Canadian homeowners are renovating their properties to avoid having to buy new homes, according to a new poll released by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

Nearly half (48%) of Canadian homeowners are choosing to renovate or improve their homes this year, up from 37% in 2016. Of those choosing to renovate, over half are doing so to avoid have to compete for homes in the nation’s tumultuous housing market.

“One of the interesting things that we found in the CIBC poll is that particularly in the GTA, some of the Canadians who really felt that they wanted to choose to stay in their home wanted to renovate as opposed to jumping into the housing market,” said Kathleen Woodard, regional head and senior vice-president at CIBC.

The national average for renovation budgets in Canada is $11,000, according to Woodard. It’s important to note that the average budget varies by region. For example, the average renovation budget for homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area is approximately $21,000. Regardless of the variations, Woodward said the cost of a renovation may be less daunting to homeowners than the investment currently required to purchase a home.

“Well, obviously, I think with $11,000 as the national average, it’s certainly going to be a lesser investment than purchasing a new home,” she said. “It’s just really reflective of how Canadians are conscious of the fact that we have record … household debt, and record-level housing prices.”

Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor and renovation television personality, said that while moving can address a homeowner’s need for space and better living conditions, renovating can impart a similar benefit.

“These findings show that the decision to either renovate or relocate comes down to your financial situation, emotional attachment to your home and ultimate real-estate goals,” McGillivray said. “While moving into a new home can help address your need for space, a renovation can often help achieve the same goal, while keeping you in your neighbourhood and, if done right, adding value to your home.”

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