With 2009 being one of the most challenging years on record for recreational real estate, Harris Decima recently released a study on the future of the sector at the annual Canadian Resort Investment Conference. The study uncovered significant interest in the purchase of recreational property among Canadians and showcased both opportunities and necessary changes that will determine the future success of the industry.
Close to 2,000 Canadians who take at least 1 leisure trip a year were surveyed in September, 2009. Of the total population included in the survey, 87% mainly travel for weekend getaways accessible within 3 to 4 hours. The study concluded that Canadians are staying closer to home and looking for "staycations" where they can spend time with family (48%) and/or experience unique recreational amenities and resort settings (38%).
Owners of recreational property are predominately high income earners ($100k plus) and over 40 years of age. Of the population surveyed, 68% own a whole-owned recreational property, with 47% owning timeshare property and 69% having access to some type of recreational property; although, it was noted that the interest and familiarity with whole owned property nearly doubled from 2008 to 2009 with 43% familiar vs. 26%.
The main reason current owners purchased recreational property was location (83%) and amenities (50%). This represents the same reasons of interested non-owners, which resembled 19% of the total population surveyed. Of this 19% of people who are interested in purchasing recreational property, it is interesting to note that 27% are 31 - 40 years of age, representing a new, younger demographic entering the market.
Of the total percentage of non-owners interested in purchasing recreational property, 58% were solely interested in whole-owned product with the intention to purchase over the next 2 - 5 years. 69% were interested in purchasing shared product (fractional/timeshare) over the next 2 - 5 years. The major barriers in purchasing that non-owners noted were financial (55%) and the need for variety (48%). Although, it should be noted that the reasons for not purchasing in 2009 are close to the same as the findings in 2008, suggesting that the market is demanding and absorbing product that is more financially attainable.
The key messages to take away from the report include:
*Major untapped market is younger demographic (31 - 40 years old). They have dollars to spend but they are also far more marketing savvy. This demographic will likely be interested in fractional product or single family with some kind of rental program attached. The industry has to start creating product and changing sales tactics to make it easier and more enticing for this group to purchase.
*There is now major desire for variety and family-time - consumers want choice more than ever. This move towards a more value-oriented product is a result of the market's mentality to purchase for lifestyle reasons versus sole investment reasons. The idea of add-value is now top-of-mind (real estate attached to ski passes in the area, decrease in energy use, accessibility, etc.)
For further information on the Harris Decima research findings contact:
Orie Berlasso, Big Picture Conferences.
About Harris Decima Research
Harris Decima is part of the Harris Interactive Company, a diversified global research firm best known for pioneering advanced online research methodologies leading to the development of cost effective, strategic research and consulting solutions. In Canada, Harris Decima draws from a multi-dimensional team of professionals with skills in international business, consulting and economics who are well versed in market trend analysis and forecasting, competitive intelligence and advanced statistical analysis. Our dedicated analysts and consultants work across market segments, verticals and countries. Harris Decima is founded on a solid base of Canadian practices which leverage the resources of the company worldwide to deliver innovative global solutions locally.
About Big Picture Conferences (BPC)
BPC is dedicated to the production of annual conferences and networking events for the Canadian hospitality industry. In addition to the Canadian Resort Investment Conference and the Hotel Association of Canada's Annual Conference, they also produce the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference. Please visit www.bigpictureconferences.ca for details.