Now that the snow has come to the Muskoka Parry Sound area, the cottage real estate season is fast coming to a close. Despite constant rainy weather, the overall market for waterfront properties was very strong throughout the region. There were sales increases in many price ranges, from starter cottages in the $250,000 to $350,000 range to the more substantial waterfront properties over $500,000.
The Parry Sound Real Estate Board, as of September, showed an increase of 15.9% for recreational property sales with the average price of a cottage being $404,592. Sales on the west side of the district were slow at the start of the season but as the summer progressed, so did waterfront sales. The inventory of homes and cottages was very high but there appears to be a softening demand for homes. The number of buyers looking for cottages between $500,000 and $800,000 seemed to be very strong but there was a very limited number quality offering in that range.
Muskoka real estate sales were similar with a 10.8 % increase for the median price for cottages in September with the price of waterfront averaging $380,000. The total value of all recreational properties was $88.9 million up a whopping 39.3 % over a year earlier. There were 95 waterfront units sold on the Muskoka Board in September, up from 74 last year. Once again, like the Parry Sound market, demand was very strong for cottages between $500,000 and $800,000 with limited inventory.
In the Magnetawan area we had an exceptionally strong cottage real estate season with some of the highest sales numbers on record. There was a very strong demand in all price ranges for recreational properties with a good balance of Sellers and Buyers. The larger lakes like Ahmic, Whitestone, Cecebe, Neighick, Manitouwabing and Horn Lake were the most requested but enquiries for smaller lakes like Whalley, Silver and Simmons were also very good. Vacant waterfront sold very well which can be a good indicator that there is a high degree of confidence in the market.
Traffic on our website, as anticipated, has slowed in the last two weeks so I suspect things will start to slow soon. There have been some late season cottage listings this year so it will be interesting to see how waterfront moves before the lakes freeze over.
By John Fincham
Re/Max Parry Sound Muskoka Realty Ltd. Magnetawan Branch