Canadians looking for a respite from bitter winter weather snapped up $2.2-billion of Florida real estate last year, according to a new report.
Canadian snowbirds were the number one international purchasers of real estate in the Sunshine State in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors for Florida.
Canadians accounted for 31.6 percent of all international purchases, 89 percent of them all-cash transactions as obtaining mortgage financing in the U.S. remains a difficult hurdle for foreign nationals.
About half of them spent less than $200,000 US on their new Florida digs, as real estate prices in Florida remain severely depressed from the 2006 peak. Canadians led the pack of foreign buyers for the seventh straight year, and no other country was even close; British nationals came in second, but only accounted for 7 percent of all international purchases.
The report cited the continuing global economic recovery and the continued affordability of U.S. properties as driving factors for international buyers, though Canadians didn’t buy as many properties as they did in 2011.
The hot spots for Canadian purchases were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Naples and Fort Lauderdale, as more than half of purchasers said they plan to use their properties as vacation homes. Seven percent said they planned to retire in their Florida home.
Source: Business News Network