cottage ontario

Cottages in Ontario are getting way cheaper but experts say it won't last long

If you've ever considered getting into the cottage market in Ontario, now may be the prime time to do so, as prices in some areas have dropped quite significantly over the last year — and, according to experts, are only set to surge upwards later in 2024.

Per RE/MAX's latest Canadian Cottage Trends Report, average prices for the property type plummeted between five and 28.7 per cent in most parts of the province during the first few months of the year, including in coveted Muskoka, where prices are now five per cent lower year-over-year.

Southeast Georgian Bay, Honey Harbour, and Port Severn saw the largest declines, with the typical vacation home dipping under the $1 million mark to $906,967 — less than a home in the GTA, which now costs $1,121,615, on average.

(On the other end of the spectrum, prices in Peterborough and the Kawarthas spiked an unbelievable 93.1 per cent in the same timespan, though of all the areas assessed in the province, 54 per cent saw prices decrease from the first quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024.)

These figures come amid tons of chatter about how cottagers in Ontario may start fervently selling off their properties to avoid the higher capital gains taxes that are on the way — which should, one would think, lead to lower prices — but RE/MAX brokers aren't buying into these predictions.

Looking ahead, RE/MAX says that while cottage sales numbers will rise between three and 50 per cent across the country, sales prices will not be getting any less expensive for buyers.

"RE/MAX brokers and agents in Ontario are anticipating cottage prices to increase in 72 per cent of recreational markets by the end of 2024, to the tune of up to 33 per cent. The outlier is Simcoe County, where prices are expected to stay level due to the interest rate climate," the report says of Ontario specifically.

It forecasts that nationwide, prices for cabins will climb 6.8 per cent, with waterfront lots, obviously, being the most in-demand, as well as those with lots of land and green space, but also amenities like good Wi-Fi access.

Unique to Ontario is the fact that most buyers are local, and not from out-of-province, something that the firm expects will continue as people look for an escape from the city come summer.

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