Canadians Considering Invading United States -- to Save Housing Market. Phoenix on the Short List of Probable Canadian Destinations

A Canadian financial institution released a survey saying one in five maple leaf-ers want to hop the border to live in the United States, and before you yell "border fence," consider their intent: they want to invest in America's housing market (and probably go to hockey games).

BMO Bank of Montreal made its findings public today, saying 20 percent of Canadians would now consider purchasing real estate in the United States, while noting the value of property in vacation destinations popular amongst Canadians, like Arizona, is in the crapper.

Housing prices in the United States are down 30 percent over the past four years, according to the BMO, and the snowbirds' favorite vacation spots are doing even worse -- housing prices in Phoenix are down 54 percent, while Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa are down 57 percent, 49 percent, and 44 percent, respectively.

Economists at the Canadian bank predict home sales across the United States will start increasing, as well as a rise in the strength of the American dollar -- making an ideal opportunity for Canadians to start investing south of the border.

It was good timing for the survey, with Monday's news about the Arizona housing market, in which CNN Money reported 16 percent of Arizona homes are empty.

So now Arizonans may have new Canadian neighbors buying up all the empty houses that were built on speculation during the real-estate boom. And maybe some new fans at Phoenix Coyotes games.

The Coyotes need all the off-ice help they can get right now, as the 'Yotes boast the second-lowest attendance average in the NHL.

Still, Arizona is going to have stiff competition in the Canadian invasion from Sin City, as Las Vegas has not only seen 57 percent decline in housing prices, but the state of Nevada has the highest number of empty homes in the country.

The survey did come with some bad news to single American men -- Canadian women were much less likely to purchase a home in the United States, 16 percent, compared to 29 percent of men.

Also noted, the Canadian regions in which most people were interested in buying U.S. property were Alberta at 31 percent, British Columbia at 28 percent, and the Prairie Provinces at 27 percent.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley