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Cottage prices surge in Ontario but many are still cheaper than Toronto condos

Those looking to escape Toronto for a quieter life can find cheaper real estate prices in Ontario's cottage country but that is changing quickly.

As some jobs become more flexible with work-from-home options and four-day-work weeks, it may be time to find a more spacious and cheaper home outside of Toronto. Early on in lockdowns, Toronto residents started to leave the city in droves.

But that exodus from the city meant real estate prices went up to unaffordable prices in other parts of Ontario too.

A new report finds cottage properties, particularly near the waterfront, are expected to see a huge price jump 2022, according to Royal LePage's Spring Recreational Property Price Forecast for 2022.

Single-family homes in Ontario's recreational property market recorded the highest year-over-year aggregate price increase in 2021, rising 34.6 per cent, according to the report. Across Canada, the recreation single-family home is expected to increase by 13 per cent in 2022 to $640,710, as demand continues to outpace supply.

But that's still about $100,000 less than the average price of a Toronto condo.

Single-family recreational homes in Atlantic Canada and Quebec will see the highest price appreciation at about 15 per cent, while prices in Ontario are forecast to increase 13 per cent.

"Demand for recreational properties continues to vastly outstrip inventory in many cottage regions across the country," said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage.

In Ontario, 91 per cent of Royal LePage recreational real estate professionals surveyed said that more than half of properties listed are selling above the asking price.

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Chart via Royal LePage's Spring Recreational Property Price Forecast for 2022

"In addition to increased interest from young families, there remains a strong demand for recreational properties from buyers nearing retirement," said Soper. "With remote work options, Canadians are transitioning into their final working years while getting to know their new community."

In Ontario, cottage country properties are expected to increase from $485,000 to $653,000 for a single-family, non-waterfront recreational home. Waterfront homes are expected to rise to $888,000 from $624,000 in 2021. Muskoka and Orillia area waterfront, single-family cottages will soar to above $1 million.

Properties in Ontario’s far north will be much lower, around $300,000.

Those looking to get out of the province, might still find a deal in Atlantic Canada or the Prairies. Soper suggests Canadians are looking to get closer to nature these days.

"The way we view our homes, and our connection to community and nature have shifted," said Soper.

"The desire for homes with more space, both indoors and out, is a trend that I believe will long outlive the pandemic. Many Canadians, especially those with the option to continue working remotely, are prioritizing their desired lifestyle when considering where they want to live."

Still if a move to the far north or Nova Scotia isn't in the cards and condos aren’t appealing, there’s always the tiny home option.

Lead photo by

Ron Lach

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