Canadians selling US real estate

Many Canadian investors in one US Sun Belt region are taking the opportunity to cash out, feeling the double-whammy impact of appreciating values and the Canadian-US currency exchange rate.

“Many Canadian investors who bought properties in Greater Phoenix after 2008 and subsequently rented these homes out, now feel it’s a great time to cash in on their investment,” says Laurie Lavine, a Canadian real estate agent with Arizona Premier Realty, who specializes in working with Canadian buyers and sellers.

The steady rise in property values since 2011 coupled with the downward swing in the Canadian dollar is the big reason why it’s a good time to sell, he told CREW.

“Not only have the values gone up, but who knows how long the Canadian dollar is going to remain so low?”

According to Lavine, many of the sellers are those who purchased vacation homes and have come to realize that they are not using these homes enough to justify the carrying costs of ownership – which have gone up alongside the Loonie’s drop.

Others buyers have experienced financial pressure from job loss/wage cut-backs in a stalled Canadian economy, especially those in Alberta. 

“Many owners of this type are either considering selling or already have,” he says.

Lavine is working with more sellers currently than buyers. “From 2009 through 2011, Canadian investors and vacation homebuyers accounted for about five per cent of total sales in Greater Phoenix,” he says. “Last month they were one per cent.”

Another effect of the low Canadian dollar has been a drop in the number of buyers making cash purchases.

“They’re financing now because of the currency exchange,” says Lavine, adding that “when the Canadian dollar rises, they can then pay off the loan, because down here there is generally no pre-payment penalty.”

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