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Canadian Buyers Key to Sarasota Housing Boom

Posted by Bill True on

Homebuyers from outside the United States are an increasingly important part of America’s recovering housing market.

More than 7% of all homes and condos for sale in the United States today will be sold to non-Americans. And more than a quarter of the U.S. home sales to foreigners are homes in Florida. Among the non-Americans snapping up those Florida properties, Canadians lead the pack. In 2010, 36% of all real estate purchased by foreigners in Florida was purchased by Canadian buyers, and over 500,000 Canadians owned Florida real estate in 2012. Canada, not surprisingly, also sends more tourists and seasonal residents to Florida than any other foreign nation.

The greater Sarasota area is the state’s top market for home sales to foreigners. In fact, Canadian buyers have played a vital role in the Sarasota housing market’s strong turnaround and recovery. In a mere 2 years, the price of a single-family home in southwest Florida has surged 12% (from April 2011 to April 2013). Canadian homebuyers have been essential in helping to support housing prices. Obviously, Sarasota’s glamorous beaches and the area’s splendid weather are huge draws, but economic factors are also motivating many Canadians to “buy Sarasota.” The median price for a single-family home is significantly lower in Florida, almost half the median price of a home in Canada. The Canadian dollar is trading at almost 10% above “fair” value against the American dollar, giving Canadian home-seekers significant additional purchasing power. Combined with today’s exceedingly low interest rates, these financial factors make buying a home or condo in Sarasota a “no-brainer” for thousands of Canadian homebuyers.

And in other ways, buying a home in Sarasota is easier now for Canadians than it’s ever been. Most of the Sarasota area’s lenders and real estate agents have worked for years now with prospective Canadian homebuyers. Sarasota’s doctors, attorneys, and banks also deal with Canadian clients on a regular basis. Those moving permanently to Sarasota will find no problems opening a bank account or obtaining a driver’s license.

And who wouldn’t want to live in Sarasota? With 35 miles of sun-drenched beaches, a delightful climate, cultural venues like the Ringling Museum of Art and the Historic Asolo Theatre, and a wide array of spacious condos and luxury homes in several price ranges, the lure of Sarasota is hard to resist. New residents will discover a vibrant and booming city, and maybe best of all, no snow to shovel.

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