Florida had 23% of all US residential home sales to non-resident foreigners from June 2013-June 2014. Of the $7.97 billion purchased by these non-residents, 32% of sales were from Canadians. That’s the highest percentage of Canadians purchasing in the state since 2011. The UK which held the #1 spot for years had only 7% of all Florida buyers.
Canadians are mainly still purchasing properties for vacation homes but the number of Canadians purchasing for pure investment has increased exponentially. Overall, the price point for half of the Canadians tends to be under $200,000. The median price is $260,800 and 89% paid cash. Lending has become easier for buyers with more being able to obtain US mortgages.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median national home price of all sales in March was $199,575. From March 2013-2014, Canadians accounted for 15% of all international sales totaling $13.8 billion – the highest in international transactions. International sales across the US were up 35% since last year totaling $92.2 billion.
Inventory continues to be a problem for Florida agents. Buyers are still flooding the market but finding a very narrow selection. In many cases, if they do find something they like, they sometimes end up competing in a multiple offer situation with other buyers. For this reason, many purchasers are now back to purchasing new builds/pre-construction and spending a little more to get exactly what they want.
According to Florida Realtors, Canadians are purchasing all across the state but tend to favor Tampa/St. Petersburg, Naples/Marco Island, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral/Fort Myers, and Sarasota/Bradenton. While condos tend to be preferred, the percentage of single family home buyers has increased. The resort areas are seeing the most buyers but suburban areas are becoming more popular as buyers spread out to different areas in search of deals.
Outside of Florida, Canadians have been investing in Las Vegas, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Buyers should work closely with a Certified International Property Specialist whenever investing to ensure they are being properly represented and advised on protecting their assets. Have you seen the story about the man trading his house in Detroit for an iPhone for he cannot sell or rent his “cheap” investment property even at $3000? It pays to work with a professional who knows the market well and has a team of experts to guide you through the transaction.