Real Estate

Cottage Q&A: Spring 2022 cottage real estate prices

Two people exchanging a "SOLD" sign above a red-and-white For Sale sign By Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock

What will 2022 look like in terms of Ontario cottage prices? —Todd R. Mcrae, Toronto

We assume that you’ve already consulted the Psychic Hotline, with dismal results. “Let me first shine off my crystal ball,” says Shawn Woof, the senior vice-president of sales and a sales representative with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Port Carling, Ont. What does he see? The trend that began once the pandemic ramped up is set to continue: a high demand coupled with a low inventory means that “it’s likely going to be a seller’s market,” says Woof. 

“With the arrival of COVID-19, cottage country hit the radar of people looking to get out of Dodge,” says Chris Winney, a realtor with Royal LePage Realty in Northbrook, Ont. “Suddenly, a property listed on the high side of normal was likely to be involved in a bidding war and might sell for 250K over asking.”

What with the multiple waves of COVID that followed (was it four waves? 17 waves?), even now, “people are still less likely to sell,” says Woof. “Every case is different, but it appears that those who are holding on to the cottage far outweigh those who are cashing out.” 

If you’re asking because you want to sell your place soon, high five! You can expect to get more than the listing price (within reason). But if you’re a prospective cottager hoping to buy this year, “you’ll have to be open to broadening the scope of what you’re looking for,” says Woof. You’re not going to find any deals, and you’ll need to treat the listing price as the starting price.

Still, you can’t win if you don’t try. Start the search early in the spring, says Winney. “Have your financing arranged before you begin, use a local realtor, and bring along a structural expert when you go to a showing.”

Cottage prices aren’t likely to drop any time soon. But they’re also not likely to skyrocket to infinity. Winney predicts that demand will become more moderate eventually. “So the ‘new normal’ will still be high prices, but they will plateau.”

This article originally ran in the March/April 2022 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

Got a question for Cottage Q&A? Send it to answers@cottagelife.com.

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