Canadians ante up for home renos

Renovations outpacing new home construction

Canadians spent more on improving homes in 2014 than they did on building new ones, according to a new report by real estate consultant Altus Group.

Spending in Canada reached an estimated $67.8 billion in 2014, reported Altus. In comparison, Canadians spent just $48 billion on new home construction during the same year.

While the number represents a 3.2 per cent increase over 2013, it pales in comparison to the 8.7 per cent annual averages that were seen from 2000 to 2007. Over the last seven years, renovation spending has levelled off to an average increase around three per cent.

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The home renovations industry is expected to post a three per cent increase in 2016, according to Altus.

Of the $67.8 billion spent nationally in 2014, Albertans accounted for $7.6 billion, ranking the province behind Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

The report also revealed where Canadians chose to spend their renovation dollars, with bathrooms beating out kitchens as the hottest renovation project.

According to Altus Group, one of the driving factors behind the rise in renovations has been the continuance of low interest rates, which have helped free up for homeowners looking to make changes.

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