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The Globe and Mail

Fewer homeowners planning renovation projects this year

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Fewer Canadian homeowners are planning renovations this year, possibly reflecting increased concern over household debt, according to the Bank of Montreal's annual home renovation report.

The online survey conducted for BMO by Leger Marketing and released Monday found that 51 per cent of homeowners plan a renovation project this year, down from 62 per cent in 2011.

"The scaled-back plans for home renovations likely reflect increased caution on the part of households as they continue to reduce discretionary spending to rein in debt," said Sal Guatieri, senior economist, BMO Nesbitt Burns.

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"After averaging 9 per cent in the past decade, consumer loan growth has slowed to almost two per cent recently, suggesting Canadians are taking recent debt warnings to heart," Mr. Guatieri said.

Among other things, the survey indicated that single family homeowners far outpaced their condo-dwelling counterparts — 62 per cent versus 41 per cent respectively — when it came to renovation plans.

By region, 50 per cent of respondents in British Columbia were planning a renovation project, 52 per cent in Alberta, 67 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 55 per cent in Ontario, 37 per cent in Quebec and 59 per cent in the Atlantic provinces.

The five most popular projects under consideration were: kitchen (39 per cent), bathroom (35 per cent), basement (16 per cent), bedroom (11 per cent) and family room (10 per cent).

The survey was conducted March 19-22 among a sample group of 1,000 Canadian homeowners with a claimed margin or error or plus or minus three percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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