Burnt River Real Estate ~ Market Value Update


Whether you are an owner of a cottage who is considering selling, or a prospective buyer, it is important to be as informed as possible on local market conditions. In my previous career as a managing director at a major Canadian financial institution, I developed a deep appreciation for the importance of sound analytics, and have applied these concepts to glean insights on broader market trends as well as individual property valuation. In an effort to promote greater transparency and efficiency in our local markets, I am pleased to provide monthly in-season statistics and commentary on each of the major lakes in our service area. If you are interested in a more precise valuation of your property, please contact me at (705) 438-3000 or email me and I would be happy to provide a value estimate at no cost.
~ David Donais, Broker of Record/Owner


Burnt River Market Value Update ~ August 31, 2020

    Exceptionally strong year on the Burnt River but listing inventory has dried up.

  • There have been 31 sales and only 24 new listings so far in 2020 (many of the 2020 sales were listings carried over from 2019).
  • There were only two active listings on the Burnt River as at August 31, 2020, in stark contrast to last year when there were 20 active listings as at August 31st.
  • The strong market on the Burnt River is consistent with trends across the western Kawarthas. There are large numbers of new buyers looking to purchase a waterfront property as an escape from the pandemic-induced stresses of urbanity. Refer to my "Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail of these trends.

  • The average sale price for the 31 sales on the Burnt River so far in 2020 is $410,000, up 22% from the average of $336,000 for all Burnt River sales in 2019.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 31 sales so far in 2020 is 1.65, up 19% from the 1.39 average for all sales on the Burnt River in 2019.

Burnt River Market Value Update ~ July 31, 2020

    Exceptionally strong 2020 season.

  • The Burnt River has had an extremely strong year. There have been 26 sales and only 19 new listings so far in 2020 (many of the 2020 sales were listings from 2019). Last year there were only 4 sales between January 1 and July 31.
  • The strong market on the Burnt River is consistent with trends across the western Kawarthas. There are large numbers of new buyers looking to purchase a waterfront property as an escape from the pandemic-induced stresses of urbanity. Refer to my "Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail of these trends.

  • The average sale price for the 26 sales on the Burnt River so far in 2020 is $407,000, up substantially from the average of $336,000 for all Burnt River sales in 2019.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 26 sales so far in 2020 is 1.57, also up substantially from the 1.39 average for all sales on the Burnt River in 2019.

Burnt River Market Value Update ~ June 30, 2020

    Exceptionally strong start to the 2020 season.

  • The Burnt River has had an extremely strong start to the 2020 selling season. There have been 19 sales and only 14 new listings (many of the 2020 sales were listings from 2019. Last year there were only 3 sales between January 1 and June 30.
  • The strong market on the Burnt River is consistent with trends across the western Kawarthas. There is a tidal wave of new buyers desperate for a waterfront property as an escape from the pandemic-induced stresses of urbanity. Refer to my "Total Western Kawarthas" analysis for more detail of these trends.

  • The average sale price for the 14 sales so far in 2020 is $382,000, up materially from the average of $336,000 for all Burnt River sales in 2019.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 14 sales so far in 2020 is 1.54, also up materially from the 1.39 average for all sales on the Burnt River in 2019.

Burnt River Market Value Update ~ April 30, 2020

    Exceptionally strong start to the 2020 season.

  • In stark contrast to most other areas of the western Kawarthas, the Burnt River has had an extremely strong start to the 2020 selling season. While there have been only 3 new listings, there have been 9 sales consisting primarily of properties that were listed in the previous year.
  • The sales in 2020 have been an even mix of three-season cottages and four-season cottages/homes. The four three-season cottage sales had an average sale price of $271,000 while the five year-round properties had an average sale price of $457,000.
  • The average sale price-to-MPAC assessed value ratio of the 9 sales so far in 2020 is 1.47, up from the 1.39 average for all sales on the Burnt River in 2019.
  • The absence of flooding on the Burnt River this spring should provide further support for this market.

  • The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a significant slowdown in both listings and sales across the western Kawarthas, leading to great uncertainty in the market going forward. At the present time there is no evidence of falling prices for waterfront properties and sellers are for the most part holding firm to their asking prices. The emerging trends of working from home and cottage vacationing as a replacement for air-travel vacations bode well for demand in the medium term, while the impending recession/depression represents a threat to short-to-medium term valuations.

2019 Burnt River Market Value Summary


  • 2019 was a difficult year on the Burnt River as a result of severe flooding in the spring. The real estate market virtually shut down after the flood – there was only one sale in a flood-prone area in the three months following the flood. The market re-gained its footing in August with seven sales recorded, and sales volumes returned to normal levels through the fall season.
  • The average sale price for waterfront properties on the Burnt River in 2019 was $336,000, down 12% from $383,000 in 2018. Sale prices in 2019 ranged from $150,000 to $560,000.
  • 39 waterfront properties were listed on the Burnt River in 2019 and only 19 (49%) sold. Nine (47%) of the sold properties required one or more price reductions.
  • The total of 19 sales in 2019 was down from 23 sold in 2018.
  • One metric I track closely to provide insight into pricing trends is the Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value Ratio. I calculate this ratio for each sale recorded, as well as an average ratio for all sales during the year. In 2019, the average ratio for the 19 Burnt River sales was 1.39, down 16% from the average ratio of 1.66 realized in 2018. In contrast, the average ratio for the 185 waterfront sales on the key lakes and rivers in the western Kawarthas was 1.44, up 3% from 1.40 last year.
  • Waterfront properties on the Burnt River also took longer to sell in 2019 - the median number of days on the market for the 19 Burnt River sales in 2019 was 37 days versus 26 days in 2018.
  • Looking forward, I am cautiously optimistic that 2020 will be a positive year for the waterfront market. I noticed strong momentum in the fall months – almost half of Kawartha Waterfront Realty’s 2019 sales took place after September 30th, and buyer inquiries to our office have remained strong in the early winter months. Real estate market conditions in the GTA also appear to be improving, which helps fuel demand for waterfront properties. A non-eventful spring run-off season would also help the Burnt River market.

Burnt River Market Value Update ~ October 15, 2019

Uptick in sales activity in August

  • There were four new listings and sales on the Burnt River in the September 1 to October 15 period. Listing activity continues to be higher, and sales lower, than in 2018. These dynamics are indicative of strong buyer market conditions.
  • The average sale price for the 14 sales so far in 2019 is $351,000, down from the average $383,000 sale price in 2018. The average sale price-to-assessed value ratio for the 14 sales in 2019 is 1.42, significantly lower than the 1.66 average ratio for all sales in 2018. This is indicative of a general decrease in prices since the spring flooding event.
  • There were a very high 18 listings on the Burnt River as at October 15, 2019.



Burnt River Market Value Update ~ August 31, 2019

Uptick in sales activity in August

  • There were six sales on the Burnt River in August, compared to only four in the previous seven months. Listing activity continued to be strong, with six new listings during the month.
  • The average sale price for the 10 sales so far in 2019 is $375,000, in line with the average $383,000 sale price in 2018. However, the average sale price-to-assessed value ratio for the 10 sales in 2019 is 1.40, slightly lower than the 1.66 average ratio for all sales in 2018. This is indicative of a general decrease in prices since the spring flooding event.
  • There were a very high 20 active listings on the Burnt River as at August 31, 2019.



Burnt River Market Value Update ~ July 31, 2019

Only four sales so far in 2019.

  • While listing activity is up slightly from 2018 levels, there have only been four sales so far in 2019, versus 14 during the same period in 2018. It appears that the flooding of the Burnt River earlier this year has significantly impacted market activity. Of the four sales so far in 2019, two of the properties are not on the flood plain and the other was sold prior to the flood.



Burnt River Market Value Update ~ June 30, 2019

Only three sales so far in 2019.

  • While listing activity is in line with 2018 levels, there have only been three sales so far in 2019, versus 10 during the same period in 2018. It appears that the flooding of the Burnt River earlier this year has significantly impacted market activity. Of the three sales so far in 2019, two of the properties are not on the flood plain and the other was sold prior to the flood.



Burnt River Market Value Update ~ May 31, 2019

Only two sales so far in 2019.

  • It appears that the flooding of the Burnt River earlier this year has impacted market activity, with both new listings and sales lower than in the same period in 2018.



Burnt River Market Value Update ~ May 15, 2019

Only one sale so far in 2019.

  • While the number of new listings so far in 2019 is only slightly down from the same period in 2018, there has been only one sale in 2019 versus five in 2018.
  • It remains to be seen what impact the flooding of 2019 will have on market activity going forward.


2018 Burnt River Market Value Summary

  • This analysis is based on the portion of the Burnt River within the City of Kawartha Lakes.
  • The average sale price for waterfront properties on the Burnt River was $383,000 in 2018, up 18% from $324,000 in 2017, and 60% from $240,000 in 2015. The lowest sale price in 2018 was $135,900 while the highest was $720,000.
  • There were 23 sales in 2018, up from 19 in 2017.
  • One metric I track closely to provide insight into pricing trends is the Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value Ratio. I calculate this ratio for each sale recorded, as well as an average ratio for all sales during the year. In 2018, the average ratio for the 23 Burnt River sales was 1.66, significantly higher than the ratio of 1.28 realized in 2017. The average ratio across the six key lakes in our region (Balsam/Cameron/ Sturgeon/Four Mile/Shadow/Head) was 1.38, unchanged from 2017. It would appear therefore that there is much more upward momentum in prices on the Burnt River than in other areas of the western Kawarthas.
  • Another indicator of a strong market on the Burnt River is the relatively short period required to sell a waterfront property. In 2018 the median number of days on the market for properties sold on the Burnt River was 26 days, much less than the median of 48 days for the six key lakes in our region.
  • Other key takeaways from the 2018 market include:
    • In contrast to the relatively slow spring market, the fall market for waterfront properties was very strong across the western Kawarthas. On the Burnt River, eight waterfront properties were sold post-September 1st, versus five prior to June 1st.
    • Buyers almost uniformly desire to use their cottages year-round – if you have a three-season property, it would be well worth your while to investigate the feasibility of enhancing it to four- season capability.
  • Looking forward, I am hoping that the strong momentum from the fall 2018 market will carry into 2019. However, while the prospect of higher interest rates in 2019 appears to be receding, the late-2018 correction in financial markets has the potential to dampen buyer demand for waterfront properties. As always, real estate market conditions in the GTA will heavily influence our market.

Read Other Kawartha Lakes Market Value Updates

Contact Kawartha Waterfront Realty

Call: 1 (877) 992-9927 or Email


Kawartha Lakes Heritage Postcards

We have a great appreciation for the history of the lakes we service, and are pleased to share with you some of the heritage postcards we have collected.

View of Shadow Lake ca. 1948 ~ Shadow Lake

Recognize, know a story or details about these vintage Kawartha scenes? Join us on facebook and instagram to share! We would also be delighted to share your heritage photographs and related stories - please email to David.

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