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The Southeastern U.S. is one of the fastest-growing areas in North America, showing a surge in business opportunities in the manufacturing and distribution, retail, high-tech and professional services sectors. As of 2010, an estimated 114 million people, or 37% of all U.S. residents, lived in the region.

With these kinds of opportunities for business growth, in addition to the gorgeous weather, it’s no wonder international buyers – including many Canadians – are looking to Florida and the surrounding areas to purchase a second home, vacation or retirement property.

Read: Residency rules snowbirds need to know

Where should you be looking?

There are three resort markets that are attracting investors: Naples, FL, Savannah, GA, and Gulf Shores, AL. These markets are well-known for their financial advantages and luxurious lifestyle attributes in the Southern United States.

Naples, Florida

Situated 200 miles south of Tampa, this coastal community is renowned for its plentiful sunshine and balmy winters, breathtaking sunsets, sun-drenched beaches and world-class dining and shopping. Naples is home to many full-time and part-time residents, ranging from retirees and empty-nesters to young professionals.

Read: Taxing questions for snowbirds

Resort-style living in Naples presents itself in many forms such as lavish estate homes, high-rise luxury condominiums, waterfront properties with Gulf access, and some of the most notable, award-winning golf course communities in the world.

According to the Naples Area Board of Realtors, all signs point to a very busy real estate sales season in 2012. As of December 2011, properties priced over $300,000 increased by 3% during 2011. Much of this increase was due to closed sales in the $2 million and over category.

What to Expect in Naples, Florida

Luxury Home Price Range: $3 million and over

Average Luxury Sales Price: $3.5 million

Most Affluent Neighborhoods: Port Royal, Old Naples, Park Shore, Aqualane Shores and The Moorings.

Luxury Buyer Geographic Profile: Canadians, Europeans, Americans from Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Illinois.