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 According to a report by BMO Financial Group, Florida’s housing market is on the rebound and Canadian Snowbirds are playing an important role in its recovery.

“Beyond the obvious attraction of great weather and beautiful beaches, there are two factors that make Florida real estate an especially good value for Canadians,” says Jack Ablin, BMO’s chief investment officer. “The first is that … the median priced home in Florida is nearly half than that in Canada. At the same time, the Canadian dollar is trading nearly 10 percent above ‘fair’ value versus the U.S. dollar, arming Snowbird shoppers with extra buying power.”

Report findings

• There is growing demand for Florida real estate from foreign buyers, most notably Canadians, who have helped support property prices.

• Canada is Florida’s No. 1 source of foreign tourists and the state’s No. 1 foreign buyer of real estate. In 2010, Canadians accounted for 36 percent of all real estate purchases by foreigners.

• More than 500,000 Canadians currently own property in Florida.

• A BMO report from 2012 found 16 percent of Canadians would consider buying a home south of the border.

• Of those considering property in the U.S. in 2012, 56 percent would do so to gain a vacation or secondary property; 44 percent cited affordability as a motivation; 29% viewed a U.S. home purchase as a long-term investment.

Where in Florida are Canadians buying?

The report outlines the key geographies in Florida where Canadians currently own real estate, based on a study by the National Association of Realtors®. They include:

• Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (17 percent)
• Orlando-Kissimmee (13 percent)
• Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach (13 percent)
• Cape Coral-Ft. Myers (9 percent)
• Tampa-St. Petersburg (9 percent)
• Naples-Marco Island (9 percent)
• Other areas (30 percent)