Twice as Many Canadians Are Buying US Properties

John in Real Estate Trends

Now we know why the real estate market is cooling in Canada; Canadians are flocking to the US to buy properties.  From today's Wall Street Journal:

...Canadians started to snap up property in the U.S., drawn by the buying power of the newly strong Canadian dollar and the depressed prices of American real estate. The largest proportion of foreign buyers of U.S. homes from May 2007 to May 2008 -- 24% -- were Canadian, double the percentage a year earlier, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors.

Most Canadian buyers head for the Sunbelt, with Florida accounting for a third of all of their purchases, the report said. The Realtor group estimates there were 7,200 Canadian buyers of Florida homes in the period covered by the report, more than double the 3,500 a year earlier. In some Florida resort communities, so many Quebec residents have bought second homes that French is now commonly spoken.

French speaking Canadians are so common in many condo communities that association newsletters and community announcements are all written in French and English.  But not all Americans are ready to give up their burgers and fries for baguettes, pâtés and crudités.

From the WSJ:

That bothers Ethelreda Farnsworth, a retired fashion coordinator from Pittsburgh who has spent winters at Hawaiian Gardens since 1985. She says she no longer attends events like the annual New Year's Eve celebration because she doesn't speak French and doesn't know what her neighbors are talking about. Instead, she and the remaining American residents gather for a party in her two-bedroom condo. "We feel like outsiders," she says.

Not only are American's property values plummeting, but they now feel like outsiders in their own community.  That has got to hurt.

John Pasalis is a sales associate at Prudential Properties Plus in Toronto and a founder of Realosophy. Email John

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