Real Estate

Ontario’s cottage country may be entering a real-estate frenzy


If you already own property in Ontario’s cottage country, it’s time to feel smug.

The real estate market in the Muskoka region may reach new heights of mania this spring, before the snow has even thawed. According to realtor Paul Crammond, the number of visitors to the region had already increased considerably by March this year, and some cottage owners in the area are now preparing their properties to sell this summer. Crammond told the Globe & Mail that last year, bidding wars for cottages on Ontario’s most popular lakes were occurring regularly for the first time in years.

It’s speculated that the real estate demand is radiating out from Toronto, where the housing market has become increasingly competitive. High housing prices in the city mean that current homeowners are reluctant to sell, fearing that they’ll be unable to find a new home. But Crammond believes that this may lead to people selling their homes in Toronto and moving into smaller properties towns and rural areas in Ontario. As Crammond puts it, “In Toronto, there’s no point in selling your place unless you plan to leave.”

Bracebridge and Huntsville are two towns that have seen a significant uptick in the real estate market recently, likely due to Torontonians who have had enough of the real estate market in the city.“Things are rippling out from the epicentre of Toronto,” Crammond says.

If you’re curious how high prices can get, look no further than a cottage that sold for $4.5 million this year. Million-dollar cottages aren’t uncommon in the Muskoka region, and sometimes the numbers soar into the range of several million.

So if you already own a cottage in the area, now might be a good moment to uncork a bottle of champagne. And if you don’t . . . you might just want to consider renting this year.