By: Dharmendra Dholakiya
Canadian property searches from U.S. way up after Donald Trump elected
The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency has created a surge in Americans eyeballing Canadian property.
But don’t expect an influx of U.S. real estate buyers north of the border, said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage.
There may be more interest in Canada, he said, but “who knows how educated American real estate researchers are in the steps necessary to actually relocate on a permanent basis? It certainly is easy to look.”
Just in time for the inauguration, Royal LePage issued a report Friday showing that Canadian real estate, particularly in Ontario, has seen a Trump bump from U.S. buyers looking at property online.
Royal LePage saw a 41-per-cent year-over-year increase in queries to its web portal that originated south of the border in the last quarter of 2016. There were about 205,155 views last year, compared to about 145,500 in the same quarter of 2015.
“I know a significant percentage of the increase is likely very early research and untied to specific strategies to uproot themselves and move to a foreign land,” said Soper, adding that it is as difficult to immigrate to Canada as it is to the U.S.
The overall quarterly results were not as dramatic as the initial Trump jump. The day after the election, U.S. web traffic increased 329 per cent. Even in the week following the election, there was a 210-per-cent rise in the number of U.S. property searches on Canada.
Ontario attracted 41 per cent of those queries, followed by British Columbia and Quebec.
About 75 per cent of the queries were for residential properties.
“Traditionally Americans are voracious consumers of Canadian recreational real estate. They have a romantic view as a nation of the great white north and they think about loons singing on wide open lakes,” Soper said.
“Now they’re looking at our cities.”
But Soper said he believes that interest has as much to do with positive perceptions of Canada as it does with concern Americans might have about a negative direction the U.S. is taking.
“Yes, it was a very negative election in the U.S. and there are a lot of hard feelings, but to actually consider moving, the place you’re going to has to have positive attributes. I truly believe Brand Canada’s been on a roll,” he said.
A survey of 1,226 Royal LePage advisers in January showed that 38 per cent expect more Americans to look into Canadian real estate once Trump takes power.
Royal LePage isn’t the only real estate source that has noticed a growing interest in Canadian property.
Online condo hub BuzzBuzzHome saw an increase in queries to its site leading up to the election.
“And, in the week prior to inauguration, we are witnessing an increase of leads being generated from the U.S. to Canada,” said company president Matthew Slutsky.
Inquiries from New York to Ontario were most prevalent, he said.
Courtsey of Toronto Star.