Cottage season may be a long way away, and memories of last summer distant, but the Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of Realtors recently reported a strong year for its region.
“Generally the number of new listings were way down, number of sales were way up, average price has increased and days on market… decreased across all markets,” a spokesperson for the association––which services prime parts of Ontario cottage country––told Harvey Kalles Real Estate.
A total of 4,194 homes changed hands across Muskoka, Haliburton, and Orillia throughout 2016, according to the association. The year before, 3,776 residential properties sold.
The most expensive properties in the region on average are located on the waterfront in Muskoka, a popular getaway for those living in the GTA and beyond. Last year, these dwellings got even pricier. In 2016, the average sale price for a Muskoka lot on the water was $723,976, up from $662,693 the year before.
Mike Taylor, president of the Lakelands Association of Realtors, provided a few reasons for the improved performance of local markets in the region, including Muskoka.
“The strength in the Lakelands can be attributed to… low interest rates, lower pricing for residential homes, consumer confidence in the market, and the region’s strong infrastructure for business,” Taylor said.
Much has been said about the potential influence foreign buyers may be having on the GTA’s housing market, and non-residents are also a factor in Muskoka, Haliburton, and Orillia, according to the Association.
“I would think that it’s a growing segment, with buyers from [the] USA, Europe, and Asia, in particular, buying into the cottage market,” Taylor added.
Are rapid price gains in the GTA having any impact on activity in the outlying region? “Anecdotally—yes. We’ve seen buyers relocating here, especially those that can telecommute or don’t need to be geographically tied to the GTA,” Taylor responded.
Elise Kalles is the exclusive agent representing the Toronto/Ontario real estate markets as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. Contact her here.
Image courtesy of Gary J. Wood