Sylvan recreational property prices slide

A lot overlooking Sylvan Lake remains a pricey investment relative to other waterfront properties across Canada.

This just one of the many properties that is available in the Marina Bay area of Sylvan Lake.

This just one of the many properties that is available in the Marina Bay area of Sylvan Lake.

A lot overlooking Sylvan Lake remains a pricey investment relative to other waterfront properties across Canada.

But this year’s edition of the Re/Max Recreational Property Report indicates that the cost of residency on Central Alberta’s premiere lake has declined.

The Re/Max report, which was released on Tuesday, estimated the starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized home on a standard-sized lot on Sylvan Lake at $1,125,000.

That’s down from the $1,250,000 figure contained in the 2008 report.

Sylvan Lake’s 2009 price is still the third-highest among the more than 50 resort areas considered.

Only Vernon and Lake Windermere, B.C., were higher, with lake lots in both communities valued at $1.2 million.

The latest figure for Sylvan Lake is also higher than the 2007 estimate of $1 million and the 2006 range of $800,000 to $850,000.

“This is the first year in more than 20 that values have fallen and buyers are firmly in the driver’s seat,” said the Re/Max report of the Sylvan Lake market.

“Today’s rock-bottom interest rates, combined with the correction in values, have created ideal opportunities.”

The Re/Max report, which was written with input from Dale Russell of Re/Max Real Estate Central Alberta, noted that sales volumes are on par with last year.

It added that demand for waterfront property is supported by “recession-proof” professionals like doctors, dentists and lawyers, although buyers from oil-related industries, such as corporate executives, are no longer as active in the market.

Inventory levels at Sylvan Lake are “adequate,” said the report, but demand is greatest in the case of vacant land.

It said many younger purchasers are instead looking to Gull Lake, where prices for waterfront properties range from $400,000 to $500,000.

The report concluded that Generation X purchasers are poised to replace baby boomers as the big players in the recreational property market.

Demand from people born between 1965 and 1980 has nearly doubled from last year.

Only property on the Newfoundland coast and in areas of Lake Simcoe and Kingston, Ont., had higher values in the 2009 report compared to 2008.

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