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iMuskoka Realty

Rational thinking returns to property valuations

As the real estate market adjustment continues after the recent two-and-a-half-year boom, property values are slowly but surely reflecting actual value.

Attributes such as the type of waterfront property, what lake it’s on, size of the property and structures, and other defining factors are once again being used when determining its appropriate market price, explains Ben Imrie of iMuskoka.

“The market is shaking out to where the values should be,” says Ben. “It takes time. Values don’t immediately adjust when the market plateaus and starts to lower. Sellers aren’t automatically going to say, ‘My place is worth less than before.’”

At the height of the pandemic boom, pretty much every property in Muskoka turned to gold due to the huge demand and little inventory. As balance returns to the market, property deficiencies that were previously being ignored are now being carefully considered by those looking to buy.

While things have slowed down and a more balanced market exists, properties that are listed at accurate prices will still sell – though it may take a bit more time for the deals to happen.

“Now, people are taking their time as there is more inventory than during the Covid rush and they’re looking at several properties to compare before making a decision,” says Ben. “The Covid rush is over, the market values have been slowly adjusting and unless you’re accurately listing your property’s value, it will sit on the market.”

And that’s what’s been happening to many properties. Honest and experienced realtors who know the market – such as those who are longtime cottagers themselves like the iMuskoka team of Ben, his brother Dan, Robyn Goodwin and their colleagues – will explain the true value of a property and list it appropriately to sell.

“There are price corrections and market adjustments that have to happen to keep the market moving in a softer market,” says Dan.

Upper end values
Not all sectors of the market are affected equally, though. Top quality properties in the $7 million-plus market have held and even increased their value. This is evidenced by multiple sales over $10 million that occurred in the late summer and early fall.

This is likely happening because those buying in that elevated market segment aren’t as impacted by interest rates, inflation, and other factors.

“They can afford it and will pay what it takes to get the property they want,” says Dan.

Under the $7 million threshold, there is much more interest rate sensitivity and consideration, which is why that market segment is a bit slower and seeing values adjust to the state of the economy.

“There is market awareness among buyers, and they will take their time to find the right property for the right price,” says Ben.

That interest rate sensitivity also means a bit of fear of refinancing as selling can mean getting a new mortgage at a time when the cost of borrowing isn’t ideal. That and other factors mean the market may not see as many quality listings become available – particularly in terms of waterfront properties.

“Those who may have been turning over their properties every three to five years are not doing that right now,” says Ben. “It’s another missing segment. Then you add in baby boomers who are choosing to sell off their GTA property and live at the cottage full time, and those who have a good interest rate for the extended term – they’re in it for the long haul.”

Experienced team
With a growing team, Ben and Dan continue to bring their 50-plus years of combined real estate experience to their clients.

They’ve grown up with the ever-changing technological landscape and been at the forefront of using it to help their clients, from the old-school era of faxing offers back and forth to modern tools like 3D video tours. They have an extensive database of buyers and sellers and take pride in offering in-person, old-school service. As full-time career realtors, the iMuskoka team brings passion to their jobs each day.

As well, they are longtime cottagers who understand the emotional connections people have with their summer homes. The iMuskoka team is well-poised to market properties now and into the future.

“We understand where each of our clients are coming from,” explains Ben. “Be it the baby boomers, their parents, our generation or the ones coming up, we can speak to their wants and needs.”

TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN

www.iMuskoka.com

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