As of September 1st, 2016 the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) implemented a new measurement standard (RMS). As a result of the many lawsuits in Edmonton for discrepancies in square footage in real estate transactions, RECA jumped into action.
The RMS is calculated differently depending on the type of property you are dealing with….
Single family detached homes are measured from the exterior of the foundation of the home and for the 2nd and 3rd storeys, measured from the interior and adding the wall thickness based on construction materials used. This has not really changed for these types of homes as this was pretty much the same standard.
Attached homes (semi-detached & townhouses) are now being restricted to measuring from the interior of the home and excluding any wall thickness. The exterior wall(s) can still be measured like a detached home so it will be a blended set of measurement standards for these types of properties.
Apartment condos are strictly measured from the interior ‘paint to paint’ and excluding all wall thickness.
The homes that are impacted the most are attached homes and apartment condos. You can expect on average that the old square footage under the old measurement standards to decrease by 5-10%. This can have an impact on perceived value in the market but is crucial in this new environment to ensure you are representing the property correctly and protecting yourself from a potential lawsuit. Realtors and buyers are being more informed on why a property’s square footage is advertised based on the RMS. Remember, the actuall size of the property hasn’t changed, just the measurement standard.
At the end of the day this is a good step to ensure a more uniform and accurate standard for measurements. Everyone benefits from this change.
For more information on the RMS from RECA click here.