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This Once Unlikely Home Upgrade Is On The Rise

This Once Unlikely Home Upgrade is on the Rise

Amid a surge of renovations, more Ontarians are taking the plunge and installing swimming pools, making it one of the most popular home improvement projects in 2020.

The province’s Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) has reported a 53% jump in the number of permits issued for residential installations last year — nearly 6,800 versus approximately 4,580 the year prior.

The spike in swimming pool permits during the pandemic was in stark contrast to 2018 and 2019, which both saw sinking numbers.

Ottawa took Ontario’s swimming pool crown in 2020, issuing 936 permits — an increase of 57% from the previous year and more than double any other municipality. Hamilton was next, followed by London and Burlington. Percentage-wise, Milton far eclipsed every other city, with a 1,550% increase (165 permits compared to just 10 in 2019).

Historically, installation and maintenance of a swimming pool has been viewed as an expensive investment. While it can add value to your property, it’s not necessarily by an amount that makes it worth the cost. The return on investment when you sell your home is dependent on a number of factors, including whether you live in a neighbourhood where pools are the norm, the style of pool fits the neighbourhood, the pool doesn’t take up the entire backyard, the pool is well-maintained and you can attract the right buyer.

Only time will tell if this was a one-time blip or whether swimming pools will continue to be a popular upgrade to residential properties.

More than 106,000 homeowners obtained residential building permits in 2020 — a 9% increase from the year before, with permits for home improvements jumping by 15%, according to MPAC. In addition to swimming pools, these permits were for additions, renovations, garages, sheds and finished basements.