Ontario cottage sales surge amid double-digit price increases

A new report from ReMax on Ontario cottage sales suggests most markets have seen double-digit price increases as sales of properties in resort communities surge.

Grand Bend, Haliburton and Rideau Lakes areas see largest sales spikes

In many ways, the data for recreational properties parallels what's happening in the province's red hot housing market, where bidding wars have become recently commonplace among many markets, when they were once only relegated to Toronto and the GTA. (Ville-Matti Kaartinen/flickr cc)

Sales of recreational properties in Ontario have surged in the last year amid a double-digit price increase in most markets, a new report from real estate brokerage Re/Max suggests. 

The company published the report Tuesday, ahead of the Canada Day long weekend, a time many families in the province are likely to spend at their summer home. 

In many ways, the data for recreational properties parallels what's happening in the province's red hot housing market, where bidding wars have become recently commonplace among many markets, when they were once only relegated to Toronto and the GTA. 

Grand Bend real estate agent Mike Sloan says a lot of homeowners in larger cities are 'cashing out' by selling their properties in order to buy real estate in one of Ontario's resort communities. (Mike Sloan/YouTube)

"Just like a lot of markets in Ontario, supply is a little lower than it would usually be about now," Mike Sloan, a real estate agent in Grand Bend, told CBC News. 

Grand Bend saw the largest year-over-year sales increase in Southwestern Ontario, as sales nearly doubled from 128 properties two years ago, to 239 properties last year. 

Homeowners 'cashing out' 

"That statistic we're getting from ReMax, which I don't contest in terms of volume being up, a lot of those might not be cottages," he said, noting Grand Bend's two major grocery stores, dozens of restaurants and a large health clinic gives the community more to offer than just a summer playground.  

Sloan said many of the buyers who are flocking to Grand Bend are taking advantage of high real estate prices by "cashing out" -- selling their properties in larger communities in favour of buying something cheaper in town. 

"Absolutely. I'm doing quite well this year," he said, noting almost half of his buyers this year come from Kitchener-Waterloo. 

Meanwhile sales of waterfront properties in Haliburton were up 42 per cent, from 244 properties two years ago, to 347 properties last year. 

In Eastern Ontario, sales of waterfront properties in Rideau Lakes more than doubled from 44 two years ago to 101 last year.

Prince Edward County remains the priciest place to buy a cottage in the province with the median price last year hitting $575,000, up nearly 40% from the year before.

Prices across Ontario

RegionHousing type2015/16 median price2016/17 median priceYear-over-year median priceYear-over-year sales
Bruce PeninsulaWaterfront$329,572$376,39814.21%34.89%
Bruce PeninsulaNon-waterfront$208,041$272,11430.8%15.36%
Grand BendNon-waterfront$247,000$290,00017.41%86.72%
HaliburtonWaterfront$206,628$240,06716.18%42.21%
HaliburtonNon-waterfront$46,573$66,03841.79%40.22%
Parry SoundWaterfront$380,000$410,0007.89%24.24%
Wasaga BeachNon-waterfront$324,065$393,23721.35%-1.48%
OrilliaWaterfront$365,000$441,50020.96%5.33%
Prince Edward CountyWaterfront$415,000$575,00038.55%10.32%
BancroftWaterfront$278,000$308,00010.79%-13.5%
Kawartha LakesWaterfront$390,000$425,0008.97%8.99%
Rideau LakesWaterfront$386,000$452,00017.1%129.55%