Mario ToneguzziThe majority of millennials are in the market to purchase a recreational property, according to a new RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger and released on Thursday.

The survey found 56 per cent felt that way compared with 42 per cent last year in the survey.

The real estate company said the increase in buying intentions among younger buyers marks the beginning of a new trend in who will propel this segment of the property market and what they’re looking to purchase.

“We are finally witnessing the long-anticipated generational shift of purchasing power from baby boomers to millennials,” said Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president of RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada, in a news release. “With the high cost of urban living taking many young homebuyers out of those markets, more millennials are turning to recreational properties as a viable option for home ownership.”

“This new buyer demographic comes with a different lifestyle and property criteria than those of their boomer counterparts. Factors like Internet connectivity, recreational activities and proximity to towns with urban conveniences are becoming a more important selling feature.”

Price remains the top consideration for recreational property buyers, with 61 per cent of survey respondents naming affordability as the most important factor. However, livability also plays a crucial role in the selection process, added RE/MAX.

The survey found that 64 per cent of Canadians enjoy recreational properties as places where they can relax and spend time with friends and family, while 58 per cent perceive them as getaway homes.

Forty-three per cent say that they can partake in activities that they normally wouldn’t be able to at their permanent residence, such as hiking and fishing. Millennials rank higher (50 per cent) than boomers (38 per cent) in the use of recreational properties as places to participate in activities that can’t be done at their principal residence, such as hiking and fishing, it said.

“Owning a recreational property is all about livability – those crucial criteria, such as the great outdoors, access to water, mountains and community that improve our overall quality of life,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president of RE/MAX of Western Canada.

“It’s not surprising to see more millennials pushing into the recreational property markets. Recreational living is very much aligned with this generation’s quest for work-life balance and is representative of a growing trend of millennials choosing to make recreational properties their primary residence.

“With recreational properties more in reach today compared to the past, travelling to your cottage or cabin and back is often accompanied by the Friday and Sunday ‘rush,’ meaning increased traffic and longer travel times. Therefore, it’s reasonable for buyers to take shorter travel times into consideration when choosing a recreational property to buy.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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