Holding Steady in an Uncertain Market: The Rural Boom

Spending time in your family home in the wilderness a few months is restorative.  For many, hunting and fishing can make time stand still, in a good way.  

That’s why people love my neck of the woods.  Bancroft is a sanctuary for many, even those who don't live here year round.  

Make no mistake though, the real estate market has changed in rural areas.  It will change more.  The Globe and Mail reported in March on the growth of towns within 100km of the GTA.  They're becoming commuter towns, even if the commutes are crazy. Then the Toronto Star reported just this week on the cost of recreational homes and cottages in Haliburton soaring.  It is happening in Bancroft.  We are no longer an affordable Muskoka.  

Vacant land is becoming difficult to get hold of on some of the most popular lakes in the Bancroft area, like Paudash and Baptiste.  

Should you wait much longer to get your lake home search started?  

Or should you hold out on your higher price if you have such a property for sale?

Will small lake cottages even be an option in five years?

In many areas, the answer could be no.

I know people who have been waiting to buy until the bubble bursts.  They've been waiting almost a decade.  I know people who become rushed to sale, convinced the peak is here.  They missed out on higher returns.  We don't know.  The cooling of the GTA market, by legislation, will come to mean something for rural Ontario over the next few seasons but luxury properties could be safe for yet a few more.  

I think now is a good/great time to sell but I can't tell you it's the best time to sell.  We will only know that in hindsight.  You will do well if you sell now. 

Now is not the ideal time to buy, but things could get more expensive.  The march of time shows us this.  Move now, but go in with a good down payment and lock in low interest rates.  That is the best way to protect yourself from volatility. 

Change is not necessarily a bad thing.   Our industry has dealt well with the shift to digital real estate searches on REALTOR.ca and clients are better informed of their rights and obligations now.  Cell phones allow me to handle multiple transactions at once.  I can get signatures from clients around the world to ensure deals get done in a timely manner.  It's good!

My hope is that residential homes that aren't as recreational, and not as attractive to city buyers, remain affordable and attached to the cost of living here.   

I have been adapting to change in this industry for almost 30 years.  I will continue to change and grow.  I've seen three recessions and uncertain times in global markets at least eight other times.  I look forward to helping you through this next round. 

Check out RECO for more information on the changing real estate landscape.