When it comes to buying property in BC – be it an apartment, condo, single-family home, or cabin – your chances are pretty limited if you’re looking for something under $1M. Fortunately, it’s not impossible, and if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do some digging, you’re sure to find a cottage in BC that fits the bill – even in 2023!

In fact, a recent report by RE/MAX reveals that there are two places in BC where the average cottage price is below $1M: Tofino and Ucluelet.

Before we dive into specifics, let’s take a look at some national cabin and cottage trends.

Canada-wide trends

According to the RE/MAX report, the average price of cabins and cottages in Canada is expected to rise this year, following record-breaking activity in 2022. On the plus side, 50% of Canadian regions are now experiencing more balanced conditions, even in areas where demand outpaces supply.

“The line between recreational and residential properties has blurred, in a trend that emerged during the pandemic, making quality of life even more important,” explains Elton Ash, Executive Vice President of RE/MAX Canada. “As the warmer weather approaches and economic conditions begin to stabilize, buyer confidence is returning to recreational markets.”

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Tofino and Ucluelet

With waterfront properties trending nationally (sought after by 77% of Canadian consumers), it’s perhaps surprising that Tofino and Ucluelet’s markets are currently balanced. As of now, the majority of buyers in both areas are local, primarily from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, with families, young and middle-aged couples, and retirees dominating the buyer demographics.

The average price of a Ucluelet cottage increased by 11% from last year, but still sits under $1M at $764,000 in the first quarter of 2023.

With a slower start to the year, Tofino’s average cottage price is expected to remain unchanged throughout 2023. The report notes that no sales have been made in Tofino as of April 27th, likely due to a lack of inventory.

RE/MAX also acknowledges that many buyers in the region are already financially affluent, but that real estate professionals are simultaneously seeing more financing than in years past.

So there you have it, BC. If you’re in the market for a cottage under $1M, you know where to look.