Renovation Decisions Still Based On Pandemic Living


More than half of Canadians renovated their home last year for personal/non-return on investment (ROI) purposes, says a report by RE/MAX Canada. The ‘RE/MAX 2021 Renovation Investment Report’ found lifestyle impact was the top reason for renovating during the course of the pandemic, ahead of motives such as making essential renovations to accommodate life in lockdown (17 per cent) or to increase the value of the home with the intention of selling in the next one to three years (16 per cent). Despite the trend of home renovations for personal use and enjoyment, 59 per cent of Canadians still said they always consider the return on investment that a renovation will have on their home's overall market value, so while there is a current renovation trend based on lifestyle aspirations, practicality is never far from the surface. "The notion of the home as an investment continues to be an important consideration for Canadian homeowners; however, they clearly value the home for what it is meant to be: a place to live and enjoy spending time," says Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "The pandemic has influenced virtually every aspect of our lives, including what Canadians want and need in a home. The uncertainty also compelled many sellers to move to the sidelines or renovate their home to accommodate current quality-of-life needs, which has further tightened market conditions." This lack of inventory is expected to be a continuing factor in the spring housing market. In its market outlook for 2021, RE/MAX identified seller's market conditions in 82 per cent of regions, with a spike in demand for single-family dwellings putting additional pressure on already limited supply. The strong seller's markets nearly one year after the start of cross-country lockdowns means Canadians are still making renovation decisions based on pandemic living, with over half (55 per cent) of survey respondents stating that they have already done or would like to do a home renovation within the next year. Of this group, 35 per cent say they would opt for minor renovations, such as painting.