A new report released Monday finds demand for recreational property, such as cottages, is up 78 per cent in markets surveyed across the country as consumer confidence returns and interest rates remain low.

The Re/Max Recreational Report found that British Columbia's oceanfront recreational properties saw a 20 per cent price decrease in 2011. Sales in Western Canada are also well ahead of the national average.

"There's great selection out there now," Pamela Alexander, CEO of Re/Max told CTV's Canada AM on Monday.

"You can find a starter property for around the $300,000 mark if you look long and hard – and not everybody has to look at a million dollar property out west."

Alexander said that a strong economy and lower mortgage rates are contributing to the "perfect storm" in recreational property sales across Canada.

"I think another thing is that people are seeing really solid equity increases in their principle residences and looking to draw some equity out of that as well to buy a cottage," she said.

The report looked at the sales and trends in 46 markets across Canada and found that sales are up or on par in 41 per cent of cottage country.

Half of the markets, including Ontario, Atlantic Canada and the Laurentians, offer cottages at $350,000 or less, according to the report.

In Ontario's Muskokas, where expensive cottages are the norm, buyers have more options this year, Alexander said.

"There's great value, $300,000 to $500,000 in the area there," she said. "And it's still really affordable if you just step back to some of the smaller private lakes or perhaps not as elaborate as those $5 million cottages."

In Atlantic Canada, there are fewer international buyers leaving more-affordable options for Canadians looking for a vacation home, Alexander said.

"One of the things that has changed there is the American purchasers, which was a really strong market for a long period of time, have really turned their sights elsewhere," she said.

Starting cottage prices in 2011:

• Newfoundland $105,000 (in 2008 it was $95,000)

• New Brunswick $450, 000 (2008, $200,000)

• Nova Scotia $240,000 (2008, $200,000)

• Prince Edward Island $350,000 (2008, $250,000)

• Quebec $450,000 (no prices for 2008)

• Ontario Muskoka $325,000 (2008, $275,000)

• Manitoba $280,000 (2008, $250,000)

• Saskatchewan $400,000 (2008, $300,000)

• Alberta $800,000 (2008, $1.25 million)

• BC North Okanagan $995,000 (2008, $1.5 million)

• BC Salt Spring Island $669,000 ($1.3 million)