2014: Year of the Home Reno

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Canadians Opening their Wallets to Improve Home Value

GREATER TORONTO – These days, it’s hard to surf through Canadian TV channels without seeing at least one or two home improvement shows like the ones on HGTV Canada – a relatively new specialty network that puts the focus on real estate, curb appeal, and home renovation.

According to new numbers revealed by the real estate researchers at the Altus Group, an abundance of these TV programs (and their online counterparts) helped drive Canadian households to spend $63.4 billion on home renovations in the year 2013. That represents roughly 3.7 per cent of Canada’s total gross domestic product (GDP) for the year – an impressive figure that shows just how serious we Canadians are about the value of our homes.

The study suggests that the possibility of a home renovation depends on two factors – willingness, and ability – that are both impacted by the widespread availability of renovation advice via shows like Reno Rookies and Disaster DIY.

“Willingness [to renovate], at least in part, can be attributed to what is sometimes referred to as the ‘HGTV’ effect… many homeowners did not know how badly they really wanted new designer kitchens and bathrooms,” note the authors. “The increasing willingness and desire was reinforced by improved ability/affordability to undertake renovations.”

According to the National Post’s Garry Marr, these numbers mark a new Canadian record, and – most impressively – represent a 15th straight year of increased home renovation spending.

“It’s not just leaky roofs that are part of that spending,” notes Marr. “Three of every four renovation dollars are being spent on real home improvement.”

Altus also anticipates further increases for the years 2014 and 2015 – with respective 2.9 per cent and 3.2 per cent renovation spending increases forecasted. That’s a positive for Greater Toronto, where according to BILD, the renovation industry “is responsible for creating close to 100,000 new jobs every year” and annually generates about $5.4 billion in wages.

Back in March, a CIBC-commissioned poll revealed that 40 per cent of Canadian homeowners planned to renovate their homes within 12 months, with an average earmarked budget of $19,754 – a roughly 30 per cent increase over the previous year’s average budget of $15,300. After “basic home maintenance,” the most popular high-priority tasks were bathroom upgrades (33 per cent of respondents) and improvements in the kitchen (32 per cent).

Cool Reno Ideas from Right Here on GTA Real Estate News

Are you anxious to hop aboard the renovation bandwagon, but not sure where to start? Check out some of the recent features we’ve done on projects that can enhance your home value while adding some aesthetic appeal:

Remember: an investment in a needed home upgrade is an investment in the future value of your home! This is especially true for renovations that boost efficiency, or enhance your property’s curb appeal.

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