Shadow Lake 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

Shadow Lake System Market Value Update ~ May 15, 2019

Listing activity is down from 2018 levels.

  • The low levels of new listings is no doubt attributable primarily to the late spring and persistent high-water levels in the Shadow Lake System.

2018 Shadow Lake Market Value Summary

  • The average sale price was $471,000 in 2018, down 10% from $521,000 in 2017. Contributing to this decline was the fact that 15 of the 19 sales in 2018 were on the Gull River, which tend to attract lower prices than properties on Shadow and Silver lakes.
  • 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 19 Shadow Lake system sales was 1.47, up from the average ratio of 1.40 realized in 2017. The average ratio across the six key lakes in our region (Head/Shadow/ Four Mile/Balsam/Cameron/Sturgeon) was 1.38, unchanged from 2017. These ratios support my belief that waterfront prices were stable year-over-year.
  • Waterfront properties took much longer to sell in 2018 – the median number of days on the market for properties sold on the six key lakes in our region was 48 days, more than double the 2017 median of 23 days. On the Shadow Lake system, the median was 45 days in 2018 versus 28 days in 2017. My explanation for this increase is that buyers from the GTA who had experienced a double-digit percentage decline in their home values were expecting similar declines in cottage prices in 2018. Cottage sellers on the other hand were not willing to reduce prices in line with GTA trends as a result of their belief that “bubble” conditions were not evident in our market. This gap in pricing expectations was resolved largely in favour of sellers, as evidenced by stable year-over-year prices.
  • Other key takeaways from the 2018 market include:
    • The selling season started very slowly in the western Kawarthas, but picked up momentum as the season progressed. The post-September 1st market was very strong.
    • 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 impact buyer demand for waterfront properties. As always, real estate market conditions in the GTA will heavily influence our market.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ October 15, 2018

Slow post-Labour Day market.

  • There have been only two new listings and one sale in the September 1 to October 15th period, compared to five new listings and five sales in the same period last year. However, year-to-date listing and sales activity is in line with last year.
  • The average sale price of the 17 properties sold to-date in 2018 is $500,000, down slightly from the average sale price of $521,000 for all Shadow Lake sales in 2017.
  • The average Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio for the 17 sales so far this year is 1.47, slightly above the 1.40 ratio realized for all sales on Shadow Lake last year.
  • Listings on the main body of Shadow Lake continue to be scarce.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ August 31, 2018

Listing and sales activity is up from last year and continue to be concentrated in the Gull River sections. Prices appear to be holding up well.

  • August was a relatively slow month, with only one new listing and two sales.
  • The average sale price of the 15 properties sold to-date in 2018 is $496,000, down from the average sale price of $521,000 for all Shadow Lake sales in 2017. This decline is largely attributable to the concentration of 2018 sales in the lower priced Gull River sections.
  • The average Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio for the 15 sales so far this year is 1.48, slightly above the 1.40 ratio realized for all sales on Shadow Lake last year.
  • Listings on the main body of Shadow Lake continue to be scarce.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ July 31, 2018

Sales so far this year continue to be concentrated in the Gull River sections. Prices appear to be holding up well.

  • Both listing and sales activity in the first six months of 2018 are higher than the same period last year. This is a significant contrast to most of the other major lakes in our region. However, most of the sales in 2018 have been in the Gull River sections.
  • The average sale price of the 14 properties sold to-date in 2018 is $484,000, down from the average sale price of $521,000 for all Shadow Lake sales in 2017. This decline is largely attributable to the concentration of the 2018 sales to-date in the Gull River sections.
  • The average Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio for the 14 sales so far this year is 1.38, in line with the 1.40 ratio realized for all sales on Shadow Lake last year.
  • There are currently ten active listings on Shadow Lake/Gull River, with an average Asking Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio of 1.58.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ June 30, 2018

Sales so far this year continue to be concentrated in the Gull River sections. Prices appear to be holding up well.

  • Both listing and sales activity in the first six months of 2018 are higher than the same period last year. This is a significant contrast to most of the other major lakes in our region. However, all but one of the sales in 2018 have been in the Gull River sections.
  • The average sale price of the five properties sold to-date in 2018 is $424,000, down from the average sale price of $521,000 for all Shadow Lake sales in 2017. This decline is largely attributable to the concentration of the 2018 sales to-date in the Gull River sections.
  • The average Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio for the eight sales so far this year is quite strong at 1.54, up from the 1.40 ratio realized for all sales on Shadow Lake last year.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ May 31, 2018

Sales so far this year have been concentrated in the Gull River sections. Prices appear to be holding up well.

  • Since April 30, there have been eight new listings and one sales on the lake. Most of the new listing activity has occurred in the Gull River sections. On a year-to-date basis (Jan. 1/18 – May 18/18), listing activity has been double that of the same period last year, while sales totals are in line with last year.
  • The average sale price of the five properties sold to-date in 2018 is $410,000, down from the average sale price of $518,000 for the five properties sold in the same time period last year, and the $521,000 average price for all Shadow Lake sales in 2017. This decline is largely attributable to the concentration of the 2018 sales to-date in the Gull River sections.
  • The average Sale Price-to-MPAC Assessed Value ratio for the five sales so far this year is quite strong at 1.49, up from the 1.24 ratio realized on the five sales in the same period last year, and the 1.40 ratio realized for all sales on Shadow Lake last year.
  • There is insufficient data to provide confidence of a upward trend in sales prices on Shadow Lake so far in 2018. However, the strong May results for Sturgeon Lake may provide some support – Sturgeon Lake trends tend to be a leading indicator of trends on other lakes in the region. Anecdotal evidence from our buyer agents that buyers are now coming out in much greater numbers also support the thought that the market may improve as we move into the summer months.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ May 18, 2018

  • Since April 30, there have been six new listings and no additional sales on the lake. On a year-to-date basis (Jan. 1/18 – May 18/18), total sales volume on the lake is $1.7 million, in line with the $1.6 million in sales for the same period last year.

Shadow Lake Market Value Update ~ April 30, 2018

  • The commentary below encompasses Shadow Lake, as well as Silver Lake, and the Gull River near Norland and above Coboconk.
  • In contrast to other lakes in our region including Sturgeon and Balsam lakes, market activity on Shadow Lake is higher so far in 2018 compared to the same period last year. Since Jan. 1, 2018 there have been eight new listings and four sales. Last year during the same period there were five new listings and two sales. Consistent with last year, most new listings and sales have occurred on the Gull River, where winter ice cover is not an issue.
  • The average sale price to assessed value ratio for the four sales in 2018 was 1.54, compared to the 1.40 ratio realized in 2017 (see summary below). Although the number of data points is insufficient to be definitive, this early evidence supports the theory that prices are holding up from last year. Anecdotal evidence from our buyer agents also indicates that there is a significant number of buyers wishing to purchase on Shadow Lake.

2017 Shadow Lake Summary

  • The average sale price was $521,000 in 2017, up 21% from 2016.
  • 15 properties were sold in 2017, down from the record high of 24 in 2016.
  • Events in the GTA housing market influenced market dynamics on Shadow Lake (and all of the western Kawarthas) in 2017. The spring market was especially frothy, with large numbers of buyers competing for relatively few listings.
  • Cottage buyer interest receded somewhat after the imposition of the foreign buyer tax in the GTA. Mid-priced cottages (up to $600,000) continued to sell quickly, however, while sales of higher priced properties slowed considerably.
  • Listings on Shadow Lake were especially scarce due to the extended period of high water levels that stretched into early summer. The number of listings on the main body of Shadow Lake remained well below normal levels for the remainder of the season.
  • In addition to the 21% year-over-year increase in average sale price, the trend to higher market values on Shadow Lake was supported by another metric we track closely – the Sale Price to Assessed Value Ratio. In 2017, the average ratio for all sales on Shadow Lake was 1.40, a 28% increase from the 1.09 ratio realized in 2016.
  • Kawartha Waterfront Realty listed and sold the two highest priced properties on Shadow Lake in 2017. One of these sales in October 2017 set a record high sale price for Shadow Lake.

Read Other Kawartha Lakes Market Value Updates

Contact Kawartha Waterfront Realty

Call: 1 (877) 992-9927 or Email


Shadow Lake 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.

Shadow Lake Camp ca. 1930 ~ 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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