Barrie had more than $185.3M in new residential construction, property additions in 2020, MPAC says

Chris Simon Barrie Advance

Innisfil 4th in Ontario in seasonal-unit construction. Barrie has experienced quite the building boom recently.

There was more than $185.3 million in total new assessment within the city in 2020, the not-for-profit Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) says. The information is part of MPAC’s annual assessment roll report, which shows the assessed value of all properties in Ontario is now estimated to be more than $3 trillion.

“Even during a pandemic, Ontario continues to grow,” MPAC president and chief administrative officer Nicole McNeill said. “With people spending more time at home this year, we saw a 28 per cent increase in the number of renovation permits this year as people invested in making improvements to their homes.”

MPAC defines new assessment as the value of new construction, as well as additions to existing properties, that has not previously been calculated. It is a key economic indicator for municipalities because new construction leads to permit fees, development-charge revenues and expansion of the property-tax base.

Among municipalities, Barrie finished 38th in new assessment last year, well behind leaders Toronto ($11.65 billion), Ottawa ($2.68 billion), Vaughan ($1.49 billion), Hamilton ($1.15 billion) and Mississauga ($1.14 billion). In fact, more than 60 per cent of new property value was located among 10 municipalities.

More than 36,000 homes and 16,000 condominium units were built across the province last year.

Outside the Greater Toronto Area, a major driver of property value was the construction of seasonal units. Cottages accounted for nearly $600 million in new assessment. Muskoka Lakes had the largest growth with $59 million in new assessment, followed by Lake of Bays ($41 million), Seguin Township ($37 million), Innisfil ($28 million) and Kawartha Lakes ($21 million).

Nearly 1,700 new commercial and industrial buildings were also valued across the province; the warehousing and logistics sector, in particular, saw eight new distribution centres open with a total value of more than $405 million.

Property values and new assessment numbers continue to be based on a Jan. 1, 2016, valuation date. Though MPAC is supposed to update the current value assessment of every property in Ontario every four years, that work has been postponed by the provincial government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.