Canadians Flock to Arizona
Americans who knew little of Canadians aside from their funny pronunciation of “house” and “about” know a lot more about their northerly neighbors after the Olympic Games.
They really are good at skiing, ice hockey and curling. Turns out, they’re also savvy about real estate. And they’re flocking to Arizona, where the buyin’ is cheap and the weather is warm. “We’ve always looked at Western Canadians as our feeder market,” says Cambridge Properties broker Keith Mishkin. “They made up about 1% of our marketplace before, but that number has now doubled.” At Corriente Residences in Scottsdale, Ariz., “Canadians make up about 10% of the buyers,” Mishkin said. Canucks comprise the largest group of buyers there, after Arizonans, according to sales data, followed by buyers from Colorado, Illinois and California. More than 7,000 residential properties in Maricopa County list Canadian addresses as their primary residences, according to the Maricopa Tax Assessor’s Office.
Why the Grand Canyon State? To begin with, winter temperatures in the 70s. And it is a lot closer to Calgary than Miami. But the real draw is a condo market that’s hit rock bottom. Buyers are picking up second homes for prices not seen in 10 years, agents say. For a population that typically uses condo units only as winter vay-cay escapes a few weeks a year — so renting often is the economical route — the lure of low prices is spurring Canadians to jump in as buyers.