Lake Muskoka Real Estate | March 2022

Cottage on Lake Muskoka

Lake Muskoka Cottage Sales

One of the areas largest and most sought after waterways, Lake Muskoka is home to some of the provinces most spectacular cottages. A boater's dream with 269 kms. of shoreline and over 12000 hectares of surface area to explore, you can spend hours exploring this quintessential Ontario destination. The exceptional demand for waterfront real estate in Muskoka has driven values even higher in the last few years.

Highlights from the Lakelands Real Estate Board for 2021 (freehold properties)

  • 88 units sold in 2021 including seasonal cottages, vacant waterfront and Muskoka River
  • 2 properties sold over $5,000,000.00
  • Highest sale price was $13,700,000.00
  • Very tight inventory through all 2021
  • Firmly in a Seller's Market

The market is firmly to the Sellers advantage with demand far outstripping supply at all price points. Cottages in the "sweet spot" range of $2000,000.00 - $ 3,000,000.00 saw consistent multiple offers scenarios throughout the summer months and seemed to intensify into the fall. Disheartened buyers looked to Lake Joseph and Rosseau as alternatives but the market is consistent across the "Big Three" . Ultimately many sets their sites further north to the Huntsville & Lake of Bays areas or to smaller lakes to purchase lakefront.

Boat on Lake Muskoka
Lake Muskoka steamship

2022 Outlook

While no one has a crystal ball, all indications point to a similar real estate market for this year. Many of the agents and brokers I've spoke to are seeing low listing numbers lining up for the summer and potential buyers are still on the hunt from last year. Another factor on the Buyer side of the equation is with Covid restrictions being lifted many out-of-country purchasers that were sidelined by the pandemic will once again be in the market. That additional pent up demand from the United States, Asia and Europe will add to the already strained market. The first quarter of this year has been one of the busiest I've ever seen and will be very interesting to see if it holds to that level throughout the year.

Things to Watch

Low Days on Market

If last year was any indication the days listings are on the market will be very low. Although many will say " holding offers until..." the reality is that many sellers will entertain "bully" offers. These are essentially written offers that come in before the stipulated date posted, usually with a short time the sellers can ponder it called the "Irrevocable time".  These are generally,but not always, very aggressive offers above asking.  People that wait are finding themselves late to the party with the cottage sold before they even offer. One strategy would be to schedule your showing midweek and not wait until the weekend .

Relentless Competition in the Sweet Spot

On Lake Joseph the price range that most buyers are looking at has risen dramatically. For many years a good "starter cottage" would run around $1,000,000.00 but that has all changed. Many clients are looking for more than just a summer place to take their family. With eyes to the future they seek out properties that can be accessed year round and with gentle slope to the lakefront. This way their purchase can ease from a cottage to a home they can retire to in the future. The ability to earn rental income also comes into play more now as a way to offset carrying costs. Great rental properties and great retirement properties are often the same which funnels buyers from different demographics.  With this in mind I've found that the most intense buyer competition seems to be for year round cottages with easy water access in the $2,000,000.00-$3,000,000.00 range.

Searching for a waterfront property? You can find the latest Lake Muskoka cottages for sale here.


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