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Lake Simcoe Waterfront Update: 3rd Quarter Review 2023

Executive Summary

The Lake Simcoe waterfront market continues to trend down in the total number of sales during the 3rd Quarter of 2023. 29 sales were reported in the 3rd Quarter with 80 sales YTD. Sales declined in Beaverton, Oro-Medonte, Orillia and Georgina. In previous years, Georgina typically showed the highest number of sales within their communities of Keswick, Roches Point, Eastbourne, Willow Beach, Jackson’s Point and Sutton. This is not the case in 2023. This is primarily due to the low volume of available properties for sale. Currently, Georgina has only 13 waterfront properties for sale. At this time, there are only 76 direct/indirect waterfront properties for sale on Lake Simcoe.


The overall average price declined by -3.2% since December 2022; however, Innisfil’s average price rose by 25.5%, Georgina’s by 3%, and Orillia’s average price rose by 11.1%. All other areas reported a decrease compared to last year. Oro-Medonte’s average price declined by -28%, which is the primary factor affecting the decline in the overall average price of waterfront properties on Lake Simcoe.

Highlights

  • The YTD average price of all areas in 2023 is $1,684,330 compared to $1,755,104 during the first half of the year, a reduction of -4.0%.
  • Georgina recorded 5 sales in the 3rd Quarter with a total of 14 sales YTD. The average price increased by 14.6% compared to the 2nd Quarter. Sale prices ranged from a low of $1,575,000 to a high of $2,580,000.
  • Innisfil reported a total of 10 sales in the 3rd Quarter; the same number reported in the 2nd Quarter, with 23 sales YTD. The average price is $2,118,950. Sale prices ranged from a low of $1,230,000 to a high of $2,699,000.
  • Orillia reported 2 sales in the 3rd Quarter and 8 sales YTD. The average price is $1,773,440 an increase of 11.1% since December 31, 2022.
  • Ramara reported 7 sales in the 3rd Quarter and 12 sales YTD. The average price YTD is $1,281,180, a decrease of -10.8% since December 31, 2022. Sale prices ranged from a low of $575,000 (vacant land) to a high of $3,988,800.
  • Oro-Medonte reported 2 sales in the 3rd Quarter and 14 sales YTD. There were 10 sales in the 2nd Quarter. Currently there are 12 properties for sale ranging in price from $1,379,000 to $37,000.000.
  • Beaverton reported 3 sales in the 3rd Quarter. The average price YTD is $1,175,588, a decrease of -32.2% since December 2022.

3rd Quarter Lake Simcoe Waterfront Review
Active Listings

At the time of writing this report, active listings in each area included:

AREATOTAL # OF LISTINGSPRICE RANGE
Georgina13$ 899,000 – $16,900,000
Beaverton3$ 1,699,000 – $2,680,000
Orillia7$899,000 – $2,399,000
Oro-Medonte12$1,379,000 – $37,000,000
Innisfil27$1,420,000 – $13,900,000
Ramara14$ 1,095,000 – $6,800,000
TOTAL76

Secondary Recreational Home Ownership- The Changing Landscape

The allure of owning a second home in a picturesque location has been a long-standing dream for many individuals. These properties offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and provide a retreat into nature or recreational environments.

In recent years, the concept of a second home has evolved, and with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lines between second homes in recreational areas and seasonal properties have blurred.

Second Homes in Recreational Areas

Second homes in recreational areas are typically located in regions known for their scenic beauty and outdoor activities. This makes waterfront property ownership on Lake Simcoe extremely attractive since it is only one-hour from Toronto. These homes are designed to serve as getaways for individuals and families seeking relaxation and adventure. Recreational properties can include vacation homes in the mountains, near a lake, at the beach, or in the countryside.

Key Characteristics of Second Homes in Recreational Areas:

  • Year-Round Use: These properties are usually built with the intention of year-round use. They often have heating and cooling systems to accommodate all seasons, making them suitable for both summer and winter vacations.
  • Amenities: Recreational properties often feature amenities like boating docks, ski access, hiking trails, and proximity to recreational facilities like golf courses, water parks, or ski resorts.
  • Higher Property Values: Due to their prime locations, these homes tend to have higher property values compared to seasonal properties. They can be a significant investment for those looking for both personal enjoyment and long-term appreciation.

Seasonal Properties in Recreational Areas:

Seasonal properties, on the other hand, are designed for specific time periods or activities. They are often not suitable for year-round living and are primarily used during a particular season. These properties can include cabins near ski resorts, beachfront cottages, or homes in locations with extreme weather conditions.

Key characteristics of seasonal properties:

  • Limited Seasonal Use: Seasonal properties are designed for use during a particular season, such as summer or winter. They may not be equipped with year-round amenities or may require significant modifications for winter use. Some are not even accessible in off-season.
  • Location-Specific: These properties are often located in regions known for their seasonal attractions, which may not be as appealing during other times of the year. For instance, a ski-in/ski-out cabin may not be as enjoyable in the summer months.
  • Lower Property Values: Seasonal properties typically have lower property values compared to year-round recreational properties. They are often seen as a more affordable way to enjoy a specific season or activity.

Changing Trends Post-COVID:

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a significant shift in property ownership trends. With the increased prevalence of remote work and a desire for more space and a healthier lifestyle, many individuals re-evaluated their living arrangements. This led to a surge in interest in second homes in recreational areas.

Conversion of Recreational Properties:

Statistics on the conversion of recreational properties into permanent homes are encouraging for the real estate market in these areas. Since the start of the pandemic, a considerable number of people have transitioned their recreational properties into their permanent residences. This shift has been driven by factors such as:

  • Remote Work: The pandemic prompted companies to adopt remote work policies. As a result, individuals found themselves with the flexibility to live in their second homes year-round, often closer to nature and recreational activities.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Many people sought the safety and serenity of less densely populated areas. This led to increased demand for homes in recreational areas, which are often situated away from crowded urban centers.
  • Affordability: In some cases, the cost of living in a recreational area, especially in smaller towns, can be lower than in major metropolitan areas, making it an attractive option for permanent residency.

In our opinion, the difference between second homes in recreational areas and seasonal properties lies in their year-round suitability, location, amenities, and property values. While seasonal properties are tailored to specific times of the year and are often more affordable, second homes in recreational areas offer year-round comfort and higher property values.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the landscape of second home ownership, with a notable increase in individuals transitioning their recreational properties into permanent residences. As remote work continues to thrive and the desire for a healthier lifestyle remains, the trend of converting recreational properties into permanent homes is expected to persist, reshaping the landscape of real estate and the very notion of what a second home can be.

If you would like to obtain a copy of our full report, please contact Roxanne at Roxanne@Chestnutpark.com.


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.

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


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