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Can you afford a vacation home? Here’s what it takes across Canada – Global News

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One of the wildest real estate bidding wars Markham, Ont.-based real estate agent Dayle Carmody has seen recently involved a home listed at $499,000 that sold for $300,000 over asking after just a couple of days and some 25 offers later.

The home wasn’t in one of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) suburbs that have attracted scores of urban buyers looking for more space and greenery amid the pandemic. It was in Hunstville, Ont. in the coveted Muskoka region, one of the province’s most popular vacation destinations.

READ MORE: What you can buy in housing markets across Canada for $500K, $1M and $1.5M

“Anything at that entry-level price point is getting multiple offers within a day,” says Carmody, who is a sales representative at Ferrow Real Estate.

But bidding wars are hardly unique to Ontario’s cottage country amid Canada’s pandemic-fuelled real estate boom. Whether you call it cottage, cabin, chalet or camp, if you’re hoping to snap up a vacation home this year, get ready for bare-knuckle competition.

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“From coast to coast, the line between primary residence and recreational property is blurring,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage said in a statement.


Click to play video: 'Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank'



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Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank


Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank – Aug 3, 2019

The result is a country-wide buying frenzy made worse by supply shortages that are often even more severe for recreational properties than they are in the overall real estate market, according to real estate agents. The trend began last summer and has continued to gain momentum, Soper said.

READ MORE: A better kind of timeshare? Why millennials are choosing co-ownership for vacation homes

Overall, Royal LePage expects the aggregate price of a home in Canada’s recreational markets to soar 15 per cent in 2021, to just over $500,000, the real estate company said in a forecast released Tuesday. That appreciation would come on top of an average price increase of 16 per cent in 2020, according to the report.

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Here’s what to expect across Canada in 2021:

Atlantic Canada


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Average price increase in 2021: 17 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $227,000.

Along with Ontario, Atlantic Canada’s recreational market is poised to see the sharpest appreciation this year, with plenty of demand from out-of-province buyers from Ontario, Quebec and B.C., according to the report.

In Shediac, N.B., which claims to be the “lobster capital of the world,” sight-unseen home purchases are becoming “more prevalent,” says Heather FitzGerald at Royal LePage Atlantic in Moncton. Some of the out-of-town buyers are retirees returning home or “fulfilling the dream of a vacation home in the Maritimes,” while others are young professionals who can work remotely and have chosen to relocate to a waterfront cottage, he says.

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Forty per cent of surveyed real estate professionals representing buyers in the region said their clients are making four to seven offers on average before closing a sale, according to the report.

Quebec


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Average price increase: 15 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just over $290,000.

In Quebec, Éric Léger,  a real estate broker at Royal LePage Humania sees a demographic clash between young buyers craving more space both indoors and outdoors, and older owners who are reluctant to sell because of concerns related to COVID-19, and a record housing supply crunch that makes it difficult for potential sellers to buy elsewhere.

“Eventually, the progress in the vaccination rollout should lead to increased [housing] inventory,” he says.

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Ontario


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Average price increase: 17 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: around $547,000.

In Ontario, Royal LePage sees average home prices in the recreational market climbing 17 per cent on top of a nearly 20 per cent increase in 2020.

At Ferrow Real Estate, Carmody says that while she is starting to detect bidding-war fatigue among some Ontario buyers looking to purchase at the edges of the GTA, in cottage country she expects multiple offers to continue to be the norm through the summer.

“There’s just so much demand,” she says. “Everybody’s trying to scoop up a cottage or recreational property.”

Prairies


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Average price increase: 9 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $261,000.

While average home-price growth is expected to come in just shy of double-digit territory this year, the forecast increase comes after recreational property values soared by nearly 22 per cent in 2020, according to Royal LePage.

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While the region isn’t seeing an onslaught of buyers from out of province, local snowbirds are helping to drive up demand.

“I’ve had many clients trade their U.S. properties for waterfront cottages closer to home,” Rolf Hitzer of Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate, says of properties in properties in Lac du Bonnet, near Winnipeg.

Alberta


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Average price increase: 6 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $943,000.

Alberta is expected to see a — relatively speaking — tame average price increase of six per cent this year, according to the report. But the province already has Canada’s priciest recreational market with the aggregate price of a vacation home expected to come in just shy of $1 million by the end of 2021. The average is skewed by Canmore, a sought-after destination for its proximity to Banff National Park and luxury mountain properties.

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A growing segment of buyers comes from young and middle-aged Albertans wanting to relocate to the areas, says Brad Hawker of Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty.

British Columbia


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Average price increase in 2021: 13 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $782,000.

Real estate agents in the province are expecting another torrid spring real estate markets ahead of another summer without the possibility of travel.

“Our biggest challenge right now is extremely low inventory and increased buyer demand,” says Francis Braam of Royal LePage Kelowna. “I expect we’ll see double-digit price gains in Central Okanagan this spring.”

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Factbox-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

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(Reuters) -A recent surge in COVID-19 cases could see major parts of Japan slide back into states of emergency with authorities in Tokyo and Osaka looking at renewed curbs, while quarantine-free travel started between Australia and New Zealand for the first time in more than a year.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France edged up on Sunday, amid a nationwide lockdown to try to stem a third wave of infections.

* British scientists launched a trial which will deliberately expose participants who have already had COVID-19 to the coronavirus again to examine immune responses and see if people get reinfected.

* Italy will ease curbs in many areas from April 26, warning caution was still needed to avoid any reversals in the reopening of many long-shuttered activities.

AMERICAS

* Just more than half of U.S. adults have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on Sunday, with nearly 130 million people aged 18 years or more having received their first shot.

* Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday predicted that U.S. health regulators will end the temporary pause on distributing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, adding he expects a decision could come as soon as Friday.

* Canada will present a budget with billions of dollars for pandemic recovery measures as COVID-19 infections skyrocket, C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) toward national childcare, and new taxes on luxury goods.

* The Canadian province of Ontario will begin offering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday to people turning 40 or older this year.

* Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday the government has made a second payment to the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative to access around 11 million COVID-19 vaccines.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* India’s capital New Delhi recorded 25,500 coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, with about one in three people tested returning a positive result, its chief minister said, urging the federal government to provide more hospital beds to tackle the crisis.

* Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has agreed to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s request to supply additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine minister of Japan said on Sunday.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can break through the protection provided by Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found.

* Vaccination against COVID-19 is a requirement to perform the Umra pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi state TV said on Sunday, citing a government official.

* Tunisia on Saturday announced the closure of all schools until April 30, as well as restrictions on movement, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine was 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection, data from a huge real-world study in Chile has shown, a potential boost for the jab which has come under scrutiny over its level of protection against the virus.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2 week highs on Monday, helped by expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over, while COVID-19 vaccine rollouts help ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections. [MKTS/GLOB]

(Compiled by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Devika Syamnath and Milla Nissi; Edited by William Maclean, Anil D’Silva and Subhranshu Sahu)

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New Zealand says ‘uncomfortable’ with expanding Five Eyes

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new zealand

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand said it is “uncomfortable” with expanding the role of the Five Eyes, a post-war intelligence grouping which also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada, recently criticised by China.

China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner, and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a speech that New Zealand sought a predictable diplomatic relationship.

New Zealand will find it necessary to speak out on issues where it does not agree with China, including developments in Hong Kong and the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, she said in a speech on Monday to the government-funded New Zealand China Council.

In later comments to media reported by New Zealand’s Newshub, Mahuta said New Zealand didn’t favour invoking the Five Eyes for “messaging out on a range of issues that really exist out of the remit of the Five Eyes”.

“We are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes,” she said.

China’s foreign ministry has repeatedly criticised the Five Eyes, after all members issued a joint statement about the treatment of Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators in November.

Last month, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said “the Five Eyes have taken coordinated steps to gang up on China”, after Australia and New Zealand issued a joint statement on Xinjiang.

Last year, the Five Eyes discussed cooperation beyond intelligence sharing, including on critical technology, Hong Kong, supply chains and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne in 2020.

Mahuta’s office told Reuters it couldn’t provide a copy of her comments on the Five Eyes.

Payne will travel to New Zealand on Wednesday for meetings with Mahuta and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the first diplomatic visit between the neighbouring countries since borders reopened both ways.

Canberra has recently endured a rockier relationship with Beijing than Wellington, with Australia’s trade minister unable to secure a call with his Chinese counterpart as exporters were hit with multiple trade sanctions from China.

A diplomatic dispute between China and Australia worsened in 2020 after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus pandemic.

China and New Zealand upgraded a free trade agreement in January, when, Mahuta said, trade ministers had held a “constructive” call.

 

(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Australia to hold inquiry to examine military suicides

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By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will hold a Royal Commission to examine suicides among serving and former military personnel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, bowing to public pressure to find ways to stem a mounting toll.

More than 500 have died from suicide since 2001, government data shows, a statistic that has fuelled public anger, including among the prime minister’s own Liberal party.

“I think and I hope it will be a healing process,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as he announced his call for a commission to be set up.

“I hope it will be a process by which veterans and families can find some comfort, but it obviously can’t replace the loss.”

The issue became prominent in Australia following a high-profile campaign by Julie-Ann Finney, whose son David, a former naval petty officer, committed suicide in 2019 after he had earlier been deployed to Iraq, East Timor and Bougainville.

Australian troops have been involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deployed for humanitarian missions in the Pacific.

The United States, Britain and Canada are also exploring ways to reduce suicide rates among serving and former military personnel.

Morrison said he hopes the Royal Commission will begin hearings later this year. Final recommendations are expected in 2023, he said. A permanent national commissioner will be tasked with ensuring the recommendations are enforced.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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