Muskoka Real Estate | July 2023 Update

Lake Joseph cottage, Muskoka

In July 2023, the MLS® System captured a vibrant snapshot of the region's real estate activity, showcasing a total of 406 units sold. This marked a remarkable growth of 24.9% compared to the same period in 2022.

While the residential non-waterfront segment demonstrated an upward trajectory, recording increased sales activity year-over-year, it's worth noting that the numbers were 29.3% below the five-year average and 29.5% below the ten-year average for July. With 2,688 units sold in the first seven months of the year, this category witnessed an 11.4% decline from the corresponding period in 2022.

In contrast, waterfront property sales painted a slightly different picture. July 2023 reported 112 units sold, reflecting a 17.6% decrease from the previous year. These figures were also below the historical averages, with waterfront sales standing at 48.9% below the five-year average and 50.9% below the ten-year average for July. The year-to-date data showed a significant decrease of 12% compared to the first seven months of 2022, with 651 waterfront units sold.

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Matthew Lidbetter, President of the Lakelands Association of REALTORS®, highlighted this intriguing divergence in trends: while non-waterfront residential properties exhibited a surge in sales compared to the previous year, waterfront properties experienced a decline. Strikingly, prices for non-waterfront homes remained below their records from the previous year, whereas waterfront property prices displayed a faster recovery. Although demand for waterfront homes was relatively subdued, they spent minimal time on the market before securing a buyer, contrasting with historical patterns.

A more precise gauge of price trends is provided by the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), surpassing the limitations of average or median measures. The composite benchmark price in July 2023 reached $717,000, indicating a moderate drop of 4.7% compared to July 2022.

For single-family homes, the benchmark price landed at $746,300, reflecting a 3.9% year-over-year decrease in July. Conversely, townhouse/row units experienced a pronounced price reduction, with the benchmark price at $577,600—down by 14.1% from the prior year. Apartments showed a 7% decrease in the benchmark price, settling at $471,500 compared to the previous year.

The median price for residential non-waterfront properties in July 2023 stood at $685,000, registering a moderate increase of 5.2% from July 2022. On a more comprehensive scale, the year-to-date median price for these properties reached $685,000, representing a decline of 9.3% compared to the first seven months of 2022.

Waterfront Sales July 2023 Comparisons

Chart of cottage sales July 2023

Waterfront Median Days on Market

Chart of Waterfront Median Days on Market

For waterfront properties, the median price experienced substantial growth. In July 2023, the median price soared to $1,062,500, reflecting a noteworthy increase of 24.9% from July 2022. However, the year-to-date median price for waterfront estates was $950,000, indicating a notable 10% decrease from the same period in 2022.

Wrapping up the financial outlook, the total dollar value of residential non-waterfront sales for July 2023 amounted to $317.8 million, marking an impressive upswing of 32.2% from the same month in 2022. Equally notable, the total dollar value of waterfront sales in July 2023 reached $162.5 million, showcasing a solid rise of 9.8% compared to July 2022.

Keep in mind that this data is for the entire Lakelands Real Estate Board which covers a very large area including Muskoka. Muskoka is part of what is termed "Lakelands North" by the board and includes Algonquin Highlands, The Archipelago, Bracebridge, Dysart et al, Georgian Bay Township, Gravenhurst, Highlands East, Huntsville, Lake of Bays, Minden, Muskoka Lakes and the Parry Sound region.

On their site it states "The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® represents more than 1,550 REALTORS®. There are several major geographical areas within the Association's boundaries, including parts of Severn and Georgian Bay Townships; Wasaga Beach, Clearview Township, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, and portions of the Municipality of Meaford, Grey Highlands. As well as Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the Townships of Tay, and Tiny. In the heart of Canada's Cottage Country; Parry Sound, Muskoka, Haliburton, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Huntsville, and Lake of Bays. Most within our geographical area are located less than a two-hour drive north of Toronto. Each offering a unique blend of properties ranging from residential homes to smaller towns and the rural areas in-between, as well as a mix of waterfront homes/cottages on the many rivers and lakes that range from the smaller entry-level properties to the prestigious."


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