Analysts pinpointed the current exchange rates between the Canadian and American currencies as the driving reason for a greater number of purchases from U.S. buyers. The power of the U.S. dollar coupled with the low loonie has made vacation homes in Canada a more affordable prospect for many, insiders said.
Americans aren’t the only ones getting on the ride, as foreign investors from both hemispheres have also started picking off the available inventory one by one, making competition tighter by the week.
"Some of our buyers are also from Hong Kong,” Christopher Wetaski of ReMax Whistler told the Calgary Sun on Wednesday (January 20).
“You get Americans, Canadians, British, French, all living in Hong Kong making American dollars, and they like to come to Whistler during Chinese New Year. They'll probably be looking at real estate as well so that should be a good year for that,” Wetaski said.
Industry players said that increased tourism has prompted remarkable optimism in the sector, although they noted that it would take some time for the anticipated high volume to take traction.
“I don't think it's going to be a huge flood of people immediately but it's started,” Brad Hawker of Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty said.
“It takes a while. People don't just arrive and come for a holiday and then buy something if they've never been here before. Usually they have to come back a second time, and that's something I expect we'll see over the next six to 18 months,” Hawker added.
While the Canadian housing market has been noted by observers as standing on uncertain ground due to the global oil price crash, the picture appears entirely different in the resort property sector, which has seen unprecedented activity in the past few quarters.