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A home in North Hatley, Quebec. A rolling landscape and vibrant agricultural community make the Eastern Townships a popular destination for property buyers. With prices ranging from $170,000 to $1-million, there’s something for everyone. (Handout)
A home in North Hatley, Quebec. A rolling landscape and vibrant agricultural community make the Eastern Townships a popular destination for property buyers. With prices ranging from $170,000 to $1-million, there’s something for everyone. (Handout)

Magazine excerpt

Vacation properties still struggling as buyers play the waiting game Add to ...

Kawartha Lakes and the East Kawarthas offer properties priced on par with many of Ontario’s popular vacation spots – but also a cut below the expensive destinations around Georgian Bay. Year-round activities make the area, a 90-minute drive northeast of Toronto popular with both families and retirees, and the area also shows strong rental prospects. Rents for many types of properties here posted increases above the rate of inflation, promising investors good returns. Toronto’s growth promises to make the region the cottage country of a new generation, which ensures growth in value.

Meaford

Typical price for vacation properties: From $150,000 with land access

Typical rent: From $170 per night

Situated on the shores of Georgian Bay in the most expensive slice of Ontario’s cottage country, Meaford seems hardly like a good value at first glance. But for investors with an eye to welcoming tenants for at least part of the year, it’s worth noting that Meaford posted a 55.7 per cent drop in rental vacancies in 2011, and homes rent for an average of $1,200 (according to the latest numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.). While $1,200 a month may not generate cash flow from a million-dollar waterfront residence, it’s worth factoring into calculations for land-locked properties, which max out at a mere $200,000.

Eastern Townships

Typical price for vacation properties: From $170,000 with land access

Typical rent: From $200 per night

The Laurentians have attracted their share of developers and celebrities, with Mont-Tremblant the jewel of the hinterland north of the St. Lawrence River. A quieter retreat is available south of Montreal in the Eastern Townships, as generations of politicians and writers have found. A rolling landscape and vibrant agricultural community make the area a popular destination for property buyers. Arts, culture and outdoor adventure are found in the communities that hug Lake Champlain, Baie Mississiquoi and Lake Memphremagog. With prices ranging from $170,000 to $1-million, there’s something for everyone.

Nova Scotia

Typical price for vacation properties: From $100,000 with water access

Typical rent: From $200 per night

Atlantic Canada is often where Ontario residents – and not just those who originally called Atlantic Canada home – go to retire. With affordable prices that have retained their value over the past decade, vacation properties here often where the retirement dream beings. Demand has pushed prices up, however, with waterfront properties along the fabled South Shore fetching $400,000-plus. Closer to Halifax, lakefront properties can be found for as little $100,000. With an influx of disposable income expected from the shipbuilding contract awarded in October 2011, a property purchase now may well pay dividends down the road.

Avalon Peninsula

Typical price for vacation properties: From $93,000 with land access

Typical rent: From $200 per night

Newfoundland’s resource-driven economy has infused new life into the local recreational property market, yet vacation properties here remain among the most affordable in Canada. A land-locked cabin will set back buyers $93,500, while waterfront residences command a mere $132,500. There’s also room for appreciation, given that prices are up 10 per cent overall and listings are down. The strength of the market, and the affordability of properties, mark Newfoundland – especially the southern Avalon Peninsula – as an area worth investigating.

Vancouver Island

Typical price for vacation properties: From $349,000 with water access

Typical rent: From $109 per night

The islands off British Columbia's south cost have long been favourite getaways, with some properties dating back nearly a century. While the Gulf Islands are the retreats of celebrities, wealthy retirees and back-to-the-land types, Vancouver Island attracts a more urbane crowd. Celebrities and those able to afford million-dollar beachfront homes are here, but so are those seeking $300,000 cabins in secluded fishing ports. Alberta residents particularly favour Vancouver Island, while floatplane connections from Vancouver draw many from the Lower Mainland to properties near Victoria, as well as in the Cowichan and Comox valleys.

From Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine, a monthly publication focused on building value through property investment, covering topics such as values and trends, mortgages, investment strategies, surveys of regional markets and general tips for buyers and sellers.

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