With the unprecedented opportunities arising in the US markets this year, we are seeing an avalanche of Canadian buyers rushing to take advantage snap up their dream winter home in order to secure their getaway from the dreary winter months north of the border.
Available for $288,900 in January 2006, this same house is now on the market for just $109,900.
According to one well known Realtor at the Phoenix-based Russ Lyon’s Sotheby’s International Realty, the housing market in the city is at its lowest for 25 years, and Canadians in particular are rushing to make the most of the situation - while there's still time. In a sign that things are set to pick up soon, last week’s report from Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pa., showed that home mortgage applications had hit their highest level for 3 months, thanks to an improvement in the job market and growing consumer confidence.
For now though, the market remains bottomed-out, and many Canadian bargain hunters are seeking to exploit the opportunity before it disappears. According to Russ Lyon’s Sotheby’s International Realty, with more than 70% of mortgages in Phoenix underwater and around 40,000 properties listed in the area, competition to sell is fierce, with the majority of units being sold at list price, paid for in cash.
However, we’re not just seeing a rush of sun-seekers in Phoenix. Florida too, is proving to be a big hit right now. One particular Ontario retiree, Diana Carter, toured dozens of properties for more than four months in the Sunshine State, before eventually settling on a $43,555 single family home. With prices this low, Carter admits that it’s “crazy not to buy right now”, and indeed she may be right.
A Miami Beach condo in 2007 that sold for $214,300 was available for just $81,900 last year, while single family homes have dropped from an average of $371,200 to a low of $200,900 in 2010. While figures for 2011 are currently unavailable, things have not improved much.
Meanwhile, back in the West, prices are even lower – a condo in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area used to fetch around $201,500 just four years ago, yet now the same condo can be snapped up for as little as $68,900, while family homes have fallen from $234,900 to a staggering $139,200.
The biggest appeal for Canadian buyers is not just the rock-bottom prices though – with the Canadian dollar hitting a three year high against the US dollar this week, rising 3 cents above the dollar, the premium that they used to pay in the US housing market has been completely wiped out. Expect to see more Canucks in your neighborhood sometime soon.