Friday, May 23, 2008

Homeowners spent $19.7B on renovations in 2007

About 1.5 million Canadian homeowners spent nearly $19.7 billion in 2007 painting their walls, rolling out new carpeting and hanging wallpaper, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Thursday in an annual survey.

On average, consumers spent $12,800 on their home renovation projects, the federal agency reported.

Sticking to a budget was a priority for 46 per cent of consumers who refurbished their homes, while 37 per cent said they forked over more than they had planned. The remaining 17 per cent said they spent less than they had expected to pay.

The do-it-yourself movement slipped slightly, dropping from 34 per cent of total renovations in 2006 to 31 per cent in 2007. Forty-one per cent of consumers who did renovations said they hired a contractor to complete the entire job, while 26 per cent hired someone to do a portion of their project.

Consumers were surveyed in St. John's, Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Winnipeg led the country with 36 per cent of respondents saying they spent $1,000 or more on renovations, followed by St. John's and Halifax at 35 per cent.

"[When] Canadian homeowners in these 10 centres surveyed were asked about their plans for this year, 40 per cent indicated that they intend to spend $1,000 or more on renovations by the end of 2008," Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC, said in a release.

The top five renovation projects in 2007 were:

Remodelling of rooms.Painting or wallpapering.Flooring.Windows and doors.Landscaping.

The federal agency also reported six per cent of households in 10 Canadian cities said they planned on purchasing a home in 2008, down from eight per cent in 2007. Home buying interests were strongest in Calgary at eight per cent — a decline from 14 per cent in 2007.

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