By Canadian Contractor staff
MyChoice reveals the top 15 cities with best and worst kept homes in OntarioCanadian Contractor
Jan. 2, 2024 – As of December 2023, the financial landscape for homeowners has seen drastic changes. With HELOC rates now exceeding 7.5 per cent – a stark increase from the historical low of 2.35 per cent in 2021, households are finding it increasingly challenging to manage maintenance costs. Moreover, with the Bank of Canada showing little sign of reducing rates in Q1 of 2024, Ontarians are cautioned that the reduced capacity for minor repairs could lead to more significant issues in their homes.
According to MyChoice, the disparities in home maintenance across Ontario cities might affect province-wide home insurance rates. The company’s latest study, drawing from the 2021 Census data, revealed that 7.5 per cent of households in Thunder Bay report the need for major repairs, the highest in the province, while Vaughan is at the opposite end of the spectrum with only 2.5 per cent. “Major repairs needed” refers to significant issues such as defective plumbing, electrical wiring, or structural repairs.
Aren Mirzaian, CEO of MyChoice, comments on the broader economic context: “The upsurge in HELOC rates is just one piece of the puzzle. We’re seeing the inflation of home insurance rates in Canada, which, according to the Q3 Consumer Price Index, home and mortgage insurance rates have increased by 8.6% in 2023. The largest contributor to this would be rising home replacement costs due to inflation of building materials.”
This inflationary pressure on home insurance rates also coincides with a period of heightened natural disasters in Canada, contributing to an increase in claims and subsequent rise in premiums. Homeowners are encouraged to mitigate claims risk in general by maintaining their homes to prevent minor issues from evolving into larger, more costly repairs.