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Doubt cast on forecast of cottage price drop

By Frank O'Brien for Business in Vancouver

A widely quoted national report claiming British Columbia’s recreational real estate market will see the biggest price slump east of the Atlantic is challenged by local realtors and the latest sales statistics.

The annual Royal LePage Canada Recreational Property Report forecasts B.C.’s cottage country will see a 2.8% drop in prices this year due to the province’s new speculation tax on secondary homes. This compares to the report’s projected 5.8% increase nationally in recreational home values this year compared with 2017.

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“With Canada’s fastest growing economy, British Columbia’s vast and varied recreational regions might be expected to lead the country,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “That will not be the case in the near-term as new taxes aimed specifically at recreational property owners are expected to weaken markets across the province, driving would-be purchasers to invest elsewhere.”

According to the report, the biggest price tax-driven price drop will be seen on the Sunshine Coast, where Royal LePage expects waterfront properties to decline 9.1% and non-waterfront houses to fall 8.3% in value. The report also forecasts oceanfront prices in the Comox Valley to drop 5% this year.

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