A recent report suggests that Canadians are actively bargain hunting for properties in Florida, and are snapping them up, left and right.
A report commissioned by the National Association of Realtors, on behalf of the Florida Realtors Association says that, over the 12-month period from mid-2010 to mid-2011, one in four homes purchased in the state were acquired by foreign buyers. Of that group of foreign buyers, the largest group were Canadians- comprising 10% of buyers. Also, most (over 90%) of the sales were done with cash in hand.
Price was a factor as well. The median price in Florida was $151,000 US- much below the median price seen in various Canadian centres. The price of a Condo in Florida has fallen by 45% since 2005.
These eager Canadian buyers have zeroed in on several key locations, including Tampa Petersburg-Clearwater, Miami-Fort Lauderdale Miami Beach, Orlando Kissimmee, Naples-Marco Island, and Cape Coral-Fort Myers- all located in Southern Florida- which has been particularly hard hit by the downturn in the US property market.
"There's still strong demand at both ends of the price spectrum," he says. "We're seeing a lot of activity on the part of investors with a long-term view in the lower half of the market. The demand for higher-priced properties has also held up reasonably well,” says John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors.
In Tony Naples Fl, Canadian buyers are behind about 30% of the purchases there currently, with the majority of buyers focusing their attention towards condos near the beach, built in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
For Canadian bargain hunters, the advice is to be flexible on location. While there are still bargain-priced properties to be had in many locations, there are still many higher-end, higher-priced properties as well in central locations, but if buyers are willing to move slightly north or south- prices generally get a little more reasonable.