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Muskoka Real Estate Market Update | January – July 2016

Muskoka Real Estate Market Update | January – July 2016

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A sunset over the lake

A pattern has developed in the Muskoka and region recreational market place that most recently has been evident only in Ontario’s urban market places: a lack of property inventory. The greater Toronto area has been experiencing inventory shortages for more than 2 years. The situation is becoming one of concern. In centres such as Toronto, Hamilton and other large metropolitan areas there is little or no choice for buyers. Sellers who may want to buy up are not putting their properties on the market because there is little for them to buy, and when an appropriate property becomes available, they find themselves in competition.

The Muskoka and area recreational marketplace has not reached that acute state, but it is showing signs of doing so. The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® reports that to the end of July it processed 6,360 multiple listing service properties. This is a 12 percent decline compared to the 7,240 listings the Association processed to the end of July in 2015. The decline is even sharper if we focus exclusively on recreational properties. For example, at the end of July there were 1,212 recreational properties for sale across the greater Muskoka region. Last year there were 1,571, a concerning decline of almost 23 percent. In varying degrees the same is true in the 3 regions in which Chestnut Park and its agents primarily operate.

The Haliburton Highlands area reports a 33 percent decline in available listings at the end of July- this decline actually exceeds the decline being experienced in the greater Toronto area. At this time last year there were 395 recreational properties available for buyers to purchase. This year there are only 264. In the Lake of Bays area the decline is much less at 7 .6 percent. Last year there were 156 recreational properties available for sale, this year only 144. The decline in the Muskoka big lakes is also note-worthy. Last year there were 448 recreational properties for sale, this year more than 100 less at 34 7, a decline of more than 22 percent.

Not only is inventory declining, and to some extent because of these declines, except for the Lake of Bays area, there have been dramatic increases in sales. Throughout the greater Muskoka region, 721 multiple listing service sales were reported to the end of July, an eye-popping 22.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year. To put this in perspective, this percentage increase exceeds the increase in sales (by percentage) in the greater Toronto area. In the Haliburton Highlands, year to date reported sales are up by an astounding 33 percent. Last year to the end of July 165 recreational properties were reported sold, this year that number jumped to 220. Similar results are to be seen on Muskoka’s big lakes. Last year there were 163 reported sales of recreational properties, this year there have been 191 sales, a solid 17 .1 percent increase. Only Lake of Bays inexplicably has not seen an increase in sales. Last year there were 60, this year 56.

This year there have been 28 reported sales on Muskoka’s big lakes with a sale price exceeding $2 Million. One of these recreational properties sold for $9,335,000 and another for $11,400,000. Last year there were only 24 recreational property sales with sales prices exceeding $2 Million. Property sales having a sale price exceeding $1 Million increased dramatically as compared to 2015. In 2015 there were 104 properties in this category. This year that number jumped to 129, an increase of almost 25 percent.

Chestnut Park and its sales representatives continue to dominate the recreation marketplace in the Port Carling area. To the end of July, Chestnut Park reported almost 40 percent more sales in dollar volume than the next competitive office in the area. On a year to date basis Chestnut Park’s agents have been engaged in 142 recreational property sales. This is a new record for the Brokerage, surpassing the previous record of 112 property sales achieved by the end of July in 2015 and 2014. In dollar volume 2016 has also been a record year with Chestnut Park sales representatives engaging in more than $156 Million in recreational property sales, surpassing the previous record of $146 Million in sales achieved only last year.

Looking towards the later part of2016 and the fall market, the concern is inventory, particularly in the $1 Million to $1.8 Million price points. It is obvious that demand is strong, but there may not be sufficient inventory to satisfy it. As has been the case in urban markets, year over year sales of certain property types

(detached and semi-detached properties) have declined because of a lack of inventory. What has propped up the over-all market numbers, particularly in the greater Toronto area, has been the availability of condominium apartments, a property form that has had no impact on recreational markets.

This entry was posted on September 29, 2016 by Jim and Iris

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