The Sylvan Lake market for recreational homes continues to be stagnant.
Real estate agent Dale Russell says there hasn’t been a good year for selling a house since 2014.
“Right now, we are not selling as much as we did in a good year. The last good year we had was in 2014,” said the Re/Max agent.
“It’s been about five years since we’ve had a good year.”
The unchanging market for properties in Sylvan Lake is due entirely to the economy, Russell says.
“It’s the economy, pure and simple. People just can’t afford a secondary property.”
Most of the market is made up of millennials and retirees, and they cannot afford the expense.
It’s hard to say when, or if, there will be a rebound, said Russell, who added an improvement in the economy will greatly depend on the federal election and the oil industry.
“Without the oil industry, we all are suffering. The housing market and just about everything around here, the oilpatch fuels all that,” Russell said.
According to a report by Re/Max, sales of residential properties used as weekend or summer homes have experienced a zero per cent increase year over year, for both waterfront and non-waterfront locations.
Waterfront properties average $700,000 in Sylvan Lake, while non-waterfront properties are priced at about $350,000.
Real estate agents are finding no one is looking for a secondary home. Right now, there are more houses on the market than there are buyers.
“A lot of people (who have houses on the market) have just given up. Some have reduced the price of their homes in hopes it will sell, but others refuse to potentially lose, and either keep the house on the market or remove it altogether,” said Russell.
With so many houses on the market, both as a recreational property or a regular home, Russell says now is a great time to buy.
“I can guarantee it’s a buyer’s market… you won’t see a seller’s market here.”