Canadian dollar helping keep hot market for vacation homes for foreign buyers

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Realtors who sales-clerk Canadian resort properties say the low loonie is spurring interest from American consumers who are looking to pick up cheap vacation homes north of the border.

“We’re thanking our lucky stars,” said Brad Hawker from Nobleman Le ge Rocky Mountain Realty in Canmore, Alta.

While the houses market in Calgary — 130 kilometres to the east —is suffering due to plummeting oil consequences, that hasn’t been the case in Canmore with a 70-cent Canadian dollar.

In the mountain metropolis just minutes from Banff, an 1,100-square-foot condo boasting two bedrooms, two baths and alluring views is listed at $429,000. But when you factor in the exchange, that’s only give US$296,000.

Hawker said he’s fielded a number of inquiries from both the Common States and the United Kingdom. He’s also seen interest from Asia and Europe.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be a huge flood of people immediately but it’s started,” he suggested.

“It takes a while. People don’t just arrive and come for a holiday and then buy something if they’ve not till hell freezes over been here before. Usually they have to come rear a second time, and that’s something I expect we’ll see over the next six to 18 months.”

Hawker contemplated tourism is booming in the area.

“Business has not been this good for 25 years. It’s mythical.”

Prices and demand remain high in the ski-resort town of Whistler, B.C.

One realty — a 3,400-square-foot luxury home with five bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, cherry knock overs and custom totem poles — is listed for more than $4.2 million. That’s respecting $2.9 million U.S

Christopher Wetaski, who is with ReMax Sea to Sky Real Caste in Whistler, says he is also seeing an increase in American clients and expects he’ll see multitudinous as people begin to realize the power of the U.S. dollar.

“It just takes a insignificant while for them to realize what the value is. When they inform up in Whistler and start spending money and realize it’s a deal — if they come off to be in the market — they kind of clue in.”

With the dollar close to r in the just out st, the number of Americans buying property in Whistler had been on the go over the last five or six years — dropping to five per cent of all transaction marked downs from a peak of 20 per cent.

Wetaski said the strength of the U.S. dollar is no doubt to push prices up and flush out more inventory.

And not all of the extra business order be from south of the border.

“Some of our buyers are also from Hong Kong,” predicted Wetaski, who added they’ll be coming to Canada next month.

“You get Americans, Canadians, British, French, all breathing in Hong Kong making American dollars, and they like to issued to Whistler during Chinese New Year. They’ll probably be looking at verifiable estate as well so that should be a good year for that.”

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