Recreational property prices down in Sylvan Lake

Anyone looking for real estate in Alberta knows prices have gone up, but in one segment of the province’s recreational property market, the prices haven’t rebounded.

According to a recent Remax report, recreational property prices are down in Sylvan Lake.

Two years ago, prime waterfront homes were selling on average for over a million dollars in the community, now the average is about 750 thousand, says the report.

When Stepp wrote the analysis, he noted there were only three waterfront properties for sale in 2012. He says the market will rise when the oil industry does.

“Price of oil is maybe down a little bit right now. Share prices are down in a lot of oil companies. As that strengthens, you’re going to see people getting their money back into recreational property.”

He says that since the prices are down it’s an excellent time to be buying lakefront property.

“We have a good selection of lakefront properties right now. I would say they are actually on sale.”

Mayor of Sylvan Lake, Susan Samson says this is a unique case, caused by the economic downturn.

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“Traditionally lake front properties have held their own value and consistently have gone up, but since the downturn in the economy in 2008, we’ve seen less of a demand for those lake front properties.”

She says the demand is low and it will take time to see prices match those of pre-2008.
“I think the prices will take longer to creep up, but it’s a limited commodity and when it’s sold, it’s gone.”

However, there is another factor; those with means are being lured south to inexpensive places in the United States says Carmen Brodeur, a former Edmontonian now working as a realtor in Phoenix.

“You can get a very nice vacation home in Phoenix and Scottsdale for 200 to 300 thousand dollars; you don’t get much for that price point in Alberta at all.”

She says Phoenix has always been very popular for Albertans because there are a lot of direct flights from Edmonton and Calgary.

However, Sylvan Lake realtor Kevin Lapp says Sylvan is a great location for people living in the two major cities in Alberta because it’s so central and so close.

“The opportunity to move onto the water and be close to home and have your family here really drives the Sylvan Lake market.”

With files from Vinesh Pratap