Canadians boost Florida real estate sales this winter, say local realtors

A story broadcast on WZVN in the Fort Myers-Naples area of Florida this week said Canadian buyers have been paying cash and buying up property, leading to expectations that this year’s market will be better than the last.

“We sell weather. We don’t’ sell jobs or anything else,” Carol Carpenter, a realtor in Bonita Springs ,told the station.

Another realtor said nearly all deals this year have been made with cash, with buyers focusing on second homes for investment purposes.

One buyer quoted in the story, Toronto-native Claire Chmela, decided to move to Florida permanently, buying a home in Fort Myers two years ago.

“Values up in Canada hardly made a blip,” she said to WZVN. “They’re really remained at the high levels like they were.

Down here, it’s just a great value for your dollar, especially considering the fact that the exchange rate has gone down as well.”

In related news, the budget submitted last week by U.S. President Barack Obama proposes a $5.50 surcharge to flights to the U.S. of which Canadians had previously been exempt. The Walton Sun quoted Canadian Snowbird Association

President Bob Slack called for the measure to be removed from the budget. He also asked that the 182 days currently allowed for Canadians citizens to stay in the U.S. at one time be extended for seniors.

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