The Great Canadian-American Exchange
It seems there could be an exchange of property buying going on across the Canadian border. On the one hand Canadians are buying over the border in USA, and on the other hand Americans are opting to buy in the stronger Canadian realty market.
Although contradictory, both scenarios can make sound financial sense, depending on which logical trail you are following. According to American Dollar Index figures, the American dollar has dropped to its lowest rating since the Index started in the seventies. In the Index, the dollar is rated against six international currencies. There is speculation that this falling dollar may still continue downwards, causing some Americans to choose to hedge their bets and change some of their green back dollars into Canadian multi-colored dollars!
One way to do this is to invest in some Canadian real estate. The market is very strong in Canada and the funds to buy the house would be held in Canadian dollars, of course. Cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Saskatoon have been enjoying high increases in house prices this year. These cities are all reporting large increases in sales as well as higher than average sales for this time of the year.
As at November 2007, Canadian existing home sales had already hit an annual record. Average home prices rose 11% and the trend looks like continuing. Nationally average house prices are predicted to rise by 3.5% in 2008. The number of homes trading hands in 2008 is also expected to remain higher than in all years prior to 2007. These figures are from
Royal LePage’s 2008 Market Survey Forecast.
In spite of the American slump, Canada expects its realty market to rise by nearly 4% into 2008. The Vancouver City News report that it would seem wise for Americans to ‘invest in the Canadian real estate market and take advantage of soaring house prices which have not yet peaked and the of the rising Canadian dollar’.
These factors all make investing in Canadian real estate a viable proposition for holders of the falling American dollar. Given these facts, does it make sense that many Canadians are doing the exact opposite and going over the line to buy real estate in he USA? Well, with the Canadian dollar almost on par with the U.S. dollar, Canadians get more for their buck than they used to when they lost 10% for every loony.
What is more, prices over the line are often cheap at the moment, with some of them actually being given up to foreclosure sales. The discount on these prices is quite considerable and realtors in places such as the Pacific North West have reported a substantial increase in Canadian Buyers. Another popular area for Canadians – especially snowbirds – is Nevada. It has the highest foreclosure rate at the moment, so good deals can be picked up there.
The property market is always a gamble, but there are also always deals to be made if you are in the right place at the right time!