A new report from Royal LePage says 2023 might be the year to buy a recreational property.

According to the real estate company, the aggregate price of a single-family home in a “recreational region” in Ontario is set to decrease by five per cent in 2023.

In 2022 the average price of a single-family home in a “recreational region” in Ontario rose by 7.3 per cent to $634,800, despite widespread price declines in the broader real estate market.

Meanwhile, the average price of a single-family waterfront home increased 8.9 per cent to $1,006,600.

The Royal LePage report offers several possible reasons for the softening market in 2023, including reduced demand due to inflation and low supply. A survey of over 200 Royal LePage realtors confirmed reduced demand as well as reduced supply for recreational properties in Canada.

Royal LePage president Phil Soper told CP24 the decrease in demand for cottages and chalets could be attributed to the widespread return to in-office work following extensive work-from-home orders during the pandemic.

“People are turning to cottages as an urban escape again, as opposed to principal residences,” he said.

The report suggests that hopeful cottage buyers in Ontario can expect a decline in sales prices across the province, with the exception of a “select few” markets such as the Southern Georgian Bay area. Otherwise, it’s a buyer’s market.

The most expensive recreational real estate market in Ontario in 2022 was the Muskoka area, where the average waterfront home traded hands for $1,062,500. That, however, represented a nearly 16 per cent price decline from the year before.

“People are looking at a luxury [when they buy a recreational property],” said Soper. “There’s less demand – people are able to look around a little bit.”