Stay-at-home = spend on home

More than 106,000 Ontario homeowners obtained residential building permits in 2020 – a 9% increase from the year before, with permits for home improvements jumping by 15%. We noted that the number of residential building permits had dropped in 2018 (by 18% from the year before), increased slightly in 2019 (up 0.3%), then surged in 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic likely put more of a focus on the home,” says Carmelo Lipsi, MPAC ‎Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Whether it was because people were spending so much more time at home, or maybe had extra disposable income because of cancelled travel, there was a significant increase in demand for building permits to upgrade residential properties.”

In 2020, during a time of pandemic restrictions that included stay-at-home orders, residential home improvement building permits increased by more than 7,500 (to 59,529, up 15% from the year before) and nearly 10,000 above 2018 totals. These permits were for additions, renovations, garages, swimming pools, sheds and finished basements.

For a breakdown of each type of permit displayed by region, select a link below.

Map graphic showing numbers of residential home improvement building permit numbers across Ontario.PDF | HTML