Savings, not credit would finance most renovations

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With heightened concerns about unsercurred credit, in particular the use of HELOCs by homeowners, as new survey reveals the majority of them say they would finance any home renovations with their own money, rather than credit.

According to the latest RBC Homeownership Poll, 83 per cent of Canadians would rather renovate their homes than find a new place to live if their current home need major work.

When asked about their renovation budget, more than three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) estimated they would spend less than $10,000 on their renovations. The majority of renovators (71 per cent) said they would mostly finance these projects with cash or savings, while lines of credit (15 per cent), home equity refinancing (13 per cent), credit cards (10 per cent) and personal loans (4 per cent) trailed well behind.

Reasons for renovating ranged from wanting to make their home more attractive (66 per cent), increasing the value (46 per cent) and maintaining or repairing their home (39 per cent). Four-in-ten Canadians (39 per cent) said that they want to renovate to increase energy efficiency.

The rooms that typically add the most value to a house - bathrooms and kitchens - were the top home improvement projects on the minds of Canadians, tied at 43 per cent, while 33 per cent plan to renovate their basement. Almost half of respondents (46 per cent) plan to do much of the work themselves, compared to 42 per cent who expect to hire a contractor for their renovations (up five percentage points from 37 per cent in 2010).

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