Oil industry driving Alberta cabin demand, says ReMax

It may be a good time to buy recreational property in Alberta, but that doesn't mean they are cheap.

Sylvan Lake still among most expensive recreational areas in Canada, says Remax

Sylvan Lake is consistently rated as one of the most expensive areas in the country and getting a lakefront property for less than $1 million is considered a bargain. (Christine Brown)

It may be a good time to buy recreational property in Alberta, but that doesn't mean they come cheap.

According to the annual ReMax Recreational Property Report, getting a lakefront cabin for under $1 million in places like Sylvan Lake is still considered a bargain.

Sylvan Lake is consistently rated as one of the most expensive areas in the country and realtors aren't expecting a decline in demand for cabins there any time soon.

"I think it's only going to get busier again as the economy picks up in the province," said Carl Stepp, a local realtor. "Our unemployment rate is the best in the country, next to Saskatchewan really, and people are out there working and they're going to spend their money here."

In Canmore, high demand has also led to a limited number of three bedroom, single-family homes available for less than $1 million.

Analysts say buyers in both Canmore and Sylvan Lake tend to be geologists, engineers and executives in the oil industry – mirroring the trend seen among retiree buyers. 

The Okanagan Valley has also been seeing an increase in buyers from Alberta with the arrival of new direct flights from Fort McMurray.

Two of the factors cited in the report are high consumer confidence and a weak Canadian dollar.

Analysts suggest motivated buyers are hunting for their dream homes while the dollar's low value has them looking to remain in Canada rather than buying south of the border.

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