Cottages | The waterfront becomes more affordable again

In 2023, the average value of a waterfront home will drop by 8% in Quebec, according to a Royal LePage report.

This significant drop could be partly explained by this phenomenon: people now want to settle down at the edge of a quiet lake, where they can rest without engine noise from morning to evening. And where properties are cheaper.

The second home market has seen many waves in recent years. First, the pandemic made many urban dwellers want to settle in nature. Then, the rise in interest rates dampened the enthusiasm of borrowers. Royal LePage real estate brokers have calculated a drop of just over 8% in the price of waterfront homes in 2023, but overall the recreational home market increased by 2.6%. The group expects an increase of 2% this year.

The end of rising interest rates – and a decline expected by many – partly explains this modest recovery, since the vast majority of recreational property buyers require financing on purchase, according to Royal LePage agents.

“It’s certain that there has been a big adjustment with the rise in interest rates,” confirms Éric Léger, approved real estate broker at Royal LePage Humania. He insists that, despite this, there is indeed a small increase in the market. “It’s not the end of the world,” he admits, “but after a tornado, coming out with positive figures shows to what extent people still believe that having real estate today is interesting. »

However, the behavior of many buyers has changed and this influences sales figures.

For access to a water point, scarcity has caused prices to explode in Quebec in recent years. This has pushed buyers to look to new destinations.

“People kept the idea of ​​the waterfront, but opted for less expensive properties,” says Éric Léger, who works in the Laurentians.

“We say waterfront and we think of beautiful large lakes,” he explains, “but it can be a riverside, a pondside. » And it was a lot, by budgetary constraints, then by need.

“Buyer tastes and trends have changed over the years. 20 years ago, someone who wanted a waterfront thought of a motorboat, a large lake for water activities,” explains Éric Léger, who confirms that part of his clientele is now more interested in the quest for silence. “It’s another clientele that I think is growing,” he says.

The search for quieter places has also inspired buyers to explore new territories.

“The recreational market has expanded,” confirms broker Véronique Boucher, who works in the Eastern Townships. There is a new offer in cities which are perhaps less popular, less glamorous. »

Teleworking, again

Real estate agents are still seeing the effects of urban migration, people working from home, away from the city.

“The demand is still very high,” says Véronique Boucher, of Royal LePage Au Sommet. She talks about teleworking, but also about early retirement which encourages people in (or around) their fifties to buy now, move into a second home first with the idea of ​​living outside the city once there. retirement well underway.

According to his colleague Éric Léger, teleworking has also changed the chalet ritual which forced owners to quickly pack up on Sunday afternoons to return to the city at the height of traffic. The fact of being able to stretch out the weekend by working a day or two in nature has convinced more than one.

What is happening in Bromont?

Royal LePage’s spring report reveals some interesting regional features.

In Bromont, the price of condos continues to rise with more than 8% appreciation last year, significantly above the provincial average – the value of condominiums increased by 1% on average in Quebec in 2023. The value of a co-ownership in Bromont now reaches $555,000.

“Bromont is super popular and has a wide range of services. The mountain is four seasons. Indeed, prices have increased a lot,” confirms Véronique Boucher, who believes that in this case, co-ownership is more attractive for buyers – and particularly for younger people.

The general director of the Brome-Missisquoi Chamber of Commerce, Marc-André Lacroix, confirms the dynamism and growth of Bromont, which began before the pandemic, and which is not running out of steam. People of all ages settle there, for second or permanent residence. According to him, the proximity to the highway plays a big role.

“Several municipalities in the Brome-Missisquoi territory have experienced increases in property values,” adds the director general. We note increases of 60%. It’s quite considerable. »

In the MRC of Memphrémagog, the price of condominiums increased by 7% in 2023, going slightly above $320,000 on average. In the same region, for the same period, the price of “a waterfront” declined by 1.3% – for a median price of $850,000.

In 20 years, the price of houses with access to a body of water in the MRC of Memphrémagog had increased by 295%.

The weather that sells chalets

Another phenomenon will play a role in the resumption of interest in chalets: early spring. “When spring comes, people want new projects. They want to plan their summer, their purchase on the waterfront,” says Véronique Boucher. This year we had a mediocre winter. People have stopped their winter activities and skiing more quickly and are preparing for summer. As soon as the weather is nice, sunny and warm, we feel the impact on visits and marketing planning. In our region (Estrie), the real estate market has already resumed for three weeks or a month and actively. »

Learn more

  • $396,900
    Overall, last year, for the entire province, the weighted median price of a single-family property in the main resort markets appreciated by 2.6% compared to 2022 to reach $396,900.

    Source: Royal LePage


Leave a Comment