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Canadian home renovation boom fueled by seniors

The cliché of the 50 or 60-something couple, selling their home and flying south to a condo in the sun seems to be going the way of the dodo bird. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), older households have become a driving force in Canada’s home renovation boom.

This trend can be attributed to several factors. The renovation drivers include a desire to age in place, improving home equity and a lifestyle trend that sees adult children remaining at home for a longer period than they once did.

CMHC data suggests that “pre-senior” households aged 55 – 64 will comprise nearly 1.1 million households in Ontario by 2017. Pair that with statistic showing that households headed by members over 40 years of age are more likely to renovate, and you can see just how vital this demographic is to Canada’s home renovation industry.

Aging in Place

Approximately 85% of Canadians 55 and over state having a strong desire to remain in their homes, rather than relocating to age-specific living facilities. With independence underscoring the belief systems of the baby boomer generation practically from birth, it’s no surprise that it remains what drives them now in their senior years.

Certain home renovations and modifications need to be put into place in order for older adults to safely and comfortably remain in their homes into their later years. These renovations can include widening doorways to accommodate mobility devices, safety-related renovations in the bathroom, and relocation of the master suite to the main floor.

Canadian home renovationImproving Home Equity

Since 2012, home equity has been on a continual upswing.  In fact, CMHC statistics show that home equity has grown by 14% since 2012. Pair this equity upswing with lower interest rates, and the result is numerous homeowners feeling greater financial confidence in their ability to make home improvements.

With Canada’s red hot housing market showing no immediate signs of slowing down, it isn’t any wonder why so many existing homeowners feel confident taking on extensive renovation projects.

Multigenerational Living

The number of multigenerational households had been on a gradual rise since the early 2000s. Stemming from the economic downturn, statistic show that 19% of North Americans have lived in a multigenerational household since 2014. This can be adults children remaining at home with senior parents, seniors coming to live with adult children –any household that contains two or more adult generations.

In addition to financial influences, there are cultural reason for this continuing trend. The influx of immigrant families may also contribute to the increased number of multigenerational home. A recent CMHC report on Housing for Older Canadians cites that many recent immigrant seniors live with their adult children. In addition to that, there are also many cultures where it is a traditional part of the cultures for seniors to live with their adult children.

In terms of how this impacts the home renovation industry, there are two primary motivators for renovating the multigenerational home: 1) the need to make homes more accessible for seniors and 2) a desire to create separate spaces within the home for extended family members.

Invest in High Quality Contractors

There are few things more heartbreaking than to see an older homeowner fall victim to shoddy “home improvement” work. Yet the unfortunate truth is that those who prey on the innocent often see seniors as particularly easy targets.

This is why it is especially important for older homeowners to connect with reliable, highly-experienced contractors. Take the time to perform extensive research into the past projects, references, and licensing of any home improvement professional before hiring them.

To find local home improvement professionals in your area, visit the extensive listings on


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