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An Open Letter to Canadians: Are Florida Homes Still a Bargain?

Posted by Robert Casella on Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 at 4:09pm.

The short answer is YES. Ok, so let me first say that I recognize, and appreciate, that the market for Canadians is a more challenging consideration in today's economic climate. The Canadian dollar is hovering around .80 cents on the dollar--a significant departure from the "Golden Age". We all remember, right? When the Canadian $$ was worth more than the US dollar?

Well, take some time to read this article at the conclusion of this blog. While the import of the article is clearly designed to encourage financing as a solution and hedge against the decrease of the Canadian Dollar, it does make some salient points about the market and what to expect moving forward. According to the article, they anticipate the US dollar to increase modestly over the next year, before weakening again in 2016. While one could jump to a conclusion that Canadians should wait to purchase a Florida home until 2016, the counter-point to that argument is that prices are expected to rise by 4% percent this year. So, in essence, will waiting actually improve your financial position, or will you simply lose a year of sunshine?

After an initial adjustment period where Canadian buyers paused to evaluate the dollar, the signs are pointing to a resurgence of Canadian buyers in the Florida home buying market. Instead of waiting on the sidelines and "losing a year of sunshine", I anticipate Canadians purchasers will make the necessary adjustment to their budgets, not their intention to purchase in Florida. Based on the huge spike of new veranda and terrace condos for sale in River Strand recently, I can see this process unfolding already.

How about resales in River Strand? While I do work in a variety of communities in the Sarasota and Manatee counties, I do have my favorites--and River Strand is certainly one of them. River Strand has been one of the most popular golf course destinations in southwest Florida. The community is known for its affordable luxury and great amenities. 

So here's a perfect example. If a Canadian purchaser was considering a $400,000.00 home for sale in River Strand, they are now considering coach homes for sale in River Strand. Coach homes are condos that feel more like single family homes, ranging in size from 1800 square feet to 2100 square feet. Prices generally hover around $250,000 to $300,000.00 depending on the floorplan, location, upgrades, and view.

So will most Canadians lose out on the sunshine? I don't think so. Budget re-alignment? Yes--and justifiably so. But who wants to shovel snow when Florida homes are still a bargain? 


Robert Casella, CLHMS - Licensed Realtor
Certified Luxury Home Specialist

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