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More B.C. Baby Boomers selling city homes to retire at the cottage: survey

British Columbians looking to recreational properties near lakes and in rural B.C. regions

Retirees and Baby Boomers represent nearly all recreational property owners in B.C.’s cottage country, a new survey suggests.

Ninety-one per cent of popular spots in Canada, including the Comox Valley and the South Okanagan in B.C., belong to retirees, according to a report by RE/MAX Canada released Tuesday. That’s up from 55 per cent in years past.

No surprise that the sky-high housing prices in city centres like Vancouver have prompted many older homeowners to cash in on their investment and look for a cabin on the lake.

Advances in technology, such as stronger Internet in rural areas, as well as recreational properties being generally less expensive across the province, have allowed for some people to ease into retirement more slowly.

Some retirees are selling their homes in the city, and then renting in regions like the Lower Mainland and using their equity to buy recreational property in the Okanagan or rural B.C. as a second income.

“It’s a bit of a new phenomenon,” Elton Ash, RE/MAX Western Canada regional executive vice president said.

More retirees are veering away from retirement housing, the report suggests, and looking for more independence to pursue passion projects such as farming or maintaining vineyards.

“A return on the principle resident investment over 45 years has been very positive for people to enjoy things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have in their lives,” Ash said.

The increase in demand has created a sellers’ market in the recreational housing sector – and a safe spot to land away from the speculation tax, he added. He said he doesn’t see the government looking to regulation anytime soon.


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