For the second year in a row the recreational market has been negatively impacted by weather conditions. Winter has been long and hard, not only making access to cottage properties almost impossible, but creating an atmosphere not condusive to buying a recreational property. Cottages are associated with warm, sunny days, welcoming lakes, and motor and sail boats on the horizon. With snow drifts often taller than cottages, and frigid temperatures, those summer visions evaporated. There may not have been the high water issues that we experienced last year, but conditions were sufficiently challenging to keep sellers from considering listing their properties for sale.
 
The decline in inventory in the first four months of 2014 is quite striking, a pattern that might be a reflection of broader market trends. During the first third of the year the Muskoka Haliburton Association of Realtors reported processing 3,097 properties for sale. This compared to 3,235 properties for sale during the same period in 2013 and 3,664 in 2012, declines of 4.3 and 15 percent respectively. This pattern repeated for recreational properties.
 
In the Haliburton region inventory of recreational properties has declined from 295 available properties in 2012, to 236 in 2013 and down to only 173 this year. These declines amount to 26 percent since 2013 and 41 percent since 2012. The declines on Lake of Bays are similar but not as dramatic. There were 109 recreational properties available for sale in 2012, 100 in 2013, and 92 this year, declines of 8.2 percent and 15.6 percent. The situation on the Muskoka Lakes, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph, and Lake Muskoka is not dissimilar. There were 243 active available listing of recreational properties in 2012, 232 last year and only 200 this year, declines of 4.5 and 17.7 percent. The Association reported only 760 recreational properties for all Association trading districts combined, down from 1,025 in 2012 and 867 last year. The decline from 2012 is more than 25 percent.
 
Anecdotally these declines can be explained by the severe weather conditions experienced in 2013 and this year. But this explanation sheds no light on why inventory levels have decreased so dramatically from last year, when weather conditions were equally as inhospitable as they were during the first four months of this year. It may be too early to tell, but demographics may be playing a role in these statistics. As the population ages and becomes more settled there may be fewer potential sellers. It will be interesting to see how this data unfolds during the remainder of the year.
 
Sold recreational properties have also declined since 2012. Weather conditions have clearly had an impact on the number of properties sold. In the Haliburton area sales have declined from 35 to 28 in 2012 and 2013 to 25 in the first four months of this year. On Lake of Bays from 20 to 15 to 10. The only recreational trading district to reverse this trend is the Muskoka Lakes. In 2012 there were 25 reported sales. Last year reported sales dropped to 18, but this year, notwithstanding the weather conditions, sales have increased to 23, an increase of 27 percent. It is not surprising that with fewer properties available for sale, and inhospitable weather conditions, that sales have declined.
 

Because of the divergent nature of cottage properties, prices are affected by such features as location (a particular lake), exposure, elevation, water depths and boat traffic. As a result determining average sale price trends becomes more challenging than in an urban environment where numerous sales of comparable properties allow for a fairly accurate reflection of current market values. Moreover sales take place at a much more rapid pace. For example in the Toronto housing market, in April average days on a market for all properties sold were only 20 days. A review of sales that took place in March as reported by the Association indicated that median prices have declined by approximately 8 percent compared to March 2013. As I have indicated in previous reports, a market analysis of the first four months of recreation property sales is not productive since the market is normally dormant during this period. However what this early data indicates is that caution should be exercised in pricing. Sellers must be mindful that the recreational market is not the robust Toronto resale market, where multiple bids on properties are common. Recreational properties will sell, and they will do so quickly, if priced realistically. 

 

Prepared by: Chris Kapches, President & CEO

(Image by http://www.muskokablog.com/)

For the second year in a row the recreational market has been negatively impacted by weather conditions. Winter has been long and hard, not only making access to cottage properties almost impossible, but creating an atmosphere not condusive to buying a recreational property. Cottages are associated with warm, sunny days, welcoming lakes, and motor and sail boats on the horizon. With snow drifts often taller than cottages, and frigid temperatures, those summer visions evaporated. There may not have been the high water issues that we experienced last year, but conditions were sufficiently challenging to keep sellers from considering listing their properties for sale.
 
The decline in inventory in the first four months of 2014 is quite striking, a pattern that might be a reflection of broader market trends. During the first third of the year the Muskoka Haliburton Association of Realtors reported processing 3,097 properties for sale. This compared to 3,235 properties for sale during the same period in 2013 and 3,664 in 2012, declines of 4.3 and 15 percent respectively. This pattern repeated for recreational properties.
 
In the Haliburton region inventory of recreational properties has declined from 295 available properties in 2012, to 236 in 2013 and down to only 173 this year. These declines amount to 26 percent since 2013 and 41 percent since 2012. The declines on Lake of Bays are similar but not as dramatic. There were 109 recreational properties available for sale in 2012, 100 in 2013, and 92 this year, declines of 8.2 percent and 15.6 percent. The situation on the Muskoka Lakes, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph, and Lake Muskoka is not dissimilar. There were 243 active available listing of recreational properties in 2012, 232 last year and only 200 this year, declines of 4.5 and 17.7 percent. The Association reported only 760 recreational properties for all Association trading districts combined, down from 1,025 in 2012 and 867 last year. The decline from 2012 is more than 25 percent.
 
Anecdotally these declines can be explained by the severe weather conditions experienced in 2013 and this year. But this explanation sheds no light on why inventory levels have decreased so dramatically from last year, when weather conditions were equally as inhospitable as they were during the first four months of this year. It may be too early to tell, but demographics may be playing a role in these statistics. As the population ages and becomes more settled there may be fewer potential sellers. It will be interesting to see how this data unfolds during the remainder of the year.
 
Sold recreational properties have also declined since 2012. Weather conditions have clearly had an impact on the number of properties sold. In the Haliburton area sales have declined from 35 to 28 in 2012 and 2013 to 25 in the first four months of this year. On Lake of Bays from 20 to 15 to 10. The only recreational trading district to reverse this trend is the Muskoka Lakes. In 2012 there were 25 reported sales. Last year reported sales dropped to 18, but this year, notwithstanding the weather conditions, sales have increased to 23, an increase of 27 percent. It is not surprising that with fewer properties available for sale, and inhospitable weather conditions, that sales have declined.
 

Because of the divergent nature of cottage properties, prices are affected by such features as location (a particular lake), exposure, elevation, water depths and boat traffic. As a result determining average sale price trends becomes more challenging than in an urban environment where numerous sales of comparable properties allow for a fairly accurate reflection of current market values. Moreover sales take place at a much more rapid pace. For example in the Toronto housing market, in April average days on a market for all properties sold were only 20 days. A review of sales that took place in March as reported by the Association indicated that median prices have declined by approximately 8 percent compared to March 2013. As I have indicated in previous reports, a market analysis of the first four months of recreation property sales is not productive since the market is normally dormant during this period. However what this early data indicates is that caution should be exercised in pricing. Sellers must be mindful that the recreational market is not the robust Toronto resale market, where multiple bids on properties are common. Recreational properties will sell, and they will do so quickly, if priced realistically. 

 

Prepared by: Chris Kapches, President & CEO

(Image by http://www.muskokablog.com/)

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