Snowbirds fuel Florida housing recovery

By Staff | April 11, 2013 | Last updated on April 11, 2013
2 min read

Florida’s housing market is on the rebound and Canadian Snowbirds are playing an important role in its recovery, according to a report by BMO Financial Group.

The report notes the following:

  • According to the most recent S&P Case-Shiller data, the price of a single family home in South Florida surged 12% from its low point hit April 2011.
  • There is growing demand for Florida real estate from foreign buyers, most notably Canadians, who have helped support property prices.
  • Canada is Florida’s number one source of foreign tourists and the state’s number one foreign buyer of real estate. In 2010, Canadians accounted for 36% of all real estate purchases by foreigners.
  • More than 500,000 Canadians currently own property in Florida.

“Florida properties are a bargain compared to real estate in Canada. The median priced home in Florida is nearly half than that in Canada. At the same time, the Canadian dollar is trading nearly 10% above ‘fair’ value versus the U.S. dollar, arming Snowbird shoppers with extra buying power,” says Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, BMO Private Bank.

The report, citing the latest data from National Association of Realtors, outlines the key areas in Florida where Canadians currently own real estate. These include:

  • Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (17%)
  • Orlando-Kissimmee (13%)
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach (13%)
  • Cape Coral-Ft. Myers (9%)
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (9%)
  • Naples-Marco Island (9%)
  • Other (30%)

A BMO report from 2012 found 16% of Canadians would consider buying a home south of the border. Furthermore:

  • Of those considering buying property in the U.S. in 2012, 56% would do so to gain a vacation or secondary property.
  • Forty-four percent cited affordability as a motivation to purchase a home in the U.S.
  • One-third viewed the purchase of a property in the U.S. as a long-term investment (29%).

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.