What the market looks like for Manitoba cottages

With winter in the rear view mirror, it means Manitobans can start looking forward to time spent at the lake.

But people looking to sell their cottages may find they’re not getting as much as they would hope, as a new report is showing.

Chris Neufeld, a realtor with Interlake Real Estate, said one lakefront property in Gimli that is on the market and listed for $619,900 won’t have to worry about a lot of other competition.

“Certainly there are buyers willing to purchase, but we have probably 50 per cent of the listings that we would’ve had pre-COVID,” said Neufeld.

That is a situation felt throughout the province. A new report from Royal LePage looking at recreational properties in Manitoba and Saskatchewan found that 56 per cent of real estate experts reported less inventory this year as compared to last.

This means the median price of a single-family recreational home is expected to increase just 0.5 per cent in 2024.

“It’s the people that are the median income people who are looking for a $200,000 cottage. Those people probably will pull back and may not be interested in purchasing something right now, at least not until the interest rates start to drop.”

With fewer new cottagers coming into Gimli, it isn’t news businesses want to hear.

“Cottagers are a huge part of our business,” said Stefan Tergesen, the owner of H.P. Tergesen & Sons. “They’re our regulars as we call them. They’re here every year. One of my favourite is always asking people how their cottage fared in the winter and finding out that this is actually their first stop.”

He said the economy is strong down south, it’s OK in Manitoba. He’s confident cottagers both new and old will find his store.

“It’s a pilgrimage, as I call it, for some people.”

Neufeld is also confident buys will be there, especially if the Bank of Canada can help out a little with the interest rates.

“People still want to have escapes, they still want to have places to go that is not in the city, let’s say. So they’ll come up to rural areas and that’s where we come in,” said Neufeld.

The report anticipates inventory and sales activity will start to climb shortly, now that spring temperatures have arrived.

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