According to Macleans magazine, Canadians are spending more and more renovating their homes. In fact spending has doubled, to nearly four percent of our GDP, since the late 1990s. This change has been attributed to a number of factors including: low interest rates, a "white hot housing market", and a surge in Canadian renovation TV programmes. Shows like Property Brothers, Holmes on Homes and Love it or List it are taking the airwaves by storm. The Home and Garden Television network's Canadian spokeswoman says that three out of every four Canadian reno shows make it big on American TV. How does this affect us here in Canada? The fact that the shows are moving into the United States is bringing more and more Americans into viewing our non-flag-adorned porches and our quiet family neighbourhoods and its bringing more and more into the country itself. Some come for the neighbourhoods, some come for the scenery, and some for profit. All, however, are boosting our economy and helping drive interest rates lower and creating a huge market by comparison to our neighbours to the south. These lower interest rates are making it easier and easier to borrow money, that paired with the sudden increase in do-it-yourself renovation programmes are driving people to fix old issues, add in that new deck they've been thinking about and just about any other renovations that they can think of. A study showed that for every $1 increase in wealth a household receives they spend on average a nickel on home improvements, a sizeable amount of which goes into renovations. This is not necessarily a bad thing as a simple improvement of installing granite countertops in a kitchen (about $2,000) can raise the house's value by about $10,000 if the buyers "fall in love" with the kitchen.
Stay tuned for more on the Canadian Reno Boom!