Location. Location. Location.
That is one of the reasons why Saanich’s Pearkes Recreation Centre continues to host the Victoria Fall Home Expo, now in its 32nd edition.
The show, running Friday through Sunday, features 115 exhibitors from the home building and renovation industry.
“It’s central to all of Victoria,” said Darcy Hope of Evergreen Exhibitions, who manages the show. “Everything feeds towards it.” Other reasons include its size, availability and user-friendliness, he said.
Hope expects the show will attract anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors. They will be able to learn about the latest trends in home construction and renovation from 115 vendors, most from the Greater Victoria region. Products on display range from traditional home items, boutique items, and many items only available at trade shows. Visitors can also check out a Tesla Model X, an all-electric, luxury SUV.
He estimates the show itself will generate about $2 million in business for the home construction and renovation industry over the course of the actual show. Looking over the next two years, Hope estimates that the show could generate about $50 million in business for the home construction and renovation industry.
This figure points to the financial prowess of an industry that has experienced perhaps nothing less than a Golden Age in recent years. According to 2016 statistics from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the investment value of new homes, renovations and repairs exceeded $138 billion. The industry also employs 800,000 Canadians.
According to a 2017 CIBC report, 48 per cent of Canadian homeowners plan to repair or improve their home this year, up from 37 per cent in 2016. But the same report also suggests that homeowners are becoming more frugal, spending an average of $11,800, the lowest figure in three years.
But this national figure does not show regional variation. While Ontario residents lead the way by planning to spend an average of $16,000 in renovations, British Columbians follow with $13,200.
This apparent slow-down in home renovations has happened against the backdrop of rising household debt and housing prices that have remained at record highs across Canada.
High housing costs can deter home renovations because it might leave people with less money in their pockets, said Hope. On the other hand, the strong real estate market has also historically benefited the home construction and renovation industry. “As long as people are buying and selling homes within their means, they will want to do something,” he said.
Not surprisingly, companies that stage shows like the Victoria Fall Home Expo have benefited too.
“It has been a boost for our business,” said Hope.