Canadians wasted no time snatching up their dream homes last year, as evidenced by requests for professional moving services surging 111% in December alone, according to HomeStars.
“We saw this across the board, and we heard from homeowners that they were looking to move outside of the cities,” Shir Magen, HomeStars’ CEO, told CREW. “With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, a need for space became apparent, and a lot of people have chosen to move outside of major cities due to COVID-19.”
Magen added that the trend was consistent through much of 2020, and that it was a stark change from only a year earlier.
“In 2019, homeowners told us, again across the board, that they were opting to stay in their homes and renovate rather than move,” she said. “In 2020, with the cards thrown out the window, some of that changed. Homeowners were looking for more space and we saw that with service requests to move outside of cities, even individual provinces.”
According to data collected by HomeStars, a home renovation review website for consumers, the wear and tear caused by people spending more time inside their homes because of the pandemic led to the bulk of the service requests it received last month. Repair or service work for faucets, fixtures and pipes increased by 190% year-over-year in December, while air ducts and vent cleaning requests shot up 72%.
According to an earlier report from HelloSafe.ca, an insurance rate comparison website, accidental home damage increased by 12.4% in 2020 precisely because more time at home raised the likelihood of mishaps occurring.
“Indeed, our numbers show that domestic incidents increased with people spending more time at home,” said Antoine Fruchard, HelloSafe’s CEO. “All the other types of claims have gone down, whether being related to water, fire, burglary or other causes. While being home, people can prevent such events from occurring. For example, water leaks could be fixed very quickly with the families at home, when in normal times there could be hours until someone gets to the house and calls for repair work. It is, therefore, logical to see home insurance claims decrease all along 2020.”
The HomeStars data also showed that bathroom renovations rose by 68% year-over-year last month, which, in many cases, could have to do with the upsurge in requests for moving services.
“Not only is this a simple project homeowners can take on, but homeowners typically see 100% of their bathroom renovations in the sale price of their homes. It’s a pretty smart reno because they get back every dollar they put in when they sell,” said Magen.
“Nationally, the average bathroom renovation costs $15,000—so it’s anywhere from $7,500 to $20,000. It’s a contained budget homeowners can invest and see a 100% ROI when they sell their home.”
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