Over Half Of Canadian Homeowners Are Planning Renovations After A Year Of The Pandemic


After a year of the pandemic, Canadian homeowners are more likely to plan renovations than buy and sell their current property or purchase an investment home, despite an active housing market, a Scotiabank poll revealed. Six in ten Canadian homeowners are planning to renovate in the next 2 years, with backyards, kitchens and bathrooms topping the list.

For those looking to get into the housing market, the pandemic continues to play a strong role in their decision making. More than half of Canadians (57%) believe now is a good time to buy due to the low interest rate environment, up nearly 20% since August 2020. While younger Canadians (39%) say the pandemic has accelerated their plans to purchase a home, which has more than doubled in just over 6 months.

According to findings from the 2021 Scotiabank Housing Poll:

  • Over a third of Canadians (36%) believe housing prices will come down over the next 12 months as a result of the pandemic, up from 25% in 2020.
  • Canadians in the Atlantic provinces are least likely to put their home buying plans on hold as a result of the pandemic negatively impacting their finances (24%) compared to those in housing hotspots like BC, Quebec and Ontario.
  • Among Canadian homeowners planning renovations, one in four are looking to start in the next six months.
  • Almost half of millennials (48%) are considering moving out of the city to get more for their money, compared with 27% of those aged 35-54 and 15% of those aged 55+.

“The Canadian housing market has transformed over the past year, with record low interest rates, demand for housing outweighing supply, rising house prices and more Canadians making investments in their homes,” says John Webster, Head of Real Estate Secured Lending & Scotia Mortgage Authority at Scotiabank. “No matter where you are in the home buying or renovation journey, Scotiabank is here to help Canadians with competitive mortgage rates and flexible products that allow customers to tap into the money in their home.”

Finding the finances

Whether Canadians are buying a new home or renovating, personal savings is the number one way they plan to finance a down payment or home upgrades, signaling that Canadians have been able to put more into their savings over the past year. For existing homeowners or first-time buyers, a home equity line of credit can be a valuable resource when looking to make other investments.

Two in three Canadians polled said the ability to use the invested equity from their home for other financial needs was a deciding factor for them when choosing a mortgage. However, the study reveals that just over half of Canadians (53%) are not familiar enough with how a Home Equity Line of credit works in order to be able to explain it to a friend.

Canadians have many opportunities to leverage current interest rates in this environment and products such as our Scotia Total Equity® Plan (STEP), which allows you to use the equity in your home1 to increase your borrowing power and achieve your financial goals whether you’re looking to invest more in your property, buy a new home or plan for your future.

Scotiabank 2021 Housing Poll Highlights:

Millennial Mindset

  • Younger Canadians (18-34 years) are more likely to have accelerated their home buying plans in order to take advantage of lower interest rates (39%).
  • Nearly two thirds (60%) of younger Canadians (18-34 years) are unfamiliar with a Home Equity Line and couldn’t explain it to a friend.
  • Canadians aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to have bought their home within the past year (23%).
  • Almost half of millennials polled (48%) are considering moving out of the city to get more for their money, compared with 27% of those ages 35-54 and 15% of those ages 55+.

Renovating or Moving on

  • One-in-four Canadians who are currently renting (24%) plan to buy a home in the next 2 years.
  • About half of Canadians (49%) planning to purchase an additional property will pay for the down payment with their savings.
  • Regionally, plans for renovations are highest in the prairie provinces, with 70% in Manitoba/Saskatchewan, and 62% in Alberta.
  • Top three renovation spaces for Canadians: backyards (33%), bathrooms (30%) and kitchens (28%).

The Great Migration

  • Over a quarter (29%) of Canadians say they are considering moving or buying a home out of the city to get more for their money.
  • More Canadians (30%) in housing hotspots like BC, Ontario and Quebec are considering moving or buying a home outside of the city, compared to only 19% of Canadians in the Atlantic region.

SOURCE Scotiabank


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