Increased sales fuelling recreational property market

Activity is strong for the recreational property market in Muskoka – or the Hamptons of the North as some are calling it – as luxury cottage sales continue to rise in the Lakelands region.

“Demand is up big time and we have prices and sales increases happening everywhere in the Lakeland region largely due to interest from Americans, foreigners and also people in Canada, who now have the option of working out there because of high-speed internet,” said Tom Wilkinson, president of the Lakelands Association of Realtors in Muskoka.

“There is a lot of activity in the market right now, with many waterfront mansions selling, and the internet has allowed people the option to work there so it becomes less of just a seasonal vacation hotspot.”

The comments come on the heels of a $25-million cottage sale earlier this month and another listed at $11 million earlier this week. 

Sales have risen approximately 14 per cent compared to the same time last year, while waterfront sales in particular are at their highest level since 2010.

Christie’s International Real Estate reported a 66 per cent increase in sales for last year compared to 2013, while the 2015 Re/Max Recreational Property report, published this week, reported year-over-year price appreciation and sales increases across Canada’s cottage country.

The strength of the American dollar has many foreign investors flocking to Muskoka for luxury cottages. The region is also drawing foreign investment from China, Europe and the Middle East, as the area has become attractive for the types of spaces they seek.

The activity is also starting to add more of a commercial vibe to what has typically been seasonal cottage country, including more commercial hubs for businesses to create year-round growth.

It’s for all these reasons that Muskoka is the world's second-fastest-growing recreational real estate market, according to Christie's International Real Estate. 
 

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