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Canadian economy, the ski chalet market is one bright spot that’s thriving amid the adversity. According to a survey conducted by RE/MAX, 56 percent of Canadian millennials are in the market to purchase a recreational property. Additionally, the median price for ski-in properties has increased by close to 10 percent compared to 2018. In Ontario, persistent demands from boomers relocating to the Blue Mountain and Huntsville is contributing to keeping the market afloat. This trend is showing no signs of changing, as many Canadians continue to work from home.
“Looking back at April 2020, I would have never anticipated this, but the Huntsville chalet market is unexpectedly on the rise. It’s crazy!” says owner/ broker Trevor Docherty of Sutton Realty Group Muskoka. “The inventories are tight, and we’re having a tough time keeping up. For now, the demand for listings is way higher than the supply. Perhaps it’s because people are working from home these days and no longer need to stay within city limits,” he adds.
According to a quarterly report by Royal LePage, 2020 could be a year of solid gains with up to a 4.7 percent hike in overall sales. “After a brutally slow April – just six sales and $4.1M volume – and a slightly better May, June finally delivered The Blue Mountains,” reads the report. “Though 2020’s sales to listings ratio is 46 percent, June alone made 55 percent. The current momentum suggests that it’s a sellers’ market. The average sale price this season is $1,072,420, which is 17 percent higher than 2019.”
“Since mid-July, in-ski chalets, cottages and resort homes in and around Blue Mountain have been selling at a steady pace and at all-time high prices. There seems to be a significant exodus from the tightly packed urban setting of the GTA to the spacious rural area of ski country. It’s clear, COVID-19 is driving people north,” Gerry Wayland, owner/broker of Record, RE/MAX at Blue Realty Inc., Brokerage, shares.
Recreational property in Canada saw price gains leading up to the 2019 spring market, rising 5 percent compared to the previous year. This year, the Municipality of the Town of the Blue Mountains saw a decrease of 48 percent in the number of new listings compared to August of 2019. However, the number of sales has increased by 100 percent this month compared to the same time last year, according to Karen Cox, OREA past president and broker of record/owner at Sea & Ski Realty Ltd.
“Many buyers are looking to invest in a recreational property like a ski chalet since their travel and vacation plans have been placed on hold for the foreseeable future. People are looking for a more local option to get away and enjoy time with their family, and to enjoy the outdoors. In the spring, when Ontario’s ski resorts shut down due to the pandemic, many families still chose to live and work at their ski chalets while their children continued their schooling online. This summer, we saw an increased demand for homes, ski chalets, cottages and country properties in the Grey County area. Multiple offers have become more the norm, rather than the exception,” says Cox.
“Due to the pandemic, many families are starting to reassess their home requirements. People are interested in relocating to an area which offers a one-stop deal to live, work and play. Plus, buyers are getting more value for their dollar up here than they will in more urban areas,” she adds.