Will US Immigration to Canada Stress an Already Hot Market?

How Will Effect Collingwood and Blue Mountains Real Estate?

Royal LePage TORONTO, January 20, 2017 – According to data released today by Royal LePage, Canada’s leading real estate services provider, American interest in Canadian real property has risen following the U.S. Presidential Election, with an increased number of Americans conducting research into real estate markets across the nation.

American web traffic on royallepage.ca, the company’s consumer real estate portal, has been highly correlated to recent U.S. political events. U.S.-originated sessions surged 329.0 per cent the day following the election and climbed 210.1 per cent year-over-year the week after Donald Trump’s victory. Looking at the full month of November, 2016, U.S. web traffic grew 73.7 per cent year-over-year, when compared to the same period in 2015. This trend continued throughout the remainder of 2016, with American web traffic rising by 40.9 per cent year-over-year during the fourth quarter[1].

According to a new Canada-wide survey of 1,226 Royal LePage real estate advisors, U.S. interest in Canadian real property will continue to climb, with 39.5 per cent of respondents forecasting that American inquiries into Canadian real estate will rise under President Donald Trump. In the fourth quarter of 2016 – of which November and December are traditionally quieter times for North American real estate activity – 15.6 per cent of the advisors polled received inquiries from south of the border.

“Always a desirable destination for migrants, Canada’s attractiveness as a country for international relocation has surged this decade,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer, Royal LePage. “The United States was already a top source for immigration into Canada, and now in the period following the recent U.S. election, we are witnessing a material bump in American interest in Canadian real estate.”

During the fourth quarter of 2016, American interest was primarily focused on Canada’s largest markets, with Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec receiving 72.7 per cent of all U.S. regional page views generated on royallepage.ca. Those looking to purchase Canadian real property were largely interested in the country’s residential market, with three quarters (75.2 per cent) of all American inquiries pertaining to this market segment.

“U.S. interest in Canadian real estate is not a new phenomenon –– we are next door neighbours,” said Soper. “From Whistler to Muskoka; to Tremblant and Nova Scotia’s south shore, Americans have traditionally been the largest foreign cohort of recreational property purchasers in Canada. With our country’s ever-growing global reputation as a financially sound, happy and culturally tolerant place to raise a family, it is not surprising that interest has moved from a place to play, to a potential place to live and work.”

“Given America’s vast population, even a fractional increase in the number of households following through on this initial interest and successfully completing the demanding process of emigrating to Canada could drive a material increase in the number of home-buyers from south of the border,” concluded Soper. “Our federal government is seriously considering increasing the quota of new Canadians welcomed from abroad, and with the high value of the U.S. dollar increasing Americans’ purchasing power, we may be seeing more moving trucks with U.S. license plates in our future.”

In last year’s inaugural “Best Countries” ranking published by US News in partnership with BAV and the Wharton School, Canada was ranked second worldwide in the comprehensive 75 element study, scoring very high on culture, sustainability, entrepreneurship and open-for-business categories. In the United Nations’ “Global Happiness Ranking,” Canadians scored sixth place. Additionally, the Economist’s widely followed “Most Liveable Cities” analysis, which ranks cities based on a balance of economic, safety and environmental factors, placed Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary in three of the top five spots worldwide, with no U.S. city ranked in the top ten.

ONTARIO IS THE MOST DESIRED DESTINATION

Ontario led the country as the top-researched destination by Americans on royallepage.ca in the fourth quarter of 2016, with 41.4 per cent of U.S. regional page views directed to the province. Over the same period, Ontario listings received a significant boost in U.S. page views, rising 54.5 per cent this year over last. According to the survey, 62.5 per cent of real estate advisors polled in Ontario cited the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as the most desirable location for U.S. parties making inquiries into a home purchase since October 2016, while just over two-thirds (67.2 per cent) pointed to the GTA as the region in which Americans purchased the most property over the same period of time. Looking ahead, 38.4 per cent of survey respondents from Ontario expect U.S. inquiries into Canadian real estate to increase following Donald Trump’s assumption of power.

LOCAL HOUSING SALES

With increase pressure on the limited housing market in Toronto Collingwood and The Blue Montain could see an echo effect with an increased demand on our housing stocks. The increase of American interest in our housing market will make for an interesting 2017.