The demand for a piece of Muskoka’s pristine cottage country continues to skyrocket as we move into the steamy summer months.
Based on telling figures released this week from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the month of June was an incredibly busy – and lucrative – one for Muskoka realtors. Stats from the Lakelands Association of Realtors reveal that buyers scooped up 381 waterfront properties – presumably summer vacation homes for many – in the month of June.
This marks a massive increase of 85% from June 2019.
This was also a new sales record for the region for the month of June and was the highest level of any month in history. On a year-to-date basis, waterfront sales totalled 775 units over the first six months of 2020, with the majority of these sales occurring after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This marked an increase of 19.2% from the same period in 2019.
Not surprisingly, the demand for the red-hot Muskoka real estate is also reflected in the climb in prices. The region’s waterfront properties saw a hike in their median price, jumping to a new record of $660,000, and surpassing $650,000 for the first time on record. This median price jumped 14% from June 2019.
The total dollar value of all waterfront sales in June 2020 hit a cool $355.5 million, more than double the levels from the year earlier, rising 117.7 % from June 2019.
The dollar volume of all homes sold hasn't been this high in the month of June in two decades.
By June, Muskoka's hot summer real estate scene typically losses some of its sizzle. “Usually what we see is a lot of activity in the springtime… it tends to slow down as we move into July,” says real estate agent Maryrose Coleman of Sotheby’s Realty.
The figures aren’t surprising, however, given the current state of the pandemic-ridden world. Not only is most travel off the table for the foreseeable future, months of isolation in Toronto homes has resulted in a craving for space and a desire to reconnect to the great outdoors. For many young families, the cancellation of summer camps was the deciding factor in directing their dollars (and their energetic children) toward Muskoka.
However, the buyers aren’t just young families with no shortage of disposable income. “The pandemic turns out to have only accelerated the trend of retirees, empty-nesters, those looking to down-size, and people now working from home looking to Muskoka as an answer,” says Ross Halloran, Broker at Sotheby’s Realty.
As an indication of exactly how hot Muskoka real estate is – especially on the “big three” lakes (Rosseau, Muskoka, and Joseph) – both Coleman and Halloran say that, in previous years, properties that didn’t sell in the spring would typically be taken off the market by now until fall. But that simply isn’t the case this year.
The only problem for those looking to secure a Muskoka cottage for the rest of the summer and fall is that the pickings are now slim, no matter how fat your wallet is.