Swimming pools were a buoyant property upgrade option in 2020. Ontario’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) reports a 53 per cent jump in the number of permits issued for residential installations last year — nearly 6,800 versus about 4,580 in 2019. The upsurge reversed two previous years of year-over-year declines in swimming pool permits.
“Many property owners evidently decided to take the plunge during the pandemic,” concludes Carmelo Lipsi, vice president and chief operating officer with the provincial evaluation agency, which closely monitors property data. “This is another indication that people were very focused on their homes in 2020.”
Ottawa accounted for more than 9 per cent of the new installations province-wide, with 936 new pools added to the city’s residential property base. That was a 57 per cent increase from 2019 and more than double the number of pool permits issued in any other Ontario municipality.
Hamilton was the next most active market, with 428 new pool permits. However, Milton registered the most striking increase, as 165 property owners applied for pool permits in 2020 compared to just 10 in 2019.
“Time will tell if this was a one-time blip or swimming pools will continue to be a popular upgrade to residential properties” Lipsi says. “These trends tell us about property owners’ priorities and how the marketplace is evolving.”