The best way to sum up the Muskoka and area recreational marketplace at the end of May is as follows: the number of sales is increasing, while the volume of available inventory is decreasing. This is clearly not an ideal market scenario, particularly for hopeful buyers.
The story on the inventory side unfolds as follows. Generally, both for recreational and residential properties, the numbers are down. The Muskoka – Haliburton Association of Realtors reports that year to date it has processed 3,964 listings in Muskoka, Haliburton and Orillia. That compares to 4,365 during the same period last year, a decline of 10 percent. The decline in available recreational properties is even more severe.
At the end of May there were only 726 properties available for sale across the entire region. Last year there were 1,123, a staggering decline of 35 percent. At the end of May 2015 there were 1,348 recreational properties available for sale. The same is happening in the three major regions in which Chestnut Park is active.
In the Haliburton Highlands there were only 154 properties available for sale, a decline of 39 percent compared to the 253 that were listed for sale in 2016. In 2015 there were 337 recreational properties available for potential buyers to purchase. Supply in the Haliburton Highlands has dwindled by about 55 percent in two years.
Lake of Bays is following the pattern of the Haliburton Highlands. At the end of May listings of recreational properties were down to a mere 75, a sharp 30 percent decline compared to the 105 available last year. In 2015 there were 132 available properties.
Although there are more properties available on Muskoka’s big lakes, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka, on a percentage basis the decline in available inventory is the same as that in Lake of Bays. At the end of May there were 273 properties listed for sale, a 30 percent decline compared to the 337 available last year. In 2015 there were 382 available recreational properties.
Notwithstanding these declines in available inventory, sales of recreational properties are on the rise in all regions. Overall the Association reports that 400 properties have been reported sold year-to-date. That represents an increase of almost 12 percent compared to the 359 properties sold in 2016. In 2015 only 278 recreational properties were reported sold at this time of year.
The region showing the greatest increase in sales year-over-year is Lake of Bays. Last year at this time a paltry 27 recreational properties had been reported sold. This year that number has jumped to 45, an increase of 66 percent. Sales on Muskoka’s big lakes are also up. Last year 91 properties were reported sold. At the end of May 2017, that number has climbed to 108, an increase of almost 19 percent.
The only region showing a decline in sales is the Haliburton Highlands. I suspect that that decline is due to a supply shortage rather than a lack of buyer demand. It must be remembered that inventory decline in the Haliburton Highlands was greater than any other region. Last year 111 recreational properties were reported sold, this year only 101, a decline of approximately 10 percent.
A decline in supply in conjunction with rising sales usually means rising average sale prices. A look at sales and average sale prices for all reported sales on Muskoka’s big indicates that year-over-year prices are rising. In fact prices have been rising since 2010, with, of course, fluctuations on the various lakes depending on the volume of very high priced properties that have been reported sold.
In May the average sale price for all properties reported sold on Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph, and Lake Muskoka was $2,139,214. Last year the average sale price for all recreational properties reported sold on the big lakes was $1,962,797. This represents a year-over-year increase of 9 percent. Compared to the average list price for all properties sold on the big lakes the sale-to-list ratio is approximately 95 percent, only slightly better than the 94 percent achieved in 2016.
Chestnut Park’s numbers year-to-date have been very strong, notwithstanding the dramatic decline in inventory. Chestnut Park continues to be the dominant brokerage in the Port Carling area, outdistancing the next nearest competitor office by more than 33 percent in dollar volume of reported sales. Chestnut Park’s sales representatives were responsible for approximately 27 percent of the dollar volume of all reported sales. Chestnut Park’s sales have totalled more than $98 Million to the end of May.
At this stage it is difficult to forecast how the latter half of 2017 will unfold. The Provincial Government announced measures to cool the red-hot Toronto and area residential resale market on April 20, 2017. For the most part those measures do not apply to the Muskoka and area market, yet the psychological affect of those measures may in infiltrate the Muskoka market and cause and cause buyers to be more deliberate and patient. Most of the measures announced in April should have had no impact on the Toronto market – only 4 to 5 percent of all buyers were foreign buyers – yet the market in the greater Toronto area is up by approximately 20 percent year over year.
Prepared by:Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker
This entry was posted on June 27, 2017 by Jim and Iris
“Jim and Iris Gardiner were both amazing to deal with. A truly professional team. They shared a great deal of knowledge with us and really shed important light regarding potential Island Cottage ownership – all the pros and cons. Not only did they sell our existing cottage in 24 hours for much higher than our asking price they helped us find our new slice of paradise on Lake Muskoka in a very tight market. We are thrilled with our new cottage and love being on Eilean Gowan Island! We would highly recommend either Jim or Iris for any of your Real Estate needs!”J & D – Sold on Echo Lake and bought on Lake Muskoka
Mike Taylor was a great find for us. Mike was accessible and flexible with showings, visits, the house inspection and all of the steps involved in closing a sale. Following our closing Mike has continued to be a valuable source of information providing us with contacts for insurance, plumbing and electricians among other things.S & D – Muskoka River, Port Sydney
Jim did me a favor 20 years ago and I wanted to return the favor – I approached him and Iris at the cottage show and, even though I already had a real estate agent, he recommended a cottage property that I purchased and enjoyed for those 20 years. I therefore, tracked him down and had him be our agent in selling that property. Our priority was to find new owners that would be friendly and fit in well with the neighbors and Jim and Iris found the perfect couple Jim and Iris made the entire sale most enjoyable. The experience was so smooth and enjoyable that the sellers, the buyers and the real estate agents all got together for supper the following summer at our old cottage!K & L – Lake Muskoka
As first time cottage buyers but no strangers to purchasing property, we were fortunate to find Mike Taylor. We purchased through him in 2016 and would gladly again. Honest, great local knowledge and mindful of the nuances of financing, our experience with this agent was golden. Hardworking and always available, Mike made our experience of this purchase so much easier. A great job and comes with the highest recommendation” Thank you AgainS & C – Buck Lake, Huntsville
It is with great pleasure and appreciation for me to recommend the services of Jim Gardiner and the entire Gardiner Team. Jim’s awareness of community by-laws and market related activities extracted incremental value for us when we were finalizing the purchasing agreement.JB – Mirror Lake