A new real estate report looks at the housing market in ski towns and ski areas across the country, and the one in Ontario is amongst the worst performing.
The price drops go hand-in-hand with the cottage country market, which saw similar declines earlier this year.
According to the Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report, in the recreational property market of Southern Georgian Bay, the median price of a single-family detached home saw a year-over-year decrease of 10.1%, landing at $800,000 for the first 10 months of the year. Condominium prices also experienced an 8.9% dip during the same period, settling at $640,000. Properties slopeside or at the mountain base typically start at $1,000,000 for houses and $400,000 for condominiums. Despite uncertainties about interest rates and a potential recession, the region has maintained stable sales, with a modest 2.7% increase year over year.
Desmond von Teichman, broker at Royal LePage Locations North, offers the opinion that the market remains resilient compared to other regions in Southern Ontario.
“Our market is one in transition, but is still holding strong compared to other regions in Southern Ontario,” he said, although other areas do not offer ski hills as a primary buying feature. “Despite some buyers feeling paralyzed with uncertainty over interest rates and a potential recession, sales have remained stable in the region. Recreational home prices have softened due to reduced buyer demand compared to 2020 and 2021, which is causing some frustration among sellers whose pricing expectations are not being met.”
Renting out recreational properties on the short-term market to offset mortgage expenses is not a viable option in Southern Georgian Bay, where such rentals have been restricted for decades. Nearby communities are adopting similar policies to manage housing affordability and supply. Additionally, seasonal and ski resort rental prices have softened as more snowbirds head south, contributing to increased rental inventory in a market experiencing decreased demand post-pandemic.
Looking ahead, von Teichman anticipates that both inventory and pricing will follow typical seasonal trends, with a potential pause in activity in the later months of the year before rebounding in early spring.
The market in Southern Georgian Bay is one of the worst in the country, second only to the Sun Peaks area in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The Sun Peaks market is down more than 20 per cent from last year, and nearby Big White is down more than six per cent.
The highest price growth in the unique ski country housing market can be found in a number of Quebec areas including around Mont Saint Anne and Le Massif ski resorts as well as on Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley near the Mount Washington ski area both with price gains of more than 20 per cent over the last year.