BUSINESS
06/25/2014 01:12 EDT | Updated 07/16/2014 12:59 EDT

Ontario Cottage Sales: Mortgage Rule Changes Have No Effect On Booming Market, Re/Max Says

Harvey Kalles

Those wild hikes in house prices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver are beginning to spill over into cottage country, real estate agency Re/Max says in a new report.

Case in point: A cottage in Muskoka Lakes, north of Toronto, sold for $7.4 million recently, marking the highest price paid for a recreational property in the area since 2008, Bloomberg reports. (See the slideshow below.)

The report says the CMHC’s recent decision not to insure mortgages for second homes has had "little to no material impact" on this market. That might not be good news, since clearly the rule change was meant to have an impact (i.e. slow down overheating housing markets in certain parts of the country).

But what has had an impact is the falling loonie: It’s making real estate in sunny climes like Florida and Arizona more expensive, convincing more snowbirds to stay home and buy properties here.

Also, rising house prices in the city are making homeowners more confident, and convincing them they have what they need to buy that second home, Re/Max says.

“The equity gains in urban center homes have led to increased demand in recreational properties,” Gurinder Sandhu, Re/Max’s executive VP for of Ontario and Atlantic Canada for the firm, told Bloomberg.

And Re/Max reports that a larger number of people are looking for properties they can work from during the summer, as well as properties that can be used year-round.

Telecommuting from the cottage: Has it really come to that?

Check out this cottage in Port Carling, Muskoka Lakes, that sold for $7.4 million earlier this spring. Re/Max is touting this as evidence of a bounce-back in the recreational property market, but it actually went for some $900,000 below the asking price of $8.3 million. So the market may be back, but maybe not all the way back...

Photo gallery Muskoka Cottage Sold for $7.4 Million See Gallery