Haliburton not the new Muskoka - yet
|By Lisa Harrison - Contributing Writer | January 4, 2018
As expected, high-end or prestige properties valued at over $1.5 million were in high demand in Muskoka again this year, but interest has shifted to the Haliburton area to a greater degree than ever before.
In 2017, Haliburton had low inventory under $700,000, but an “incredibly high” inventory over the $1-million mark, said Rob Serediuk via email Dec. 17. Serediuk is a sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited’s Cottage Country Team. The brokerage operates in Haliburton, Muskoka and the Kawarthas. Because Muskoka lacked a good inventory in the $1.5-million to $2-million range, buyers in that range began looking to Haliburton this year. Serediuk said Chestnut Park is constantly trying to convince buyers to look at Haliburton, and 2017 marked their greatest success to date.
“There is no question there is money in Haliburton,” said Serediuk. “However, look at Kennisis Lake and the cottages that sit along the west shore. People are in it for huge numbers – $2 million, $3 million, even $4 million when they take the cost of the lot and the cost to build. However, the highest sale on Kennisis Lake was 1,620,000 and that was in 2011. It was only in 2017 that the record was able to be broken with two sales – $1,760,000 and $1,775,000.”
Serediuk said both these sales were to Chestnut Park buyers who initially were looking in other areas. Lack of good inventory in Muskoka was one of the primary reasons they chose Haliburton.
In total, Haliburton had seven sales above $1.5 million in 2017 compared to one in 2013, two in 2014 and 2015, and four last year, said Serediuk.
“Haliburton is in a great position because of the area’s clean lakes, beautiful Algonquin-type setting, and offering way more bang for your buck,” said Serediuk, but he added it’s not yet time to say, “Haliburton is the new Muskoka.”
Serediuk gave the example of an imaginary $2-million listing. From April 1 to June 30, it would average a different number of showings per region: 25-30 on Muskoka’s “Big Three” lakes (Muskoka, Joseph and Rosseau), 15-20 in Lake of Bays, 10-15 in Huntsville, and zero to two – maybe three – in Haliburton. “Muskoka will always be Muskoka. Buyers are willing to spend $2 million on an average cottage on an average lot because their friends and family own cottages on the Big Three. There is only a certain portion that will consider anywhere else.”
However, as other areas become less popular because they don’t fit into what a buyer is looking for (the Kawarthas, Huntsville), Haliburton is positioned to become even more popular, said Serediuk.
“The $1.5-million-plus range remains saturated and Muskoka’s inventory levels could have an impact on the high-end Haliburton market. The more expensive and over-priced Muskoka becomes, the more high-end buyers will look to other areas, and Haliburton is truly next in line.”
“But agents in Haliburton need to work together to bring more buyers to prestige properties and increase the number of showings … we have seen real estate agents and teams make great strides in their marketing over the past couple of years and this is awesome.”
LISA HARRISON is a contributing writer for The Highlander.