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Canadians Love the Sun


Arizona Ranked Fourth in 2011 Home Sales to its Northern Neighbor

PHOENIX, March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The strength of the Canadian dollar, sustained lower pricing in the US housing market, and perceptions regarding the general economic US outlook continue to prod Canadians to purchase a home in the Sunbelt states.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2011 Profile of International Buying Activity, Arizona and Florida remain viewed among top choices because of their favorable winter climate. In fact, 58 percent of all international sales in 2011 came from just four states: Florida at 31 percent, followed by California at a distant 12 percent, Texas accounted for nine percent and Arizona at six percent.

Even for international buyers it's location, location, location. Forty-three percent of those surveyed report a favorable location as their clients' most important factor when choosing where to purchase. That was followed by 27 percent who stated their clients top reason to buy in the US was that they view US real estate as a profitable investment. Canadians specifically purchase due to a perceived positive return on their investment. Similar culture, closeness to their native homeland, and lack of a communication barrier are also factors steering Canucks to the lower 48.

The NAR profile also showed that in the 12 month period ending March of 2011, Canadians accounted for 23 percent of all foreign buyers – the largest of any country. In a 2010 article, Canada's largest daily newspaper The Globe and Mail, reported that a vast majority of Canadians were paying cash for their purchase. That may have been due in part to the somewhat cumbersome U.S. mortgage process.

"There are few lenders who have a mortgage process tailored for Canadians looking to purchase a home in the U.S.," said Jerry Bevers, Arizona Mortgage Market Manager for M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "Our parent company is based in Toronto, so naturally we have relationship products specifically designed to meet the needs of Canadian customers for purchasing or refinancing their primary residence, second home or investment property in the U.S."

When all is said and done, it appears that our northern neighbors are anxious to do whatever it takes to own a piece of the American dream – and that's all good news for our housing market.

About BMO Harris Bank N.A.
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.  BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S.  Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS# 401025.

SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group

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