Dollar continues to fuel U.S. investment

The Canadian dollar continues to set record lows against the U.S. Greenback, reaching an 11-year low as the economy continues to reel. That’s leaving room for U.S. investors looking to capitalize on the opportunity.

“We have people coming from the U.S., coming from places like Maine, New York and New England, looking for property here because prices are low and it’s a good time to buy,” Kim Legge, a real estate agent with Royal LePage Atlantic, told CREW.

The loonie is currently trading at 76.12 cents U.S., the lowest value for the Canadian dollar since September 2004. This is attracting a number of foreign investors to the Canadian real estate market, as well as fuelling calls that the market is overvalued and a correction is coming.

Currency markets are forecasting a 50 per cent chance that a further rate cut is on its way with another 25 basis-point slice projected over the next 12 months. The last cut occurred on July 15, when the Band of Canada cut its overnight rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.50 per cent.

However, record low interest rates, currency and oil prices are presenting an opportunity for some to get in on the ground floor when it comes to investing in affordable property that could yield significant returns down the line in both small and large Canadian markets.

From Legge’s perspective, one place to look is at the latest housing statistics from the Saint John Real Estate Board, which shows the average sales price of a home in New Brunswick grew between three per cent and 27 per cent year over year from 2003 to 2009 to a current average price of $180,000.

A weaker Canadian dollar has spurred significant interest from U.S. investors looking for vacation homes and other buyers looking to settle in places like Saint John, Windsor, Hamilton, GTA hotspots and Vancouver. 

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