While ski resort properties continue to be relatively affordable, 67 per cent of Western Canadians don’t believe they can afford them. According to a recent RE/MAX survey of Western Canadians conducted by Leger, only 23 per cent of respondents claim to be able to purchase a ski resort property.
No longer just used as only winter vacation homes or winter sport destinations, ski resorts in Western Canada are now all-season resorts, with many offering summer outdoor activities including mountain biking, hiking, golf courses and more. Of those interested in purchasing a ski resort property, 71 per cent are most interested in properties with these all-season resort capabilities.
“The perception is that ski resort properties are unattainable or only for the extremely wealthy,” says Elton Ash, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Western Canada. “However, in reality, the story is very different, with multiple ski resorts in Western Canada boasting affordable prices, making them attractive investments for both local and foreign buyers.
”In fact, the survey found that snow levels and quality of snow (53 per cent), proximity to restaurants and retail (51 per cent) and mountain elevation (37 per cent) were secondary to the interest in all-season resort capabilities, confirming that these types of ski resort properties are top of mind for buyers. This is also true for investors, both local and foreign, who rent out their properties when not in use. Those living in an urban (27 per cent) and suburban (24 per cent) area are significantly more likely to be interested in owning a ski property in the near future, compared to those living in a rural area (16 per cent).
With so many potential buyers of ski resort properties coming from urban and suburban areas, it’s clear that more Western Canadians are interested in pursuing some sort of lifestyle change,” says Ash. “With ski resorts now boasting activities all year round, they’re more appealing to urban and suburban dwellers who want a change of pace.
Buyers in Whistler Blackcomb come from B.C.’s Lower Mainland though there is some foreign investor activity. Voted as the number one destination for skiing in North America, the Vail Epic Ski Pass allows for the ability to travel between other mountains in the area – a big draw for serious skiers. With such high demand, some properties are deemed as restricted use and are only allowed to be used 56 days of the year (28 in the summer and 28 in the winter). Prices start at $389,000 for a studio ($230,000 for those zoned as restrictive use), and go up to $439,000 for a one-bedroom, $565,00 for a two-bedroom, $534,000 for a townhouse and $1.5 million for a freehold property.