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The Trump Effect: Americans Researching Canadian Real Estate Options

Donald Trump was formally sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. Interestingly, the day also coincided with several Americans researching housing options in the Land of the Maple Leaf, even as Capitol Hill surged with protesters holding up placards that read, ‘Not My President!’.


Ontario real estate saw more than 40% of the web traffic, followed by British Columbia (17.4%) and Quebec (13.9%). Real estate in Alberta came in fourth with 7.6% and Nova Scotia properties witnessed 7.4% of online American visitors. Saskatchewan was the least popular, it could sustain the interest of only 0.5% of the crowd. New Brunswick (5.7%), Prince Edward Island (2.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (2.1%), and Manitoba (1.6%) came in between, in that order.


Among the 41.4% who checked out properties in Ontario, roughly two-thirds of them concentrated their searches to the Greater Toronto area. While Vancouver would have been expected to be the second-most popular city, it was actually Victoria that stole the spot. Experts attribute this to the new 15% tax on all purchases in the Metro Vancouver area by foreign individuals – this was introduced only in August 2016.


Three-fourths of all searches were for urban areas/properties.


Ed Sonshine, head of RioCan Property Services and winner of Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year award in 2013, is of the opinion that the real estate property market in Canada is ‘so hot’ at the moment that there is no way this kind of interest could ever be seen in the future. However, Phil Soper, another real estate professional, is more cautious, he thinks Americans are only ‘window shopping’. A wave of Americans might not hit Canadian soil once they find out about the difficulties associated with immigration, he adds. For now, he expects prices to remain steady, even though an upsurge of 40% is expected in the case of Americans buying Canadian real estate.


The last time Americans displayed interest of this nature was on November 8, 2016, when their country went to the polls. The website of the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) saw so much traffic on the day that it crashed. Interest in Canadian real estate has seen a 239% increase since then.

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