Each year trends emerge in the SW Florida real estate market. Yesterday during our team sales meeting a trend reared up and identified itself and we thought we’d report what we’re seeing.
In years past we’ve reported that the Germans were finding SW Florida attractive based upon what they can buy for their money, weather, exchange rates, etc. Another year we saw the British coming over and buying, and another year the Canadians were strong. In fact, that particular year the Wall Street Journal called us for an article they were doing about Canadians buying in the US. The ironic thing was we had 3 sets of Canadians in our office at that very moment.
This year, we’re seeing strong interest again from the Canadians. Each of our buyer specialists pointed out they’ve been working with several Canadian buyers, and one buyer specialist couldn’t attend the meeting because he was out with a Canadian buyer. This year they tend to be buying higher priced homes as well.
Our buyer specialists pointed out buying now may be much less than renting at high season rates. Currently the exchange rate from Canada is .99 which means roughly the Canadian dollar and the US dollar are about equal. While true for the past few years, this hasn’t always been the case. Back in 2009 the rate was about .80 which means property here costs Canadian buyers about 20% more. So even though prices here are rising, they may compare favorably to prices in Canada, and they don’t have an exchange rate penalty.
After listening to the buyer agents compare notes I realized several of our pending listings are from Canadians. One is a US buyer who is selling her home to a Canadian, so even that sale was influenced.
Last year we did an article which showed Cape Coral-Fort Myers market as the #2 US market for foreign buyers. I can report they are here and their presence is being felt in the market. Season is off to a bang and baseball hasn’t even started yet. Lookout roads! If you think the roads have been busy this year, it’s about to get busier in a week or so.
A word of caution for sellers. It never fails that after a national publication or even a local one features foreign interest in our market, local sellers invariably ask us to sell their home to the foreign flavor of the year at higher prices. Sellers feel like if the SW Florida market is such a bargain to them they’ll gladly overpay for my property. The reality is the local SW Florida market may be a bargain, just not your property. Just because they’re interested in buying something here doesn’t mean they’re looking to overpay.
If you had money to spare and were interested in buying in a foreign country, you’d probably do some research. Nobody wants to feel like they overpaid. If your property is overpriced to Americans, chances are Canadians, British, Germans, Brazilians, and all others will find it overpriced as well. When we report foreign buyers are finding value in SW Florida, it’s a good thing. It’s not an opportunity to get rich or get whole on somebody else’s ignorance because I assure you, when people buy they like to be educated. It doesn’t matter what state they’re from or what country.
If you’re looking top sell, we could sure use the inventory, and opportunities are great right now. Give us a call. 239-489-4042 Make sure you speak with a professional who can help you navigate this market and price it correctly so you don’t miss out on a good market.
Good luck, and Happy House Hunting or House Selling!