I just got back from the Canadian Business Conference in Vancouver.  I’m sure most of you who watched the recent Olympics on TV will understand why I think Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It was great to be back there again to talk to hundreds of our Canadian colleagues.  

Canada has been enjoying a great real estate market with double-digit appreciation for most of the last five years.  The only exception was a brief downturn at the beginning of last year with the onset of the global economic crisis.  That downturn only lasted a few months (if you blinked, you missed it!), and since then the market has come roaring back with record-breaking prices from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  The average MLS® house price in Canada now sits at just over $335,000, with Vancouver being the nation’s ‘hot spot’, with prices for a single family home downtown approaching a million dollars!

Canadians – and the Canadian news media – are intently interested in American real estate right now.  So much so, that I had a chance to talk about it in two different TV newscasts that aired right across the country.   The big news in Canada last week was the Canadian ‘loonie’ reaching par with the American dollar.    This increase in the buying power of the Canadian dollar, along with U.S. home prices that seem like a relative ‘bargain’, have made American real estate more affordable than most Canadians can ever remember.   Like the U.S., Canada’s demographics are shifting due to the aging ‘baby boomer’ population.  Watch for a heightened interested in American property from Canadian buyers in the months ahead, especially in those sunshine destinations most favored by retiring Canadians.