Canadians match Chinese for US home purchase but not by price

Canadians continue to be among the major buyers of residential real estate in the United States.

In fact, Canadians bought as many homes south of the border as the Chinese but typically at a lower price point. That meant that while Chinese buyers bought U$13.4 billion of US homes, Canadians spent $8 billion.

The figures from the National Association of Realtors reveal that overall foreign investment in US existing homes was $77.9 billion from April 2018 to March 2019, 36% below the previous 12-month period.

“A confluence of many factors – slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale – contributed to the pullback of foreign buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “However, the magnitude of the decline is quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.”

Canadians were most likely to be cash buyers (76%), as they are also more likely to be non-resident.

Popular destinations

Florida remained popular with Canadian snowbirds and was the top choice of foreign buyers overall.

“Many Canadians and other foreigners found Florida so enticing because of its lenient tax laws,” said Yun. “Additionally, many Florida metro areas have an inventory of cheaper properties, relatively speaking – a combination which makes the state a very popular destination.”

California and Texas are both popular choices, accounting for 12% and 10% of international purchases respectively, while Arizona was popular with Canadian buyers and had a 5% share of international transactions overall.