Canadians did less renovating last year as costs rise

The Renovation and Home Purchase Survey covered 10 major centres in Canada, each of which saw a decline in renovations.

The results showed 1.9 million households had completed their renovations, representing 42% of homeowner households. That compares to 2009, when 2.1 million homeowner households, or 50%, indicated they had done renovations.

CMHC did not elaborate as to the cause of the decline in the report, although it did show renovation costs have significantly increased since 2009.

Nationally, the average cost of renovations was at $12,972 in 2010, up 7.2% from 2009 when it was $12,100.

Renovation costs were highest in Vancouver, where the average cost went from $13,457 to $15,709, up 16.7%. They remained lowest in Winnipeg at $10,339, but that amount was up sharply by 28.9% from 2009 when it was $8,023.

St. John’s saw the highest percentage of renovations per homeowner of any of the 10 centres in 2010, at 48%, followed by Halifax and Ottawa at 47%. The lowest rate was in Calgary, at 39%.

Of the renovations completed in 2010, 73% were improvements or alterations, 46% were repair or maintenance, and 19% included both. Alterations were highest in Edmonton, with 79% of renovating households going this route. Quebec and Montreal were lowest, at 64% and 65% respectively.

For maintenance, Halifax and Winnipeg had the highest incidence, at 48%, followed by Quebec and Montreal at 47%. Edmonton and Vancouver were lowest, at 43% and 42% respectively.

Painting or wallpapering was among the most popular renovations projects of those surveyed, at about 25%. Remodelling of rooms was also high, done by 25% of respondents, and hard surface flooring and wall-to-wall carpeting came in at 24%.

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