Following Donald Trump’s strong performance on Super Tuesday, Google searches for “how to move to Canada” spiked by more than 350 percent, according to Google Data Editor Simon Rogers, eventually topping 1,000 percent.
Interested in making the move? Toronto City Councilor Norm Kelly helpfully tweeted a link to the Canadian Immigration Service’s “Apply to immigrate to Canada” webpage for those looking to get started on the paperwork. For those in a hurry, there’s a quick questionnaire to determine whether they are qualified for Canada’s Express Entry program.
Other Canadians are also eager to welcome their American neighbors. Nova Scotia disc jockey Rob Calabrese jokingly created a website welcoming Americans to Cape Breton Island, where he lives, should they decide to head north.
“My goal is to let Americans and people all around the world know about what an awesome island we have, and I bet that if people take a closer look at it, then maybe you would think this could be something for you,” he told CBSN.
While he started the site in jest, it has received more than 900,000 visitors, Calabrese said. Meanwhile, for Americans it really is a great time to look at Canadian real estate. The Canadian dollar, affectionately known as the “Loonie,” has fallen to about 75 American cents as the greenback has surged and Canadian mortgage rates are low.
“We like to joke that as a country, we’re on sale,” said Mark McLean, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. “You’re paying about 35 percent less when you spend U.S. money here.”
Despite the favorable exchange rate, some Canadian markets, like Toronto and Vancouver, may still be outside your budget. Toronto is a seller’s market, and many homes are selling for well above their asking price, McLean said.
But there are deals to be found in other parts of Canada, such as in Alberta and Newfoundland, where the plummeting price of crude has lowered home prices in these oil-producing areas, said Richard Silver, a Toronto real estate agent who sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
To help you find a good deal, we took the average sale price (as calculated by CREA) for all homes in a town’s province, divided it in half and rounded it to the nearest $25,000.
Whether you’re looking for a city with a flourishing arts scene or someplace a little more rustic with opportunities for outdoor adventures, here are 10 great real estate deals for an aspiring American expat in Canada.
Vernon, British Columbia
The Okanagan Valley is nestled between the Columbia and Cascade mountain ranges, offers warmer weather than surrounding areas, a wide variety of outdoor activities, and is home to wineries and fruit orchards, said Richard Silver, a Toronto real estate agent who sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Vancouver is one of the priciest housing markets in the country, Silver said.
“The saying is that you ‘go to Toronto to make your money and Vancouver to spend it’,” he said.
Recently, the city has seen a boom in film and television production. The TV show “The Killing” and the “X-Files” reboot, were filmed there, he said.
Much like New York City in the U.S., Toronto is the financial capital of Canada. It’s home to several major banks and the Toronto Stock Exchange, and also has a flourishing arts and theater scene.
Calgary’s population boomed alongside an oil rush in the late 1940s, but the falling price of oil has recently hurt the local real estate market, shrinking home values. This is good news for buyers, Silver said, who can capitalize on these deals.
Montreal has a fairly stable real estate market and prices aren’t as high as in Toronto or Vancouver. “But there is the issue of needing to learn French before you move there,” Silver said.