A widely quoted national report claiming British Columbia’s recreational real estate market will see the biggest price slump east of the Atlantic is challenged by local realtors, developers and the latest sales statistics.
The annual Royal LePage Canada Recreational Property Report forecasts B.C.’s cottage country will see a 2.8 per cent drop in prices this year due to the province’s new speculation tax on secondary homes.
According to the report, the biggest price tax-driven price drop will be seen on the Sunshine Coast, where Royal LePage expects waterfront properties to decline 9.1 per cent and non-waterfront houses to fall 8.3 per cent in value. The report also forecasts oceanfront prices in the Comox Valley to drop 5 per cent this year.
But the Sunshine Coast, like the Comox Valley and most of rural B.C., is not subject to the speculation tax.
“I don’t agree with those [price] forecasts,” said Bruce Lasuta, a veteran Royal LePage agent in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. He said the Sunshine Coast is experiencing one of the strongest markets in memory.
Sunshine Coast detached house prices have increased 7.9 per cent since the speculation tax was introduced in February, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. This compares with 0.1 per cent increase across Greater Vancouver in the same time frame.
In the past four months, the 225 detached house sales on the Sunshine Coast – population 25,000 – were higher than in New Westminster, South Delta or West Vancouver, all of which have much higher populations.