Canadian Homeowners Renovate Less in 2010


A 2010 ‘Renovation and Home Purchasing Survey’ by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) revealed slightly fewer property owners embarked on home renovations than in 2009.

How come? consulted on possible reasons. Read on below for our thoughts.

Incidentally, the photo above is a work-in-progress shot of our newest project, located on Prince Edward Island! Situated in the heart of quaint downtown Charlottetown, this vintage shingle house bastardized legal triplex, co-purchased with my dear friend James, is now in the throes of a substantial retrofit.

How this frayed and forlorn tenement was identified as a sensible investment purchase, and its subsequent top to bottom transformation deemed economically feasible makes for a compelling property adventure. Beginning this August, a series of posts called ‘The Tales of Upper Hillsborough’ will present our ‘lifestyle approach’ to building a real estate portfolio, discuss some of the challenges and opportunities specific to income property ownership, plus reveal some daring design decisions. Whether you are fascinated by real estate development, property renovation or interior design, this project promises to be both educational and entertaining. Exciting!

What can I say? When you live the life of the housing obsessed, the plaster dust never settles!

~ Steven 

Home Renovations Fall: CMHC

Heather Wright, Real Estate Trade Journalist
Published on, a resource for Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals, July 5 2011.

According to new data from CMHC, home renovation in Canada has fallen slightly in the last year.

CMHC said in a release, “An estimated 1.9 million households, surveyed in 10 major centres, indicated they completed renovations last year, a slight decrease from the 2.1 million households that completed a renovation in 2009. This represents 42 per cent of homeowner households (down from 50 per cent in 2009), according to the Renovation and Home Purchase Survey.”
Although there has reportedly been a swell in assets as well as in equity in many areas around the country, these figures represent a modest decline on the renovation front.  So, the question is posed- how come?

Speaking to, Steven Fudge, Sales Representative, Bosley R.E. Ltd ( has a theory: “With media headlines and financial experts touting points of view that are both conflicting and inconsistent, I expect a lot of people who may have otherwise renovated decided to exercise caution before spending money on capital improvements.”

Or as Fudge puts it, it may just be a case of pausing to reap rewards: “ It may also indicate that a lot of people have already completed their major renovations, and are now enjoying them before embarking on additional improvements. “
Looking at various regions, the area with the highest percentage of home renovations was St. John’s NFLD, followed closely by Halifax, Ottawa and Winnipeg.  The region with the lowest percentage was Calgary. Similarly, renovation intentions were the highest in St. John’s, where 50% of those surveyed indicated that they intended to take on renovation projects that were $1000 or more, followed by Halifax, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Potential renovations were lowest in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

“Almost $23 billion was spent on renovations in 2010 across the 10 major surveyed centres,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC. “As well, when Canadian homeowners were asked about their renovation plans for this year, 39 per cent indicated that they intend to spend $1,000 or more by the end of 2011.”

While plans to work on residences may have fallen slightly, plans to purchase them have remained steady: “On the home purchasing front, six per cent of all households indicated they bought a home in 2010, unchanged from 2009. The largest share of homebuyers was in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax and St. John’s (all at seven per cent). The lowest share of homebuyers was in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal (five per cent each).”

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