Thursday, September 11, 2008

Canadians Now Biggest Foreign Buyers Of U.S. Homes

Andre LeBel knew he had come home when he walked into a bar in St. Petersburg, Fla., ordered a Bloody Caesar and the bartender made it without cocking an eyebrow.

The spicy drink -- a blend of vodka, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and tomato and clam juices -- is popular in his native Canada, but until recently it was virtually unknown elsewhere. That was before 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. To read more click here.

September 5, 2008