Thursday, May 17, 2007

One in four Canadians aim to buy a recreational property

The un-official start to the cottage season is here, and as Canadians look for ways to make the most of their summer, many are looking to the country's hot recreational property market to maximize their seasonal enjoyment. And, even as prices continue to rise and more people turn to a mortgage provider to realize their vacation property dreams, consumers still want to pay down their mortgage as quickly as possible.

According to a recent poll conducted on behalf of Mortgage Intelligence Inc. and GMAC Residential Funding of Canada Limited:

> One in seven Canadians (14 per cent) currently own a vacation property and one in four (28 per cent) would like to purchase a vacation property in the future.
> Forty-one per cent of vacation property owners are over the age of 55, while 47 per cent of those who wish to purchase are between the ages of 35 and 54.
> Fifty-four per cent of Canadians would like to pay down their vacation property mortgage in 15 years or fewer. This is particularly true of retirement-age Canadians, with 83 per cent of those aged 55- plus preferring to pay down their mortgage within this time frame.
> Significant regional preferences exist for the types of recreational properties people wish to buy:
> Consumers in Quebec prefer to purchase chalets (39 per cent).
> Forty-nine per cent of people in Ontario wish to purchase a waterfront property.
Waterfront properties are also most popular in British Columbia (39 per cent), Manitoba / Saskatchewan (47 per cent) and the Atlantic Provinces (30 per cent).
People in Alberta prefer all-season properties (32 per cent).
> Most people in Alberta (69 per cent), and many in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (40 per cent), Ontario (39 per cent) and Quebec (45 per cent) plan to use 11 to 20 per cent of the purchase price as a down payment for their recreational property, while 47 per per cent of people in British Columbia and 54 per cent of people in the Atlantic Provinces plan to use more than 20 per cent.

"A growing number of Canadians are factoring a vacation property into their retirement planning and are looking for flexible mortgage solutions that will enable them to buy the property they want and retire with financial peace of mind," says Stan Falkowski, President, Mortgage Intelligence Inc. "These are hard-working Canadians who want to enjoy their retirement without making mortgage payments for years on end."

In the past, financing for a recreational property has been more challenging than for a principal residence, as traditional lending institutions have found second homes to be a less than desirable investment. But as the recreational property market continues to grow across the country, fuelled by affluent Baby Boomers preparing for their retirement years, consumers are finding they have other options that provide the flexibility and payment options that will help them pay down their mortgage faster. With a recreational property mortgage like irelax, consumers can purchase a vacation property with as little as 15 per cent down and take advantage of up to 20 per cent prepayment and up to a 20 per cent increase in payments annually.

"Vacation properties are more than just a financial investment for most Canadians. They quite often become the spot where families come together," adds Falkowski. "While recreational property mortgages are still relatively new to the market, a product like this provides an easy and affordable way to start a whole new string of family traditions."

The poll was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies between May 9 and May 10, 2007 among a representative sample of 1,046 adult Canadians. The results are accurate to within plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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