In 2020, the waterfront market was not excluded from the bounty of residential sales activity across Ontario, particularly in southern Ontario. 

There was a total of 228 sales in 2020, an increase of 82% over 2019.  These sales occurred in the predominant market areas we have been monitoring and reporting on for the past 15 years, which include:

  • Georgina
  • Innisfil
  • Oro-Medonte
  • Orillia
  • Ramara
  • Beaverton

According to the sales reported by the The Toronto Real Estate Board (TTREB), the average price of waterfront properties on Lake Simcoe was $1,244,646, which is a year-over-yearincrease of 27%.  

There were nine (9) Luxury waterfront sales (sale price over $3M) reported by TTREB and there were two (2) private sales.  Luxury sale prices ranged from $3.2M to $7.995M. The majority of these properties are located in the Oro-Medonte area and two sales were in the Barrie/Innisfil area.  These two areas continually report the highest priced sales onLake Simcoe.

Ramara Township experienced a huge surge in waterfront sales activity with 55 sales reported by TREB, representing a 323% increase in sales compared to 2019.  

Only direct waterfront sales on Lake Simcoe are recorded in our sales data in order to protect the integrity of the true market value of waterfront property.  Therefore, Lagoon City canal front properties are excluded from our reporting.

(NOTE:  Our annual reporting only includes properties sold above $300,000 on Lake Simcoe/Lake Couchiching.  Canal, island or riverfront sales are excluded from our analysis.


SUMMARY as of DECEMBER 31st, 2020


AVERAGE SALE PRICE  

AREA2019 Avg. Sale Price2020 Avg. Sale Price% Change
Georgina$1,003,372$1,261,73126%
Beaverton$809,333$997,64523%
Orillia$819,808$990,73521%
Oro/Medonte$1,243,650$1,798,18545%
Innisfil$1,197,800$1,516,25127%
Ramara$826,112$953,37315%
Total Average$983,346$1,244,64627%

TOTAL NUMBER OF SALES

AREA2019 Sales2020 Sales% Change
Georgina3666+ 83%
Beaverton915 + 67%
Orillia1312-8%
Oro/Medonte2035+75%
Innisfil3446+35%
Ramara1355+323% 
Total Sales125229+83%

5-YEAR ANALYSIS – AVERAGE SALE PRICE

AREA2016 Avg. Sale Price2020 Avg. Sale Price% Change
Georgina$734,163$1,261,73172%
Beaverton$778,371$997,64573%
Orillia$1,197,433$990,73522%
Oro/Medonte$1,499,253$1,798,18527%
Innisfil$1,161,060$1,466,20874%
Ramara$643,567$953,37337%
Total Average$1,002,308$1,244,64647%

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Ramara waterfront increased in value by 37% over the five-year period since 2016.  The average sale price in 2020 was $953,373, which rose by 15% over 2019 sales. 
  • Beaverton experienced a 23% year-over-year increase to the average selling price. The number of sales increased by 67%. In the 4th quarter, there were three (3) high-end sales ranging in price from $1,630,000 to $2,005,000.  Of the 15 sales in 2020, two (2) of these sales were rare vacant waterfront lots. Beaverton waterfront prices on Lake Simcoe has escalated by 73% since 2016.
  • Orillia trailed all other areas with less active listings and number of sales reported in 2019 and again in 2020.  The average days on market was a mere 12-days. Because of the lower number of active listings, it appears a higher demand for desirable waterfront properties has been created.
  • Oro-Medonte’s average selling price reached $1,798,185 (which excludes the sale of a luxury estate sold in December 2020 for $7,995,000). Oro-Medonte’s average selling price consistently outperforms all other areas on Lake Simcoe due to the size of the estates located just north of Barrie on or near Ridge Road.
  • Innisfil’s average sale price increased to $1,516,251 an increase of 27% in comparison to 2019. Sales increased by 35% with a total of 46 sales report in 2020.

PROJECTED REAL ESTATE MARKET CONDITIONS:

At Chestnut Park/Christie’s International Real Estate, we believe the market will continue to perform at the same rate as we experienced in 2020.  There are three main factors contributing to our opinion which include:

  1. The Pandemic — For this first time in decades, Stats Can reported that Metropolitan Toronto experienced a decline of 50,300 in population from July 2019 to July 2020.  Conversely, areas in the GTA and other areas of southern Ontario absorbed this population migration.
  2. Mortgage Interest Rates – We are at this time experiencing the lowest interest rates recorded in history.  This week, The Hanley Mortgage Group, (a preferred mortgage brokerage firm of Chestnut Park) posted their variable and 5-year special rate of 1.6%. Rates are expected to continue to stay low with no anticipated Bank of Canada rate increase projected or expected for 2021 and into the first half of 2022.
  3. Government Stimulus —   The current government is committed to a $100 Billion Stimulus Package to ease the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis in order to build the economy and help keep Canada on its positive growth path.

TRENDS:

We identified a number of market trends that are accelerating the demand for waterfront property on Lake Simcoe which include:

  • Lake Simcoe is a desirable area to own a recreational property due to its close proximity to Toronto, which encourages property owners to maximize their usage compared to other cottage areas where travel distance is a factor.
  • Most waterfront communities on Lake Simcoe offers a plethora of local amenities and services including high-speed Internet, natural gas, and municipal sewer and water services.
  • More and more property owners are designating their recreational property as their permanent home, especially since the pandemic has forced some/many people to work from home. This trend may continue even after the pandemic has finally subsided as many employers are changing their corporate culture to allow more flexible work-from-home arrangements.
  • According to the National Benefits Hub Research Group, “the rural activity lifestyles were linked to the quality of life and health of residents, supporting the assumption that there is a connection between the “recreation variable” and quality of life and health in rural areas.”
  • Due to the high volume of waterfront properties sold in 2020, we anticipate there could be a shortage of inventory available in 2021.  Should this occur, prices will most likely continue to accelerate due to the higher demand as more buyers seek a waterfront property on Lake Simcoe.  

All data used in this report was obtained from The Toronto Real Estate Board.

This publication is not to be copied or duplicated without the express written permission of Roxanne Finn or Claxton Finn.

This publication is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract with a brokerage.


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