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Owning a cottage is becoming a pipe dream, even for Canada’s wealthy

Vacation spots only the ‘one per cent of the one-per-cent’ can affordAuthor of the article:Bianca BhartiPublishing date:May 27, 2021  •  2 hours ago  •  3 minute read  •   12 Comments

The seven-acre property listed for $24 million just outside of Port Carling is more a mansion compound than a cottage — with two lodges, a swimming pool, home theatre and tennis court — that overlooks 629 feet of Lake Muskoka.
The seven-acre property listed for $24 million just outside of Port Carling is more a mansion compound than a cottage — with two lodges, a swimming pool, home theatre and tennis court — that overlooks 629 feet of Lake Muskoka. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED

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The mayor of the Township of Muskoka Lakes, Ont., one of the country’s most popular summer retreats, said the property market in his town has become unsustainable after prices surged more than 70 per cent in the last year.

Phil Harding’s warning carries extra weight because he’s setting aside his own self interest to sound the alarm: Harding’s full-time job is a real estate agent.

Cottages across Canada seeing ‘unbelievable levels of demand

“Personally, wearing two hats is a struggle because it’s nice to say to a client, ‘I’m going to get you as much money as I can,’” Harding said in an interview with Financial Post. “And I feel bad for somebody who has overpaid for a property who will struggle to get out of it” when the market cools.

Harding’s comments followed the relisting of a Muskoka home for $24 million, which is easily the top five priciest listings ever for the region, he said. The seven-acre property just outside of Port Carling is more a mansion compound than a cottage — with two lodges, a swimming pool, home theatre and tennis court — that overlooks 629 feet of Lake Muskoka. It’s a vacation spot only the “one per cent of the one-per-cent” will be able to afford, said Harding.

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