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Analyzing the Muskoka and area recreational waterfront marketplace in 2019 has been extremely taxing. As it is, this marketplace is complex, varying by price point, market location and region. The closest the market comes to producing any kind of pattern in 2019 is that average sales prices have increased, however, months of inventory have also increased. This is due primarily to the fact that recreational waterfront properties are taking longer to sell in the first six months compared to the same period last year.
That is not to say that exceptional waterfront properties have not sold quickly. Within Chestnut Park’s Port Carling Office, there were a number of sales exceeding $4 million over the past few months that spent only days on the market. Some of these properties were listed exclusively by Chestnut Park agents and sold by Chestnut Park agents.
The recreational waterfront data provided by the industry’s national organization illustrate the peculiar nature in which the market is unfolding. These are broad market statistics.
Waterfront properties sold in the Muskoka Lakes area numbered 61 in the second quarter of 2019, down just 2 reported sales compared to the same period last year. These sales represent recreational properties listed on the region’s MLS system. A marginal 3 percent decline. For the first time in the last three years, months of inventory increased over the same period, from 7.4 months recorded at the end to the second quarter of 2018 to 8.2 months in 2019. The number of days on the market was up marginally from 19 to 21 days, and on a year – over – year basis the average sale price for MLS reported sales was up by 1 percent to $1,050,000.
In the region’s Lake of Bays area, sales declined dramatically in the second quarter of 2019, down from 39 last year to 25 this year, a decline of 35 percent. Like the Muskoka Lakes region, inventory rose, but again much more dramatically, increasing to 9.9 months, an increase of over 70 percent. It is inexplicable, however, that with fewer sales, more inventory, reported sales took place in only 20 days, much faster than over the same period last year, while average sale prices rose by 7 percent to over $802,000, a new record high.
It would appear that Lake of Bays is caught between the higher-priced properties of the Muskoka Lakes and the lower-priced properties of the Haliburton region, and buyers, depending on their financial strength, are choosing waterfront properties at the opposite ends of the affordability spectrum.
For example, sales In the Haliburton region increased more than any other waterfront marketplace. In the second quarter, 127 properties were reported sold, an increase of almost 16 percent compared to the same period last year. No doubt because of the increase in sales the existing listing portfolio was reduced. Months of available inventory declined from 4.7 to 3.9 months. Inexplicably the number of days on the market for waterfront properties increased from 19.5 to 24 during the same period last year. Not surprisingly the average sale price increased by 4 percent to $485,000.
It is interesting to look at the Muskoka Lakes market place by price point. Inventory over $3 Million has increased during the first half of 2019 compared to last year. Last year there were 128 listings in this category, this year the number increased to 154, the first time there has been an increase year-over-year since at least 2016. Under $1 Million the number of available listings has once again decreased. In the first half of 2019, there were 64 listings in this category. It is interesting to note that in 2016 there were 138, a clear indication of where the price point for properties on the Muskoka Lakes has gone in the last four years.
Surprisingly sales of all waterfront properties on the Muskoka Lakes at $3 Million and less are down in 2019 compared to last year. In 2018 64 properties were reported sold in this price category, 56 this year. Although the numbers are small, this year 9 waterfront properties recording a sale price of $3 Million or more have been reported sold. Last year there were only 6.
The average price has increased for properties sold over $500,000 on the Muskoka Lakes year-over-year. At the halfway point of 2019, the average sale price was $1,873,627. This year it is $1,970,251, an increase of almost 7 percent.
It should be noted that Chestnut Park accounts for almost 20 percent of all sales in the region, more than double the next closest office.
What all this data appears to be saying is that the recreational waterfront market place in Muskoka and area is stabilizing. More inventory, generally, appears to be coming to market, with moderate increases in sales and average sale prices. A scenario that is not that dissimilar to the Toronto and area resale market place. It will be interesting to see what happens to inventory levels in the last half of the year and the impact they will have on sales volumes and average sale prices.
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker
This entry was posted on August 19, 2019 by Jim and Iris
“Thank you for the memorable sales and closing experience of finding the cottage of our dreams. A perfect fit for our needs.”I & E – Lake Muskoka cottage buyers
“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
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
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
Just want to tell you that you did a fine job for me on the cottage sale on Lake Muskoka. The sale has removed a huge load from my shoulders. Iris, just a note to thank you again. Money is in the bank!!!!!!BJ – Lake Muskoka