We are starting to see the Muskoka real estate market shift. From the frantic 2021 cottage market season right up until recently, holding offers until a specific date has been a popular strategy for sellers to drive up competition for listings. Listings were seeing a large number of offers and disappearing from the market quickly. Now we’re seeing more of a mix – some listings are seeing multiple offers, and some are quietly removing their request for offers when the day comes and passes with nothing.
One factor in the shifting market we’re experiencing is the Bank of Canada raising policy interest rates by 0.5% in April, one of the major goals of which was to bring inflation levels back to their target 2% (vs. the 6.7% reported in March). This is the first time it has raised rates by more than 25 basis points in more than two decades. Higher interest rates mean higher borrowing costs, which lowers demand. We expect interest rates will continue to be increased until borrowing costs are back to pre-pandemic levels of 3%. The next announcement is on June 1, 2022.
The 2022 Federal Budget also puts a few factors into play that could effect Muskoka’s real estate market moving forward. It focused heavily on housing initiatives, including (among others):
A foreign ban on buyers for two years
An anti-flipping tax that removes the principal residence exemption for properties that were purchased and sold within the same 12-month period (with some exceptions). The proposed anti-flipping measure would apply to residential properties sold on or after January 1, 2023.
Sales tax on all assignment sales. Starting May 7, 2022, anyone selling their agreement of purchase and sale to a new buyer will be subject to a tax of up to 26%
Does this mean the bottom will fall out and prices will go way down? Highly unlikely. Historically, we still have quite low inventory. It’s gone up from 2021, but properties are limited – especially waterfront. Plus, the already strong desirability of living in Muskoka has only increased after the pandemic. On top of that, there is still a large portion of the population approaching retirement age, who are looking to relocate to somewhere like Muskoka for their golden years.
If you’re a buyer, it’s time to shake off the fatigue of last season and get back to your cottage search – with less competition.
I have posted the relevant stats for overall waterfront market activity and waterfront market activity by location below, for our more analytically minded friends.
If you’re looking for non-waterfront stats or anything else that I haven’t included please email me at email@example.com. I’d be happy to send it to you!
I hope that you are all doing well, and coping with self isolation. These are certainly trying times for all of us. We are are all in the same situation with different circumstances. Some of us are coping well and some of us are finding self isolation very challenging, and most of us are somewhere in the middle, with good days and bad days, good hours and challenging hours.
I am continuing my theme of kindness for April. I say that kindness is the new black, and everyone needs to choose to wear it. Kindness applied to yourself first, will contribute to your strength and resolve. Self care will spill over onto others, and afford you the ability to help those around you.
Start with the outward display of kindness – taking good care of yourself. A routine is recommended by experts and will give you some structure to your day. Some days you will just be in survival mode, some days you will actually feel like you are accomplishing something.
Reach out to your friends and clients. Share your positive energy. And when you need some positive energy, reach out! A phone call checking in on clients and expecting nothing in return will help them and make you feel good. Do all the good deeds you can, from the safety of your own home.
Life is definitely not normal now, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot be grateful for the good things that we do have, and reach out when we need help. Please call me if there is anything I can do for you. We are all in this together.
Catharine Inniss 705 801 2304
Lakelands Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors, President 2020
All of us should be familiar with the fact that in Muskoka, our environment is our economy; over half our GDP comes from tourism and cottaging. In this lecture, Peter Sale attempts to convince us that our environment is far more than our economy.
Every year some 5 billion cubic metres of water pass through Muskoka – that’s 3 1/2 times the entire volume of Lake Muskoka. Half is evaporated or transpired by Muskoka’s forests and plants, the other half – some 2.5 billion cubic metres flows into Georgian Bay. As climate change affects Muskoka – producing warmer and wetter winters, but dryer summers with more intense storms – we may be trying to find ways to hold on to that water, just a little longer; maybe the beaver has a solution for us.
Peter, who describes himself as a strange, but harmless ecologist, talks about some of the many creatures in Muskoka including the beaver, the expected effects for Muskoka from climate change, an idea or two on solutions, and that there are other ways of valuing our environment other than simply to value it as a storehouse of resources to dig up and take away.
Hey! Chris completed the Olympic distance triathlon this morning in Gravenhurst; 1500m Swim | 40km Bike | 10km Run. It’s definitely the coolest of any triathlon because all competitors are taken out on the Segwun and the Wenonah II to begin the swim!
I was preparing to catch Chris ride by on his bike when I snapped a photo of the guy, who managed to catch one of the pylons with the bikes on his bikerack. He must’ve been heading for the auditions for Canada’s Worst Driver, or I’m sure he would have stopped and picked it up.
Here’s Chris with just a couple of blocks to go to Muskoka Wharf and the dismount for a 10k run.
Chris said he may have walked 85% of the run, but he saved some energy for an impressive final kick: [wpvideo M9x9Opp3]
This just may be the best value in Muskoka. It’s the first time ever on the market for this spacious cottage on sought after Pine Lake. Cherished family memories have been built up over 43 years. Specific listing details are available here.
Enjoy all-day sun on the deck of a brand new 2 slip boathouse. With four generous bedrooms and two full baths, there’s lots of space for family and friends.
Some great updating has been completed, particularly in the kitchen. Everything is all on one level and is super-clean.
It may not be the price it would have been in 1939, but it beats anything else on Lake Muskoka.
If you check MLS listings today, cottage property listings with 200 feet of frontage on Lake Muskoka are listed from $499,900 to $2.3 million. In general 200 feet helps give you improved privacy over a much more common 100 foot waterfront lot – or less.
We have a great listing on Lake Muskoka which offers 200 feet of frontage, has sparkling water over rock which sweeps into the lake. The lot is level with a great view, is close to Gravenhurst, 90 minutes from Toronto, has a cottage with two bunkies, AND that cottage is an original Eaton’s Catalogue cottage. It is also priced at the lowest price of ALL the 200′ waterfront properties.
Muldrew Lake is one of those lakes that people discover and seldom leave. Fabulous water quality, timeless Muskoka scenery, minutes to Gravenhurst and the Wharf, world-class golf also just minutes away at the Muskoka Bay Club.
On Muldrew, the trend has been one of buying properties with an older cottage on them and rebuilding. The problem today is the cost of an original property, plus the cost to build new, very quickly exceeds $1 or $2 million.
But, the original properties were almost always the best: good exposure, good access, good privacy, good views but with a level lot, good waterfront, etc. Also, when building a new cottage on the footprint of an older one, a minimal setback from the waterfront is a possibility that is not allowed on a newly developed lot.
This listing is such a property.The owners cottaged here for 30 years, prior to re-building ten years ago. They sought to design and build an energy-efficient home (in this case certified R-2000) with complete and excellent mechanicals, as well as superb construction quality on this property.
Four season certified R2000 home, approx. 2500 square feet of living space, on 1.11 acres of groomed woodland, on a four season road. Custom built in 2002 by French’s Fine Homes. Facing southwest on 160 feet of pristine shallow sand beach and deep waterfront. Located 10 kilometers from the Town of Gravenhurst, the world class Muskoka Bay Golf course, Muskoka Wharf, and emergency services.
Open concept living / dining / kitchen area separates two main-floor bedrooms, each bedroom with its own ensuite. Laundry facilities located on accessible main floor. Large screened-in porch overlooking lake. Expansive windows bring in the outside with natural light and expansive views. Natural daylight walkout basement with large guest bedroom. Detached two vehicle carport, with tool storage, and upstairs playroom/sleeping area. Neutral colours throughout. Faces southwest providing passive solar heating.
160 ft water frontage – original shore road allowance purchased/closed
Floating dock (24’ x 8’) cedar tone synthetic wood, attached to flexible cedar ramp and solid dock at shore
Sand beach at shore, deep water beyond floating dock.
Easy access to the lake via log stairs from driveway or through house walk-out basement
Level entry road from year round access municipal road, serviced by school bus.
Well landscaped 1.11 acre lot – planned and groomed woodlot, gardens with many mature perennials, small stream with dam creating waterfall
Consistent water levels (within approx. 12” fluctuation based on season and rain/snow fall amounts)
South /west exposure
Property purchased by owner in 1973; Viceroy cottage removed and replaced by year round home in 2002.
Insulation & size: Custom, certified R-2000 insulated home, approx. 2500 sq ft of living space with 1900 sq ft on accessible main floor plus 600 sq ft of finished lower level with natural light and walkout to large covered cedar deck
Windows: Energy Guide rated, low E Argon double hung windows and doors featuring large opening French doors from living room to screened in porch, slider doors, 2 casement windows on lower level
Foundation: Concrete poured, with insulation and fire retardant
Finishes: Custom rounded wall corners, and ceiling borders throughout, all neutral colours
Driveway: Easy access limestone driveway, off municipal year-round road
Detached garage/car port: (20’ x 24’), on slab concrete foundation with tool room and upstairs playroom/sleeping loft
Siding: Pre-painted horizontal Cape Cod lodgepole-pine siding on house with decorative frieze boards
Roof: 35 yr. asphalt shingles, eaves troughs all around
Flooring: Main floor is prefinished hardwood 3 ¼” Birch and ceramic tile; basement is manufactured hardwood Maple.
Wheelchair accessible main floor: Hallway, doorways, bathroom, lever taps & door handles
Decking: Entry deck (6’ x 9’) is screened and two steps up from grade.
Screened in lakeside cedar sun deck (34’ x 8’) upstairs off of living/dining rooms. Covered 34’ x 8’ cedar deck downstairs (unscreened).
Two covered unscreened cedar decks off bedrooms (each 14’ x 4’)
ENTRY PORCH: 6’ x 9’ Unheated screened-in entry porch/mud room leads into the house from the landscaped walkway …
FOYER:7’ X 12’6”
Foyer – ceramic tile floor
Mirrored entry coat closet
Main floor laundry closet with shelves, side-by-side appliances
LIVING/DINING ROOMS: Open concept 34’ x 15’ combined – cathedral ceiling
Flooring: – Birch prefinished hardwood
Napoleon propane fireplace – natural stone surround
Walk out French doors with side window to screened porch (34′ x 8′) off living room
Sliding doors to screened porch off dining room.
KITCHEN (12’ x 13’)
Spacious upper and lower cupboards, w/corner appliance garage, bulkheads over upper cupboards
Task lighting, over sink pot light
Formica counter tops, with double SS sink
Island with sink & large pot drawers and seating area
Pantry with slider shelves
Desk area w/phone/cable connections
MAIN FLOOR BEDROOMS X 2:
Master Bedroom (16’ x 13’6”) with ensuite bathroom(10’6” x 7’6” irregular) and Maxx spa shower
6’ bay window overlooking wooded area
Walk in closet (7’6” x 7’) w/window
Attached sitting room / den (13’6” x 8’4”), 6’ sliding patio door to covered cedar balcony area
Guest Bedroom / Sitting Room (20’ x 13’6”) Main floor guest room with 2 pc ensuite washroom (7’6” x 7’)
6’ bay window
Walk in closet (7’6” x 5’6”) with window
Large linen closet
6‘ sliding patio door to covered balcony.
BATHROOMS-(2 & ½)
Main floor washroom (10’6” x 7’9”) 4 piece (separate shower & tub) – ceramic tile floors with matching tub surround, wheelchair accessible
Two ensuite bathrooms: one 3 piece off master (ceramic floor); one 2 piece off main floor guest room (hardwood floor)
Elongated dual-flush toilets (3)
FINISHED NATURAL LIGHT WALK-OUT LOWER LEVEL
BEDROOM 3: (14’ x 13’6”’) Spacious, bright guest room in natural daylight basement
Family Room (34’ X 15’ less stairway footprint) includes a Napoleon wood-burning fireplace with fan and enclosed firewall, with outside air feed, ceramic and back wall ceramic décor and mantle on wall
Walk-out sliding door to covered cedar deck (34’ x 8’), and stairs to lakefront
Storage/Mud Room (approx 14’ x 14’) with door to outside wood shed
Flooring: Manufactured Maple hardwood
Unfinished area: exposed rock is covered and sealed with moisture shield (Approx. 62’ x 16’); contains mechanical room, water pump and purification system, electrical panels
Cedar deck (34’ X 8’) has a cement slab underneath which allows for potential future hot tub installation
HEATING: (3 sources) Two Napoleon fireplaces; one wood and one propane, with fans on Generac
Geo-thermal electric furnace and air conditioning; with outdoor split system air-to-air heat pump/thermostat
Lifebreath HRV ventilating system (air exchange and dehumidifier) with timers in each of 3 bathrooms plus in kitchen
Napoleon propane fireplace on main floor, w/thermostat (fireplace fan on generator)
Two propane tanks (tandem) on rental with Budget Propane
Wood burning Napoleon pedestal high-efficiency fireplace in finished basement (fireplace fan on generator)
WATER SYSTEM & PLUMBING: Complete water system is on Generator
Water source: Lake, with ¾ hp Jacuzzi pump in lake, heated water line / thermostat
Water filtration system for interior use (sediment, carbon, UV); additional ceramic filter tap in main bathroom.
Non-filtered water to outside taps for gardens, car washing, etc. (Benefit = extends filtration system life)
Oversized septic tanks (1400 gal. capacity with 100 gal. pump out chamber), insulated pipes and holding tank for efficient percolation
40 gal. hot water tank
200 amp service with (automatic) standby 8 K propane Generator – supplies fridges, freezer, microwave, water pump, UV light, various outlets – minimum of one outlet per bedroom, fireplace fans.
Buried power lines from transformer to buildings
Installed surge protector on incoming power lines
Wired for satellite cable w/installed cable splitter (8)
Easy access driveway from Town maintained road, easy lakefront access
8K standby Generator powered by propane — connected to water in/out system, refrigerator & deep freeze, microwave, plus one or more electrical outlet in each room
Double pane low-E argon windows throughout
“Silent floor” joists throughout; all wood decks are cedar
Fire protection system (house and grounds) with sprinklers on house roof
Cement pad roughed-in for hot tub (under lower deck)
Outside summer hot/cold shower
Central vacuum is roughed in, two outlets, one crumb tray
Winter wood shed off lower deck
24” all around roof overhang
DETACHED CARPORT / GARAGE: 20’ x 24’ building erected on concrete rebar reinforced slab
2 vehicle carport, with tool storage area
Vertical cedar siding – open sides allow for firewood stacking
Locking tool room at end of garage hidden under indoor stairway
Bright upstairs playroom/sleeping loft (24’ x 20’), three season, carpeted plywood floors, with 4 opening windows and patio door to small deck, ceiling light/fan, electricity, with one installed heater in loft
Garden tool shed attached to the back of garage
Outdoor summer shower building with hot/cold running water immediately behind garage
Decked walkway from garage to house, with BBQ and picnic table area
Level bonfire pit area behind garage, with grass and raised garden area
Located approximately 90 minutes from Toronto and its International Airport
Accessible from Hwy. 169 near Muskoka Wharf
Muskoka’s 10th largest body of water, approx. 11 miles long, with many bays and inlets
Muldrew Lake Cottagers Association is active in issues relating to the development and the environment, active in cottage winter inspections, provides annual regattas and other general interest events to membership. The MLCA also provides and maintains two boat landings for members to launch and remove boats from the lake. “All Out Marina” is located at the north eastern end of the lake.
Located south west of Gravenhurst, Muldrew Lake well known for its rugged beauty, calm waters and its active community of residents who are devoted to the lake lifestyle. Muldrew’s waters lie on the bedrock of the Canadian Shield, its depths and shape scraped out by glaciers thousands of years ago. Five species of pine and deciduous species such as birch, oak and maple decorate the shore. Muldrew is home to many species of wildlife, the most popular of which are the Common Loon, Great Blue Heron and of course the chipmunk. Much to the delight of residents, a large variety of songbirds, raptors and hummingbirds commonly visit, next and feed in the shore lands surrounding Muldrew Lake.
Bentley, our Boston Terrier dressed up as his favourite reindeer, enjoyed the Gravenhurst Santa Claus parade today. While he was fascinated by all the candy canes that were being tossed out, he was really happy with local Muskoka petshops handing out dogtreats.