Taking a page from Muskoka's record-breaking playbook, Kawartha Lakes' April 2021 home sale values set a new record, marking the largest total dollar value for any month in the region's recorded history.

New data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows the total dollar value of Kawartha's home sales last month reached $150.1 million.

While setting an all-time record for the area, the massive total specifically surpassed April 2020's value by a whopping 525.2% (though, of course, this shouldn't be taken without its COVID-context).

At the same time, the number of homes recorded to have changed hands through the MLS System of the Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association Inc. came in at 213 units in April -- a 273.7% increase from the year prior.

This total, too, sets a record for the month of April and for any month on record, behind June 2016. In fact, the month boasted activity that was 71.8% above the five-year average, and 58.7% over the 10-year average for the month of April specifically.

Kawa chart05 xhi res

“These staggering year over year sales increases of waterfront sales in key cottage markets like Muskoka, Haliburton & Kawarthas underscore what we have suspected all along,” says Ross Halloran of Sotheby’s International Realty.

“In the face of a pandemic, people will go to extraordinary lengths and expense to establish new accommodation venues to safely enjoy a lifestyle that focuses on spending more time with friends and family while communing and working in or near nature.”

Kawa chart01 xhi res

Where year-to-date data is concerned, Kawartha home sales were reported to reach 593 units from January through April 2021, boasting an 111% increase from the same period last year. In April alone, the number of new listings reported also surged high over last year's levels, surpassing 2020's count by 173.1% with a total of 254 units.

The listing count soars 28.4% over the five-year average, and hovers 4.4% above the 10-year average for the month of April.

"This was the largest number of new listings added in the month of April in more than five years," says CREA.

Kawa chart02 xhi res

Active listings, meanwhile, haven't seen the lows last month saw in more than three decades. At the end of April, residential listings numbered 144 units on the market -- a sharp decline of 49.7% from the same time last year. This count lays 45.9% below the five-year average, and 68.6% below the 10-year average for the month.

Months of Inventory -- the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity -- numbered a measly 0.7 at the end of April 2021. This is down massively from the 5 months recorded at April 2020's close, while also laying low from the long-run average of 3.8 months for this time of year.

Kawa chart04 xhi res

According to the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) -- which tracks price trends more accurately than is possible using average or median price measures -- the overall MLS HPI composite/single-family benchmark price was 50.5% over that of the year prior, reaching $591,200.

It's incredible, really, what a year of forced isolation can do for the value of remote, water-surrounded properties. We'd tell you today looks like a fine time to sell, but we reckon that despite a massive increase in cottage country home values, being able to call such an escape your own is -- now more than ever -- priceless.