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RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2013

Starfish The Gray Team Ucluelet Real Estate

Property Report for Tofino - Ucluelet

Ucluelet: Starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized recreational property on a standard-sized waterfront lot: $549,000

Tofino: Starting price for a three-bedroom, winterized recreational property on a standard-sized waterfront lot: $769,000

After six years of sluggish activity and price adjustments, the market for recreational properties in Ucluelet and Tofino is finally poised for growth. Several factors have contributed to the slow but steady change in market conditions, including rock bottom values for waterfront condominiums and single family homes, higher prices in markets south of the border, greater political stability now that the election is over, and improved economic performance at a provincial level. While change is unlikely to occur overnight, demand is starting to gain observable traction in Ucluelet, and to a lesser extent, Tofino. Total residential sales—including recreational property sales—between May 2012 and April 2013 are on par with the previous 12-month period (57 vs. 52), but there was a noticeable uptick in activity reported in mid-May. The gap between list and sale prices is closing as a result, with higher ratios recorded across the board.

Starting price for a three-bedroom, waterfront property is up significantly yearover- year at $549,000 in Ucluelet, while values for similar product in Tofino are down, hovering at $769,000. Overall prices in the area have experienced a 30 per cent correction since the spring of 2007, a fact that has not gone unnoticed.

A growing number of purchasers from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Calgary and Edmonton are now making the trek toward Ucluelet/Tofino to take advantage of one of the best opportunities to buy on the West Coast in recent years. Affordability has improved substantially, with one bedroom condominiums on the ocean starting at $350,000 and studio apartments priced from $200,000. On the inlet side, a one-bedroom condominium on the water could be purchased for $150,000. The most active price point in the Ucluelet/Tofi no area is $200,000. Some purchasers are interested from an investment standpoint, given the potential return. However, changes to financing criteria over the sixyear period have not made it easy to borrow. All sales in the area must be accompanied by an appraisal, and properties with an onsite rental program are increasingly difficult to finance. Still, recreational product is appealing to a wide demographic, with both young and old attracted to the area.

Some of the older units in the area are getting a facelift with some minor renovation underway. Inventory levels remain healthy, with no shortage of product in any price range. A waterfront home that moved for just over $1.5 million was the most expensive sale recorded to date.

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