Northern Ontario village sees surge in real estate sales
NORTH BAY -- The Village of Burk's Falls in the Almaguin Highlands is booming, enjoying a strong increase in both value and number of homes being sold.
'For sale' and 'sold' signs are plastered all over the village, where a real estate boom is taking place. More people from Huntsville and Bracebridge are re-locating.
"Being so close to the Muskoka area, younger families can commute, work in Huntsville and commute economically because the taxes here are lower," said Louisa Moffit, broker of record with Realty Executives Local Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Moffit said people are mostly looking for bungalows and waterfront properties. She attributes the strong demand to the fact the community has services like high-speed internet, gas, water and garbage pickup, something not found in all small northern towns and villages.
The pandemic hasn't slowed things down, either.
"We are selling things at premium cost, and not just because of COVID-19, but because of what we offer here," said Moffit.
She credits the local council for revitalizing downtown to attract more families and also for locking in deals with the federal and provincial governments to fund major community projects.
"We improved our infrastructure, like our water and sewer, because we knew it was coming," said Burk's Falls Mayor Cathy Still. "Last year, we re-did our main street, which is Ontario Street, and it was $2.3 million. It hadn't been done since 1990."
A village study done in the past few years reported the average home was being assessed at around $150,000. Last year, homes were selling for about $62,000 above that average price.
"The numbers were in the $200,000 range, which is almost of half of what you would have to pay in Huntsville," said Moffit. "Did we jump exponentially? Not really. But we went up incrementally the last few months to $300,000 for a nice home. That will continue to creep up because there's no big crash coming."
Moffit and Still are both optimistic for the village's future saying it's on track for a healthy growth.