A cool down across Windsor-Essex when it comes to home improvements compared to a busy period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, which tracks property data across the province of Ontario, reports residential home improvement permits decreased by almost 6.8 per cent in 2022 in this area compared to 2021.

These permits were for home improvements including renovations, additions, swimming pools, sheds, garages and decks.

Carmelo Lipsi, MPAC Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said as a result of COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, people are spending more money on travel and experiences while rising interest rates and borrowing costs have increased prices for construction projects.

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Data showing permits issued for various home improvement categories in communities across Windsor-Essex. (Image provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation)

MPAC reports despite the slow down, overall permit activity in this region is mostly above pre-COVID-19 activity.

According to MPAC, the City of Windsor recorded decreases in most of the home improvement permit categories.

Lipsi says while the home improvement market is calming, it’s still pretty healthy compared to pre-pandemic figures.

“Generally what we’re seeing is that there was a pretty significant increase in Windsor specifically,” he says. “Now we’re starting to see a little bit of a tapering off of that activity but still some significant numbers of permit activity in Windsor.”

The City of Windsor issued 466 home improvement permits in 2022, a near 28 per cent drop compared to 2021 according to MPAC figures.

Lipsi says Kingsville was one of the few municipalities that actually saw an increase in the number of permits in several categories.

“Home improvements are up in Kingsville as well, almost to the same rate of doubling. Additions, renovations, we’re seeing some significant increases, doubling what we saw pre-pandemic times. So we’re seeing a pretty significant amount of permit activity in the Town of Kingsville,” he says.

The Town of Kingsville issued 256 home improvement permits in 2022, a 54 per cent increase over the 166 permits issued in 2021. The town also saw increases for permits issued for sheds, decks and garages.

Kingsville issued 80 permits in 2022 for pools, a 105 per cent increase over the 39 recorded in 2021.