Sales of recreational properties in Ontario have surged in the last year amid a double-digit price increase in most markets, a new report from real estate brokerage Re/Max suggests. 

The company published the report Tuesday, ahead of the Canada Day long weekend, a time many families in the province are likely to spend at their summer home. 

In many ways, the data for recreational properties parallels what's happening in the province's red hot housing market, where bidding wars have become recently commonplace among many markets, when they were once only relegated to Toronto and the GTA. 

Mike Sloan, Grand Bend real estate agent

Grand Bend real estate agent Mike Sloan says a lot of homeowners in larger cities are 'cashing out' by selling their properties in order to buy real estate in one of Ontario's resort communities. (Mike Sloan/YouTube)

"Just like a lot of markets in Ontario, supply is a little lower than it would usually be about now," Mike Sloan, a real estate agent in Grand Bend, told CBC News. 

Grand Bend saw the largest year-over-year sales increase in Southwestern Ontario, as sales nearly doubled from 128 properties two years ago, to 239 properties last year. 

Homeowners 'cashing out' 

"That statistic we're getting from ReMax, which I don't contest in terms of volume being up, a lot of those might not be cottages," he said, noting Grand Bend's two major grocery stores, dozens of restaurants and a large health clinic gives the community more to offer than just a summer playground.  

Sloan said many of the buyers who are flocking to Grand Bend are taking advantage of high real estate prices by "cashing out" -- selling their properties in larger communities in favour of buying something cheaper in town. 

"Absolutely. I'm doing quite well this year," he said, noting almost half of his buyers this year come from Kitchener-Waterloo. 

Meanwhile sales of waterfront properties in Haliburton were up 42 per cent, from 244 properties two years ago, to 347 properties last year. 

In Eastern Ontario, sales of waterfront properties in Rideau Lakes more than doubled from 44 two years ago to 101 last year.

Prince Edward County remains the priciest place to buy a cottage in the province with the median price last year hitting $575,000, up nearly 40% from the year before.

Prices across Ontario

Region Housing type 2015/16 median price 2016/17 median price Year-over-year median price Year-over-year sales
Bruce Peninsula Waterfront $329,572 $376,398 14.21% 34.89%
Bruce Peninsula Non-waterfront $208,041 $272,114 30.8% 15.36%
Grand Bend Non-waterfront $247,000 $290,000 17.41% 86.72%
Haliburton Waterfront $206,628 $240,067 16.18% 42.21%
Haliburton Non-waterfront $46,573 $66,038 41.79% 40.22%
Parry Sound Waterfront $380,000 $410,000 7.89% 24.24%
Wasaga Beach Non-waterfront $324,065 $393,237 21.35% -1.48%
Orillia Waterfront $365,000 $441,500 20.96% 5.33%
Prince Edward County Waterfront $415,000 $575,000 38.55% 10.32%
Bancroft Waterfront $278,000 $308,000 10.79% -13.5%
Kawartha Lakes Waterfront $390,000 $425,000 8.97% 8.99%
Rideau Lakes Waterfront $386,000 $452,000 17.1% 129.55%