Year End Positions Muskoka Real Estate 2021 for Growth

2 Muskoka chairs looking toward Lake Rosseau

Annual Muskoka Market Review

2021 Muskoka Market Poised for Growth

By: Mark Benson & Susan Benson

Within the context of COVID, a tumultuous international political landscape and uncertain economic forecasts, Canadian cottage country real estate finished a record breaking year and Muskoka is no exception. Within the District of Muskoka, total year end unit sales at 2175 represented a 35% increase year over year including 645 properties that sold for over list price.  Amid three top emerging trends Muskoka waterfront average price increased by 27% and non waterfront by 25% year over year.  First, the growth of virtual real estate services; secondly, younger buyers driving demand and; thirdly, declining inventory driving multiple offers.  Each gained considerable ground in 2020 and we believe momentum is likely to continue well into 2021.
Within the context of necessary property showing protocols such as masking, sanitizing and social distancing the use of online tools took centre stage. We expect virtually run showings, meetings, continuing education courses and client presentations to continue well beyond the pandemic.


Retirees/semi retirees have been cashing out of higher priced markets in favour of lower priced ones for years. Though this trend accelerated, add to that increasing demand from working age buyers who are entering the market driven by the broader acceptance to the idea of working, learning and meeting from home or cottage. Specifically;

  • Younger professionals who are now able to purchase further afield in more affordable markets provided the internet is good and interest rates remain low.

  • Younger professionals who have a home and have been thinking about buying a recreational property but with good cottage internet did not need both. The multi purpose cottage country sanctuary, combining cottage and home during a pandemic, has become ever more attractive and attainable.

  • The Green Acre Buyer-for whom internet has made the romantic notions of lakeside and country living ever more possible.

As the Federal Government appears to be making equitable broadband access a priority we believe the trend to rural growth will continue with more strength than in the past.

Generally, properties listed from January to mid July last year sold for below or at list price. Properties listed from mid July onward benefitted from declining inventory, low interest rates and increased demand. Year over year the number of unit sales, across all categories, was higher than it had been for the past decade. At year end 2175 unit sales represented a 35% increase year over year including 645 properties that sold over list price. Every listing we brought to market from late July 2020 to year end successfully employed a multiple offer strategy featuring an above list sale price within a fully transparent process. 


District of Muskoka freehold waterfront sales of both recreational and vacant land combined increased by 49.7% year over year at 861 units.   The average sale price was $1,449,553.00 representing increase of 27%. The median price of these units for 2020 was $ 920,000,  representing a 28.7% increase from the previous year. Much of this increase was driven by multiple offers on 240 properties - a 28% increase year over year. The highest selling price for a waterfront Muskoka property was $16,200,000 at Morinus Road on Lake Rosseau. Two additional properties sold for over $10,000,000. 



913 unit sales of non waterfront property represented the 3rd best in 11 years and included 341 that sold over list price. The record breaking average sale price at $505,261 and median at $ $452,500 each represents a year over year increase of 25.37% and 11.42% respectively.  23 properties sold for over $1,000.000 in Muskoka last year with the highest priced property selling for $1,750,000 at Deerhurst Highlands. 
Once again, Mark and Susan performed in the top 3% of the market**, while working for the #1 Brokerage in the District of Muskoka. As has been the case for over 25 years, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka realtors sold more units and more sales volume than any other real estate company based on the full year and the full market. 13,000 realtors within the Ontario Collective and the MLS Lakelands Real Estate Board invested a new data system in mid 2020 so that we can provide more comprehensive information to buyers and sellers.  To ensure that you are receiving the most accurate information on which to base your real estate investment decisions. Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka Brokerage has dedicated considerable effort to manually cleaning all data presented here so that duplications and inconsistencies resulting from the merging of data have been addressed.
In closing, economic growth and prosperity have traditionally provided momentum for cottage, home and condo sales in Cottage Country. Barring anything unforeseen, (surely not!)  we anticipate continued growth in inventory, sales and pricing in the year ahead. 

If you would like more detailed information tailored to your cottage country property investment goals,
contact Susan at 705-385-9198 or Mark at 705-385-2726 or by email
We are always happy to help you.

*RLP DIAMOND Award Top 3% | RLP Canada Top Tier Award 2020 **MLS Jan-Dec 2020 Lakelands Real Estate Board full year, full market. 
Key data sourced from: MLS Lakelands Real Estate Board and Ontario MLS Collective.
Ontario Collective: The Ontario Collective is comprised of 13 Central Ontario Real Estate Boards.


Muskoka Year End Market Statistics

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