In the wake of the pandemic’s impact on remote work, Canadian homebuyers’ preferences have shifted, revealing changing priorities in the pursuit of international properties.
While the allure of beach destinations remains, a recent analysis by Point2Homes has unveiled a significant drop in the number of searches for oceanside homes. The report, based on over 2,000 real estate-related keywords spanning islands, countries, and cities across the Americas, illuminates the evolving landscape of Canadian homebuyers’ choices.
Mexico: The unwavering preference
Despite changing tides, Mexico remains steadfast in its appeal to Canadian homebuyers. Seizing the top spot as the most sought-after destination, Canadians exhibit an almost equal interest in houses and condos, accounting for around 48 per cent and 45 per cent of total searches, respectively. Surprisingly, vacant land for sale in Mexico captures the curiosity of around 6.0 per cent of home seekers.
Costa Rica claims the runner-up position
A reshuffling of preferences has seen Costa Rica move to the runner-up position among Canadian homebuyers’ favoured destinations. This change is underscored by a 40 per cent decrease in searches for U.S. properties, which has not only impacted their desirability but has propelled Canada’s southern neighbour to third place.
Search decline across the board
The overall trend reveals a decline in interest, with eight out of the top 10 most coveted locations for vacation homes and investment properties experiencing reduced search volumes. This diminished enthusiasm extends beyond the top 10, as a closer examination of the extended list of 30 locations demonstrates a decline in searches in 23 of them. This widespread shift in sentiment indicates a certain hesitance among Canadian buyers when considering properties abroad.
U.S. sees substantial decrease
While Canada’s preferences shift internationally, the U.S. market witnesses a notable contraction in interest. The significant decline in searches for homes in iconic American cities and states such as New York, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Miami, and Florida exemplifies this. The decrease in search volumes, mirrored by a decline in actual transactions, reflects a broader trend. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), international buyers in the U.S. real estate market hit a decade-low, with only 84,600 homes purchased, the lowest since 2009.
A closer look at buyer demographics
Amid the evolving landscape, distinct buyer profiles emerge. The typical Canadian buyer browsing Mexico’s real estate market is often a Gen X individual, displaying a preference for houses. Notably, nearly 60 per cent of these home seekers are men, with a significant portion (21.24 per cent) falling within the 45 to 54 age group. A surprising revelation lies in the heightened interest of younger and older Millennials (ages 25 to 34 and 35 to 44) in Mexico’s real estate offerings. This demographic outnumbers retirees aged 65 and above, traditionally associated with seeking warmer climates for retirement homes.
As the international real estate market adjusts to the post-pandemic landscape, NAR’s experts remain optimistic about the revival of international transactions. Chief Economist Lawrence Yun notes that the scarcity of housing inventory in the U.S. and global shifts in borrowing costs have tempered international buyer activity for the past two years.
Yun is quoted as saying, “However, recovering international travel following the end of the pandemic will bring more foreign transactions in coming months and years.”