Activity in Canada’s winter recreational home markets has cooled from pandemic-era highs with fewer buyers putting pen to paper and inventory levels rising modestly, amid concerns over rising interest rates and the higher cost of living. With borrowing rates widely expected to remain stable or dip slightly next year, property prices for homes in Canada’s sought-after winter playgrounds are expected to rise marginally. 

According to the Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report, the median price of a single-family detached home in Canada’s recreational ski regions will increase 2.9% over the next 12 months to $1,099,661. This forecast is based on the expectation of stable interest rates through 2024 or a modest decline.

“Recreational house prices in Canada’s popular ski regions are expected to remain stable in the year ahead. While demand has weakened and supply has increased compared to the pandemic-fueled boom, market activity is trending back to normal historical levels,” said Pauline Aunger, broker of record, Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate. “This will keep prices on a modest upward trajectory in the coming year as Canadians continue to seek out a spot on some of the world’s most desirable slopes.”

Home prices in Canada’s popular ski regions posted a modest year-over-year decline since the beginning of 2023 as buyer demand continues to soften. This softening is largely due to high interest rates and the rising cost of living as well as a general uneasiness about the state of the economy, the report found. Nationally, in the first 10 months of 2023, the median price of a single-family detached home remained essentially flat, decreasing 0.7% year over year to $1,068,200.

“Although recreational real estate markets vary greatly from one region to the next, activity on the whole in Canada’s winter recreational communities has noticeably slowed. Annual sales are down in most regions and inventory has climbed modestly as the market continues to regain balance. This has not, however, translated to steep price declines in a majority of markets. While the rising cost of living has had an impact on demand for recreational real estate, prices have remained stable due to relatively low supply and sellers’ capacity to hold out for a desirable deal,” said Aunger. “Market activity is trending back to historical norms, following an unprecedented boost in activity during the pandemic. In addition to a return to normal work and social routines, today’s elevated interest rate environment has exacerbated this cooldown, as consumers are more concerned about mortgage expenses and the overall economy, including those shopping in high-end recreational markets.”

Read Royal LePage’s 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report for national and regional insights.

Highlights from the national release:

  • 24% of Royal LePage recreational property market experts reported a decline in buyer demand this year as a result of climate factors or environmental disasters, following unprecedented wildfire season
  • 41% of experts reported an increase in inventory as a direct result of rising interest rates
  • Quebec’s Mont Sutton and B.C.’s Mount Washington/Comox Valley regions recorded highest median price gain in single-family detached segment, increasing 27.3% and 26.5% respectively, year over year
  • Mont Sainte-Anne in Quebec recorded an 83.4% increase in year-over-year median condominium price; sharp gains reflect wide range in property styles and price points, and scarcity of inventory