Renovation Spending In 2009 Up By $4.5 Billion Across 10 Major Centres

An estimated 2.1 million households in 10 major surveyed centres indicated they completed renovations last year according to the Renovation and Home Purchase Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The average cost of renovations was approximately $12,100.

The Renovation and Home Purchase Survey reports on actual renovation expenditures made in the previous year, as well as intentions to buy or renovate a home in 2010 in the following 10 major centres: St. John’s, Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.1 The survey provides timely information on renovation market trends.

“More than $25.8 billion was spent on renovations in 2009 across the 10 major surveyed centres, an increase of about $4.5 billion compared to 2008,” said Gustavo Durango, Senior Economist at CMHC. “As well, when Canadian homeowners were asked about their renovation plans for this year, 43 per cent indicated that they intend to spend $1,000 or more by the end of 2010.”

Half of the households surveyed reported that the cost of renovations undertaken in 2009 was in line with what they had budgeted, while 35 per cent said that they went over their planned budget for the renovation. Twenty-seven per cent of households that undertook a renovation project hired a contractor for a portion of the work. Twenty five per cent of renovations in 2009 were completed by “do it yourselfers”. However, many households (42 per cent) chose to contract out the entire renovation project.

Across the surveyed centres, 76 per cent of households who undertook renovations in 2009 paid for the work from savings, a slight increase from 75 per cent in 2008.

The main reason given by households for renovating in 2009 was to update, add value or to prepare to sell (52 per cent). Thirty-two per cent said the main reason for renovating was that their home needed repairs. The top three renovations completed last year were: remodelling rooms (34 per cent); painting or wallpapering (29 per cent); hard surface flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting (27 per cent).

Of the 10 major surveyed centres, the highest percentage of homeowner households that renovated in 2009 was in St. John’s at 59 per cent, followed by Ottawa at 58 per cent, and Halifax and Winnipeg (both at 55 per cent). The centre with the lowest proportion was Montréal at 45 per cent.

Renovation intentions for 2010, across the 10 surveyed centres, are highest in St. John’s, where 55 per cent of consumers indicated they plan to undertake renovations costing $1,000 or more. This is followed by Halifax, Winnipeg and Ottawa (all at 50 per cent). The proportion of potential renovators is lowest in Québec City and Montréal (both at 39 per cent).

On the home purchasing front, six per cent of all households indicated they bought a home in 2009, unchanged from 2008. The largest share of homebuyers was in Edmonton (nine per cent), followed by St. John’s, Quebec, Ottawa and Winnipeg (all at seven per cent). The lowest share of homebuyers was in Toronto (five per cent).

Five per cent of households across the surveyed centres intend to purchase a home that will be used as a primary residence in 2010.

Home buying intentions are strongest in Edmonton where seven per cent of households reported that they are considering buying a home this year, up from six per cent in 2009. Purchase intentions are the lowest in St. John’s and Ottawa at four per cent (these were the only jurisdictions reporting lower intentions than last year, a decline from five per cent in 2009).

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.