Homes shrinking in Sarnia but getting bigger across Ontario

New detached homes in Ontario are expanding, just not in Sarnia.

According to a new report from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), the average square footage of new construction in Sarnia since 2017 is about 3 percent smaller than units built in the 1990s — 2,011 square feet, down from 2,081 square feet .

Over the same period, single-family homes across Ontario have grown by about 25%, from about 2,000 square feet in the mid-90s to about 2,500 square feet by 2022.

Greg Martino, MPAC vice president and chief valuation and standards officer, said Sarnia and surrounding areas haven’t seen the same level of change, in part because they’re smaller communities.

“although [they’re] It’s an attractive option for many homeowners because we haven’t seen the same level of growth in these areas relative to affordability relative to other parts of Ontario. “

In Lambton Shores, the size of single-family homes has increased about 8 percent over the past 25 years, from 1,716 square feet to 1,847 square feet.

Martino said it will be interesting to see if there are any changes in consumer preferences and behavior compared to the past few years in the coming period.

“Clearly, what we’ve seen through the pandemic in southern Ontario has been a shift away from large urban centers to smaller communities, with property owners and potential owners looking to get more value for their money in neighborhoods that are considered relatively affordable”

Martino said they would still see Sarnia and Lambton Shores as relatively affordable above-ground residential communities. Any development that supports growth is more inclined towards this type of construction, he said.

“And I think it speaks to the availability and affordability of land use permits in these communities, and the continued consumer preference for some extra space — backyards, easy access to parks and recreational activities — and I think that’s what’s driving this stylistic reasons for the development within these communities.”

Martino said it’s too early to tell how the province’s third home proposal will affect Sarnia-Lambton and the rest of Ontario.

“But for sure, we as a municipal property appraisal firm will be watching this closely to make sure we accurately reflect what’s changing across Ontario’s markets.”

MPAC said apartment development in the area had tapered off in recent years, so they had no information to share at this time.

For the full report, apartments are getting smaller and houses are getting bigger, Click here.

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