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Moneycorp saw demand for west Florida property soar over the past year as more Canadian retirees swap the chills of Canada for the Sunshine State.

These retirees, often known as ‘snowbirds’, have benefited from a strong Canadian property market, which has stayed fairly stable despite the global economy weakening several years ago. This market strength has enabled Canadians to release equity from their homes and invest it in second properties.

Toronto, in particular, has continued to experience a strong property market, enabling residents to purchase foreclosures and short-sale properties in west Florida.

“Florida has been viewed as the snowbird capital for Canadians for decades, and this trend shows no sign of fading,” says Kelly Cutchin, USA Country Manager at international payments specialists moneycorp.

“Despite the Canadian dollar weakening against the greenback, we’re seeing the areas of Sarasota and Naples prove highly attractive to Canadian investors,” continues Cutchin. “Unlike the Brits, who invest in short-term vacation rental properties, the ‘snowbirds’ look for second homes as they tend to spend three to six months of the year escaping the extreme winter weather back home.”

“The majority of Canadians purchasing in the area are retired couples, looking to buy second homes. These tend to be condos with a minimum of two bedrooms, with the average property price being around US$250,000. They’re also often located near a beach or golf course community.

“West Florida sees a real increase in population from around Labor Day until the start of spring, with the snowbirds being attracted to the region not only for the warm weather, but for the small town feel and the retiree communities already in place.”

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