« Attention shoppers: Please answer your cell phone | Main | Strong loonie gives Cdn. Spring Breakers a boost »

March 15, 2022

Sun Belt housing prices likely at all-time low: report

Leave a fresh carcass in the wild and what’s gonna happen? Vultures, right? There will always be vultures.

Indeed, you could see the writing on the wall last December when the Wall Street Journal  reported Americans, dejected and out of work, were fleeing the Sun Belt hotspot locales where once they flocked.

But with thousands of depressed homes listed at incredibly discounted prices, it wasn’t a question of when houses in the Floridas, Arizonas and Nevadas of the U.S. were going to get snatched up. It was a matter of who’d get them.

Enter: the Canadian investor.

While it may be sacrilege to compare the money-wise Canuck with a certain scavenging, opportunistic bird, Canadians have no doubt positioned themselves as one of the chief speculators of U.S. real estate devalued by the burst housing bubble and subsequent recession.

And if you believe a special feature in last weekend’s Toronto Star, prices of “Everything must go!” Sun Belt homes may never be this cheap again.

According to a U.S. study cited in the article, Canadians have capitalized on the misery of our neighbour’s housing market, becoming the No. 1 foreign purchaser of American property in 2009.

With good reason, too. In what’s described as the “perfect storm” for inexpensive U.S. real estate, Canadians – with low American interest rates, still-falling list prices and a loonie that keeps on flirting with parity – are likely seeing the most beneficial Sun Belt market of their lifetimes.

“The last few months have been like an explosion,” Brian Ellis, VP of Brampton’s Florida Home Finders told the Star, noting the same time period since the December WSJ  article.

“People are coming out of the woodwork because of the exchange rate. I think the people sitting on the fence are finally realizing that this is crunch time.”

Tell us: have you, or anyone you know, recently investigated depressed Sun Belt real estate? If so, did the numbers make a deal seem like a sound investment?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...