Cottages: The new cash cow for investors

A new Leger poll shows cottage buyers are thinking more and more like property investors.  Some new buyers are purchasing recreational properties mainly for the traditional reasons - the lifestyle benefits - while demonstrating a growing interest in renting out those purchases to cover the cost of acquisition. The Leger poll suggests they are renting out their cottages, cabins and beach homes to ensure they can afford them.

Among intended buyers, 51 per cent said they would rent their property either to a tenant that was referred by someone they knew, or otherwise, to offset the cost of ownership. That thinking represents something of a sea change for recreational property owners. Among current owners answering  poll questions, 83 per cent said they do not rent out their recreational property to offset carrying costs. Only 10 per cent indicated that they would "like to."

On the other side, only 32 per cent of would-be owners said they are prepared to reduce their spend to get into a cheaper property. Even fewer, 25 per cent, were ready to buy a fixer-upper in order to trim property costs.

The survey hints at the growing willingness of Canadians to take on the role of landlord in order to protect the lifestyles to which their generation has become accustomed. Those younger buyers have also seen the cost of cabins in Ontario cottage country more than double in the last 20 years as a scarcity of lakeside lots drives up property values.

But becoming a real estate investor/landlord isn't the answer for everyone looking to bridge the gap between their funds and the cost of acquisition.  Some areas have bylaws that restrict rental activity while others have strict noise regulations that might limit the ability to attract renters.

Adapted form Canadian Real Estate Magazine