Muskoka Cottage Safety During the Fall and Winter Seasons

Protect your cottage – and your sanity over the long months’ of absence – with good quality locks and security system, thorough fall maintenance, and regular winter inspection.

(Muskokaregion.com September 2018)

While we are seeing an increase in four-season cottages, the vast majority of them are closed up tight come November and left vacant and largely unattended until spring. Over the winter, cottage owners will often worry and fret over their beloved summer retreat, now enclosed in a barren landscape of snow, feeling helpless in the event that something goes wrong.

It needn’t be that way. With some effort and modest cost, your cottage can be protected in your absence.

The long absence of property owners and dearth of watchful neighbours over the course of the winter makes cottages tempting targets at this time of year. While you can never completely protect your cottage from theft, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk.

For many, the cottage is a rustic place where one goes to immerse in nature and escape modern technology, but modern technology is vital in protecting your investment, as well. Two technologies in particular – locks and cameras – have seen advances in recent years that help secure your cottage while you’re away in ways that just weren’t possible before.

A lock and key is just the beginning for advanced lock systems of today. There are a variety of more advanced options available. “There are a lot of people coming and going at the cottage – contractors, service people, delivery people, guests – so it’s about providing assurance for the property owner,” Jayne McCaw of Jayne’s Cottages says of investing in a good lock system. McCaw specializes in renting out higher-end cottages and is a cottage concierge, providing information and facilitating anything a vacationer might need, from boat rentals to private chefs. As such, she firmly has the pulse of what makes for a care-free cottage experience. “At the very minimum,” she continues, “get a standard lock box.”

Today’s hi-tech locks can be monitored and controlled remotely from an app on your phone, which allows you to check your cottage remotely from anywhere. Also available are deadbolt lock systems that require the entry of a code on a keypad, which allows you to give guests or caretakers their own access codes and later delete them – no more giving out keys that may be lost, stolen or copied. There are even locks that allow you to have codes that are only good for certain days and times – ideal if you need to give access for service calls.

Another technology that’s come far in recent years, thanks in large part to the advancements in connectivity and apps, is that of cameras and security systems. “People lock up their cottage and leave it unattended for months on end. Having a camera security system gives them a sense of comfort when they are gone because they can actually see what’s going on and know that all is well,” says Louis Liadis, owner of Muskoka Cottage Sitters. Being around cottages is Liadis’s passion, so his customers know their seasonal homes are in good hands.

Today’s security systems don’t just alert us to break-ins. Many also monitor temperature drops, which can help prevent frozen pipes or loss of power. Some systems directly alert law enforcement, heating and plumbing pros, or caretakers in the event of emergency. Infrared cameras that take crystal clear nighttime photos without the give-away of a flash ensure that burglars can be easily identified later without them even knowing they’d first been caught on camera. This naturally makes would-be thieves more cautious, so even the presence of a security company’s logo on a sticker or sign displayed outside a cottage proves a deterrent.

It’s ideal to find a local business that can help you choose the right setup for your cottage and who can be there to make adjustments and ensure the system is operating properly at all times.

“Apps and electronic security systems are great, but you still need someone to respond to them. If you’re in Toronto and you get an alarm at 3 a.m., what are you going to do? What can you do? That’s where a property management company provides real peace of mind. We’re hooked into our clients’ alarm systems and respond immediately when they go off,” explains Liadis. “We’re much closer and have the contacts to immediately address the issue.”

Sure, it’s amazing how today’s technology allows for remote control of cameras and locks, enabling you to secure your cottage or see what’s going on by pulling out a phone in your pocket. But there are still plenty of low-tech steps you can – and probably should – take to discourage any security breach.

The most important is to make the cottage look occupied. “One of the reasons so few of the cottages I tend to have been broken into is probably partially because it looks like people are around,” Liadis suggests. Keeping the yard tended, leaving a magazine open or a scarf or jacket on the couch, indoor lights on timers, and outdoor lights triggered by motion do wonders to make it appear as if people are around.

“The most important thing is to keep the driveway and walkway plowed,” explains McCaw. “This makes it look as if people are regularly using the cottage. In fact, some fire codes and property insurance policies demand it to allow fire departments to make it in should a fire break out.”

“Let neighbours know when you are coming and going, and ask them to check on the property in your absence,” she continues. “Their presence may deter thieves and they act as an additional set of eyes watching over your property.”

Alcohol and firearms are preferred targets for burglars, so take them home with you at the end of the season. Pull curtains and blinds over windows so prying eyes cant peak in and see whatever valuables – particularly electronics – are in the cottage.

Security isn’t just about preventing break-and-enters, according to Liadis. “In 20 years, I’ve only had two of the properties I watch over broken into. The more common threat to a cottage over the winter is natural in origin – pipes bursting, damage from falling trees or snow load, and so on,” he says.

Most of the vital preventative work intended to protect the cottage from natural mishap is done during that final, frenzied autumn weekend when we close up the property for the year. You need a thorough plan of action.

Closing the cottage begins with cleaning up the yard, something every homeowner already does, but is more extensive when it comes to a seasonal property. Leaves and other debris left on your yard can redirect the flow of runoff towards landscaping or the cottage, or cause runoff water to pool which, if it freezes over the winter, can crack and shift concrete and other stonework. Leaves that pile up around the sides of the cottage encourage rodents looking for a place to nest, which may eventually find their way inside. Also, wet leaves become slick and pose a risk.

Thoroughly clean out eaves, otherwise water might back up and find its way into the cottage. While you’re up on the roof, inspect for any damage that might create a leak. Also, examine over-reaching trees for signs of weakness and trim any dead or dangerous branches. Inspect the cottage exterior for any entrances where mice, squirrels, bats and other animals might get in and seal any openings that are found.

Plumbing has traditionally been a source of anxiety for cottagers. Who wants to open the cottage next spring only to find that pipes froze and cracked over the winter months? Damage caused by such accidents can be severe. During closing, it’s important to make sure all pipes and drains are completely free of water. Open all valves and, using a Shop-Vac, blow the water out. There may still be water and moisture in the pipes, so pour some anti-freeze down the pipes. Some people go so far as to wrap pipes with insulation to give them added protection against the cold. If your cottage is older, you may have copper pipes and it’s recommended that all such pipes be replaced with plastic ones.

Ultimately, whether it’s protecting the cottage from natural mishap or human theft, nothing beats having a property caretaker. Just make sure the person doing the work is insured with CGL (Commercial General Liability).

“Using a qualified cottage care team takes the pressure off closing down the cottage, offers peace of mind that the property is being taken care of during the seven months from Thanksgiving until the May when you’re not around, and our presence helps deter theft,” explains Liatis. “We come in weekly throughout the winter and spring, and fill out a checklist of about 25 items, looking for everything from snow load to tree damage, fuel levels to temperature. You can sleep easy at night.”

Saying goodbye to your cottage in the autumn need not leave you full of dread for the winter to follow. Protect your cottage – and your sanity over the long months of absence – with good quality locks and security system, thorough fall maintenance, and regular winter inspection. A small price to pay for securing your beloved vacation property.

Working With A Registered Real Estate Broker Provides Some Protection

The decision to use a brokerage — or not — is entirely yours to make.

But the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) strongly recommends working with a registered salesperson, or broker, when you buy or sell a property for the simple reason that navigating your way through a real estate transaction can get complicated, especially if you’re inexperienced. Unlike some other do-it-yourself projects, buying a home is the largest single purchase most people will ever make, it involves a binding legal contract, and it’s a decision you may have to live with for a long time.

In Ontario, salespeople, brokers and brokerages must register with RECO if they wish to trade in real estate, and that registration provides consumers with three pillars of protection:

Knowledge: Real salespeople and brokers must complete courses to qualify for registration before they can practise their trade, and RECO requires them to complete additional continuing education courses every two years to keep their knowledge up to date.

Salespeople know their territories. If you’re selling, they can provide you with a comparative market analysis so you can set a listing price that works for you yet is realistic and attractive to buyers, and help you market your home by hosting open houses, arranging to have it professionally staged for visitors, and employing other creative promotional activities.

And if you’re buying, your salesperson can help you find properties that meet your needs in your area and answer any questions you might have about the neighbourhood, arrange showings, recommend other professionals such as appraisers or home inspectors, and possibly negotiate on your behalf.

Professional Standards: Real estate salespeople and brokers are required to comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA), and its Code of Ethics, both of which are enforced by RECO. We expect members of the industry to treat anyone involved in a transaction with fairness, honesty and integrity, and to protect consumers. In the rare instance when something goes wrong and it can’t be resolved with the brokerage, a consumer can file a complaint with RECO against a salesperson and we will investigate.

Insurance: RECO established and administers an insurance program that includes consumer deposit protection. Consumers can rest assured their hard-earned deposits will be protected against loss, insolvency or misappropriation.

Salespeople and brokers may vary considerably in terms of their knowledge, experience, fee structures, and services as well as the types and locations of properties they trade. We encourage consumers to interview at least three candidates before they sign on as a client with a real estate brokerage, and to look up salespeople on the RECO website using the search tool located on every page.

Muskoka Market Update

The Muskoka real estate market fell short in the third quarter in a year over year comparison. Despite the drop, the numbers actually marked an improvement from the first two quarters of the year – which saw an aggregated downturn of over 35%.
Downward pressure was applied across many fronts; low inventory, a cooling GTA market, consumer edginess regarding changing U.S. relations, and a general cooling following the frenzied activity in 2016 and 2017.
Third quarter residential sales hit 216, a drop of 11% from 2017 and recreational sales fell by 19% with sales of 240 units from 295 in the third quarter of 2017.
Prices
Average and median prices continued to climb, although the rate of appreciation slowed slightly. The average price for a residential home in Muskoka in the first nine months of the year increased by 8% to $359,728 and median price rose by 9% to $346,000 in the first none months of the year.
Recreational property prices saw average prices increase by 4.14% to $1,060,497 and median prices surge by 15.4% to $750,000. This gap in average and median growth was driven by two factors; price increases across most price points which drives the median value; and a stall at the top end (3M+) of the market which softened average price.
Inventory
Available properties still remained exceptionally low. At the end of September only 184 residential listings and 279 recreational listings were available for sale. This continues the trend we’ve seen for the last couple years and remains, in my opinion, the single largest factor driving prices and restraining sales.

Scarcity Boosting Ontario Cottage Prices

(From The Globe and Mail)

People from the Toronto area who are looking to buy a lakeside retreat north of the city are finding relatively few sellers in cottage country this year.

The scarcity is in turn pushing up cottage prices on some of the most sought-after lakes.

“It’s kind of the classic squeeze that the supply is going down but the demand is static or going up,” says real estate agent Paul Crammond of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

The trend which spreads from Orillia up to Muskoka, Lake of Bays, Parry Sound and Haliburton, mirrors the Toronto market, where the number of listings has also shrunk from this time last year and the increased competition is boosting prices in key neighbourhoods.

Across that swath of cottage country, there were 117 sales of waterfront properties in April, compared with 238 a year earlier, Mr. Crammond says .

That marks a 51-per-cent drop. At the same time, the median price jumped 39 per cent to $600,000 in April from $432,000 in April, 2017.

Mr. Crammond adds that not every property saw such a dramatic surge in price: the mix of cottages sold tilted towards the high-end segment this year. “Prices did go up but there more expensive properties sold in April this year than April last year.”.

On the waterfront in Muskoka and Lake of Bays, 43 properties changed hands in April to mark a 43-per-cent drop from April of 2017.

The median price for those areas spiked 30 per cent to $770,000 from $590,000.

Mr. Crammond says listings have been shrinking for the past four years. The Ontario economy is strong so people are less likely to need to sell because of financial hardship, he points out. Also, more neighbours are buying out neighbours without the cottage ever coming to market. And a large inter-generational transfer of wealth from older parents to their baby boomer kids has taken place.

Real estate firm Royal LePage is forecasting that prices for recreational properties in Ontario will rise 10.4 per cent in 2018 to an average of $535,885. Royal LePage, which surveyed agents across the country, looked at all types of vacation homes – with mountaintop chalets and forest cabins mixed in with waterfront cottages.

Real estate markets in the city and the country have been delayed by a long, cool, damp, spring, agents say.

Anita Latner of Anita Latner Realty Inc. says everything in cottage country is behind by about six weeks, including the painting, repairing docks and putting boats into the water. “The weather took its toll on everything. I was chopping ice here in April – thick ice.”

Ms. Latner believes that stock market gyrations caused by geopolitical tensions also add to the air of anxiety.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter tirades against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the meeting of Group of Seven leaders in Quebec and his outbursts against the North American free-trade agreement will not dissuade serious cottage buyers, in her opinion, but the stock market volatility may slow down some sales.

“They’ll find a way – it might just take a little longer,” Ms. Latner says of potential buyers who might be planning to sell stock in order to invest in a cottage.

She says sunny skies and warm temperatures are a bigger factor than politics and financial markets. “The weather trumps Trump at the end of the day.”

Mr. Crammond says people in the city don’t even think of venturing north when it’s cold and wet. “We need good weather for people to get revved up about cottaging. April was a disaster and parts of May we’re not much better.”

Mr. Crammond, who is selling a place of his own on Lake Rosseau this year as he moves to another cottage around the bay, says more listings have appeared with the warmer weather in the past 10 days or so.

Some real estate agents in Muskoka are setting offer dates when they think they might be able to entice multiple bids, he says. The practice is most common on the “Big Three” lakes of Joseph, Rosseau and Muskoka. “Before this shortage of property, we never did that.”

In areas outside of the Big Three, multiple offers are not common but a buyer might find less room to negotiate down from the asking price.

In another echo of the city market, there’s a divergence of trends. The most coveted properties sell quickly and even draw rival bids while others languish.

Mr. Crammond thinks that buyers have been slow off the mark because of the uncertainty surrounding the Ontario election. He has a sense that some potential buyers – especially at the upper end – we’re hesitating to make any big financial bets.

“People have been looking at properties but maybe haven’t been acting on them as much as they normally would.”

Now that a new provincial government has been elected, buyers may be willing to move.

He explains that cottage buyers are more sensitive to price hikes than city house hunters. While the Toronto market saw double-digit house price increases for several years leading up to 2017, cottage prices since 2009 have been creeping up at, or slightly above, the level of inflation.

“There’s a limit to what people can afford and will do. A cottage is a discretionary purchase,” he says.

“You can’t take buyers for granted that they’re going to pay any amount for your property.”

Prices in some segments have risen 25 per cent over the past four years. But some sellers try to aim for 15 to 20 per cent about that level when they list a property.

“Guaranteed it will sit there,” Mr. Crammond says. Buyers are very educated about market values. “They will knowingly overpay for a place in the city because they need a place to live. That’s not going to happen here.”

What to do about the new mortgage rules

Starting Jan.1, home buyers faced a new challenge in addition to rising prices and a restricted supply of available homes — a mortgage stress test designed to cool the overheated housing markets.

The test, introduced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI), requires the qualifying rate for an uninsured mortgage to be the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently sitting at 4.99 per cent) or the rate homebuyers negotiate with the bank plus two percentage points.

That means even a buyer who negotiates a mortgage at 3 per cent will have to show they can cope with payments rising to 5 per cent.

A report by Mortgage Professionals Canada estimates the new rules mean buyers will be able to afford to borrow 20 per cent less than under the previous rules.

The Star asked financial experts for advice on how best to handle the new regime.

Clear those debts

One of the best ways to avoid the stress test derailing your home-buying plans is to first pay off any other debts you might have, said Paul Taylor, the CEO and president of Mortgage Professionals Canada.

“Any debt you are carrying will affect the mortgage you can qualify for, so you really should be doing the best to eliminate any credit card or outstanding loan debt before going to try to arrange a mortgage,” said Taylor.

 Check the fine printSome experts had urged clients who were going to hunt for a new home early in 2018 to lock down a pre-approval for a mortgage before Jan.1. Some lenders offered an exemption to the new stress test if you bought a home within 120 days of being pre-approved.

If you were pre-approved at that time with the 120-day window, you should talk to your mortgage broker to get a clear understanding of the deadline and what it will take to meet it.

According to Integrated Mortgage Planners president Dave Larock, “repeat or move-up” buyers, looking to take on bigger or pricier homes than what they currently own, will be hardest hit by the new rules. Many first-time buyers have already been putting down less than 20 per cent, forcing them to undergo another stress test that has been in place for the last year.

Make adjustments

But James Laird, the co-founder of financial comparison platform Ratehub, said he thinks all levels of buyers will have to make some adjustments to their plans.

If you can’t delay buying in order to build up a bigger downpayment, you may have to just accept that you can afford “a little bit less house” than previously. In some cases, you might even need to resort to the Bank of Mom and Dad for help qualifying for the same mortgage that you could have secured on your own earlier.

You might be further ahead saving longer to make a larger downpayment later, perhaps in time for a long-rumoured drop in house prices, Laird said.

Timing is key

Laird suggests doing your research and consulting with a mortgage broker, because there are some exceptions and a few groups of people using traditional lenders who will also not be subject to the new regulations.

For example, if you signed a contract to buy a pre-construction condo before Jan. 1 that you have yet to move into, you’ll still fall under the old rules.

And, says Larock, “If you bought prior to Jan. 1, even if you close after Jan. 1, you will be grandfathered (into the old mortgage policy), but you need a firm offer to purchase prior to Jan. 1.”

You’ll also be able to sidestep the test, says Taylor, if you nab a mortgage from an alternative lender, like a credit union that doesn’t have to apply the test because it falls outside the regulations covering banks and other traditional lenders.

But not everyone will be able to get off the hook.

If you scrambled to buy a home before the new regulations kicked in or even long before that, when your mortgage comes up for renewal, if you chose to switch lenders, you will have to qualify under the new policy, warns Taylor.

“I suspect that means a number of people’s mortgage renewals will probably be issued at slightly higher rates than they previously would have been because the bank is going to know you won’t have the ability to take your mortgage anywhere else,” he says. “That’s not going to be good news for everyone.”

Which Renovations Add Value to Your Muskoka Home?

People often ask, “What type of renovations should I invest in before listing my Muskoka property?” Fortunately, I have advice about the most valuable renovations to invest in.

First, add a fresh coat of paint. Painting is the cheapest way to add value to your home. A crisp, clean property appeals to the buyer and makes a huge difference.

Second, replace the carpets. You may get away with a simple wash. However, if your carpet is worn out, consider the fairly small investment to replace it entirely.

Third, declutter the property. This isn’t a costly investment, but it requires time. Ultimately, it will help make your home more appealing to buyers.

Finally, create curb appeal. You have only one chance to make a first impression! Clean up the yard. Plant flowers. Ensure the entryway looks nice. Make your property shine.

Buyers should fall in love with your home. Buying a home is an emotional experience. Give buyers the ultimate experience. If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email.

National Real Estate Report First Quarter 2017

What’s the current state of the Canadian housing market? Twice a year, we produce Brian Buffini’s Real Estate Report, a guide that provides important facts and information about the national real estate market to help you understand what’s going on in the market and help you decide whether now is a good time to buy or sell.

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Prepare Your Cottage For Winter

Now that the Muskoka cottage season is over, it’s time to shut it down for another year. Preparing your cottage for its long winter’s nap need not be a major chore, but there are some crucial steps you should take to avoid any surprises while you’re away. Here are 13 simple steps to put your cottage to bed for winter.

1 Shut off the water supply, drain the pipes and hot water tank, and leave taps open to allow them to “breathe”. Toilets should be turned off and flushed, then any remaining water bailed out. Alternatively, pour antifreeze into the bowl to protect the lines; be sure to use RV (pink) antifreeze or another environmentally friendly type.

2 Unplug all electrical appliances and electronic devices. Many modern electric and electronic devices continue to draw a small amount of power even when turned off; over a winter, it can add up to an expense you don’t need.

3 Turn off baseboard electric heaters. They are a leading cause of cottage fires. Or if the cottage has central heating, turn it down or off.

4 Clean out the fireplace and close the damper flue.

5 Thoroughly clean the kitchen and remove any food. During the winter, rodents and even bears can sniff it out, causing a lot of damage.

6 If you can, remove valuables
, such as TVs and stereos, and take them down to the city. If any valuable items will be left at the cottage, make sure windows are covered so that thieves can’t see in and be tempted.

7 Any items that are normally left outside, such as a gas barbecue, should be removed and stored offsite or in a secure location onsite, such as a locked garage or basement.

8 Take photos of the cottage, inside and out, as well as any valuables you’re leaving there over the winter. Record serial numbers of devices that have them. These will prove invaluable if you need to call the insurance company.

9 Make sure that any minor repairs, such as painting bare areas, stopping up holes and resealing cracks around openings, are done before the first freeze. These jobs can get a lot worse if left to winter’s ravages.

10 Install a cover over the chimney opening
to prevent raccoons or other furry tenants from moving in. Inspect the exterior of the cottage, looking for other small openings that could be co-opted for an animal home – including under the deck, at the foundation, or under eaves.

11 Arrange to have a local snow removal company come at least once over the winter to remove snow and ice build-up from the roof. Even a relatively small load, such as a foot or so, can become dangerously heavy if there’s a period of rain followed by a freeze-up. Put boxes over vents or skylights to protect them from snow loads or accidental damage by an over eager guy with a shovel.

12 Consider hiring the same company to maintain the road and walkways around the cottage over winter, so there is access in case of an emergency such as a fire. Keeping the paths and driveway shoveled also makes the cottage look more lived-in, which is a security advantage.

13 Hire someone or ask a friend who lives up there year-round to check on the cottage periodically to make sure all is well, if you can’t get up there yourself. If something unfortunate has happened, from a break-in, to a fire, to a roof cave-in, the sooner you are made aware and can deal with it, the better.

Waterfront Sales Set New Record

Residential non-waterfront sales activity recorded through the MLS® system of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® numbered 173 units in September 2015, down 9.4 per cent from September 2014. This was still above the five and 10-year average for the month.

On a year-to-date basis residential non-waterfront property sales were running 4.4 per cent above levels at the same time last year. This was also the best sales figure for this period since 2003.

Sales of waterfront properties rose 17.3 per cent from September a year ago to 203 units in September 2015. This was the first September to see sales rise above 200.

Year-to-date sales of waterfront properties were running 13.6 per cent ahead of the same period in 2014, marking the best first three quarters of any year on record.

“Non-waterfront sales stepped back on a year-over-year basis in September, although looking back past last year it was still the best showing for the month in more than a decade,” said Tom Wilkinson, President of Muskoka Haliburton Orillia – The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®. “Meanwhile, for the third time in the last four months, sales of waterfront properties again set a new monthly record.”

The median price for residential non-waterfront property sales was $227,750 in September 2015, up 4.5 per cent from September 2014.

The median price for waterfront sales was $375,000 in September 2015, edging down 1.3 per cent from September 2014.

The dollar value of all residential non-waterfront sales in September 2015 totalled $41.6 million, down 8.4 per cent from September 2014. However, this was still the second best level for the month on record.

The total value of waterfront sales was $103.6 million, up 17.4 per cent from September last year. This was the best September on record and the first time in history that volumes in this month had surpassed $100 million.

Summary – Sales by Housing Type
Category September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage change
Non-Waterfront Residential 173 191 -9.4
Waterfront 203 173 17.3
Includes transactions in all areas recorded by the REALTORS® Association of Ontario Lakelands
Summary – Median Price by Housing Type
Category September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage change
Non-Waterfront Residential $227,750 $218,000 4.5
Waterfront $375,000 $380,000 -1.3
Includes transactions in all areas recorded by the REALTORS® Association of Ontario Lakelands

 

Detailed – Non-Waterfront Residential Sales and Median Price by Area
Non-Waterfront Residential
By Area Unit Sales Median Sale Price
September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage
change
September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage
change
Muskoka 88 93 -5.4 $227,000 $200,000 13.5
Haliburton 16 11 45.5 $181,500 $184,000 -1.4
Orillia 68 78 -12.8 $233,000 $225,500 3.3
Detailed – Waterfront Sales and Median Price by Area
Waterfront
By Area Unit Sales Median Sale Price
September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage
change
September 2015 September 2014 Year-over-year
percentage
change
Muskoka 123 96 28.1 $395,000 $428,853 -7.9
Haliburton 51 44 15.9 $350,000 $302,500 15.7
Orillia 26 42 -38.1 $444,500 $347,500 27.9

June Real Estate Update

It’s June in Muskoka and the real estate market is hot. For Sale signs are being replaced with Sold signs all over the District. Whether you are selling a home or cottage, that’s good news for everyone.

Waterfront unit sales in south Muskoka are at an all time high since before the year 2000.  The month of May was up by 20 units over the same month looking back over 15 years.  The biggest jump in this sector is in properties ranging from $500,000 to $2,000,000. Unit sales in this range are higher than we have seen before.

Bracebridge residential unit sales are holding pretty steady in line with where they have been since 2010, with the month of May being slightly slower than previous years.  We’ve seen the most sales in the $300-$400,000 range. The average sale price for Bracebridge residential from Jan-May 2015 is $286,766, up $22,260 over 2014.

New Muskoka home and cottage properties are being listed everyday, and now’s the time to keep your eye out for that perfect one – you never know, it may be gone before you know it!

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