Homebuyers from Ontario — Canada’s wealthiest and most populous province — were among the most active in 10 U.S. real estate markets identified as international hot spots in an Inman News report released this month.

In that report, "10 Hot Spots for Global Homebuyers," Inman News explores the 10 most popular areas in the U.S. for foreign homebuyers, based on public records of foreign buyers who cite a non-U.S. address. Six of the 10 market areas are in Florida, while the remaining four are in Arizona, New York, Hawaii and Nevada.

The 10 markets, ranked by highest share of foreign buyers who used a non-U.S. home address, according to public records data complied by DataQuick, are:

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.
4. North Point-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.
5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
6. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
7. New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan)
8. Honolulu, Hawaii.
9. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
10. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

In nine out of the 10 areas, except for Manhattan, Canada was one of the top three countries of origin for buyers who listed a foreign mailing address on a home sold between May 2011 and January 2012, according to DataQuick. All nine are in relatively sunny locales.

In eight out of 10 areas, Canada was the leading home country during that time, accounting for between 41.7 percent of foreign buyers in Lakeland-Winter Haven and 90.2 percent in Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale.

Share of Canadians among global homebuyers in 10 U.S. markets

Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. 90.2%
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.  77.2%
Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 73.0%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 72.3%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 70.5%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. 67.4%
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. 46.1%
Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. 41.7%
Honolulu 16.3%
New York County (Manhattan), N.Y. 8.1%

In an Inman News analysis of public records data provided by DataQuick, Ontario ranked No. 1 among all Canadian provinces for home-purchase activity in six of 10 markets in the report, and Ontario also ranked in the top three among Canadian provinces for buying activity in the other four U.S. markets identified in the report. Quebec ranked first among Canadian provinces for its share of homebuyers in the Miami market area, and ranked second in market share among Canadian provinces in five of the 10 U.S. markets, fourth in one market, and sixth in two other markets.

While Ontario and Quebec are the most populous provinces in Canada, they are proportionally overrepresented in the six Florida metros featured in the report.

While they make up about 38 percent and 24 percent, respectively, of the overall Canadian population, about 56 percent of more than 6,500 Canadian buyers in those metros combined came from Ontario between May 2011 and January 2012, while just over a third (34 percent), came from Quebec. Every other Canadian province or territory accounted for 2 percent or less of Canadian buyers in that time period.

Ontario is home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and is the wealthiest of Canada’s provinces and territories. The province accounted for nearly 38 percent of country’s gross domestic product in 2010; Quebec accounted for nearly 20 percent, according to Statistics Canada. Alberta and British Columbia followed at 16 percent and nearly 13 percent, respectively.

Alberta had the highest GDP per capita in 2010 among the provinces and territories: $70,826 (in Canadian dollars). British Columbia’s per capita GDP ($44,847) was just below Ontario’s, though above that of Quebec. Alberta and British Columbia also had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country in February: 5 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, compared to 7.4 percent at the national level. By contrast, Ontario and Quebec had jobless rates somewhat above the national level at 7.6 percent and 8.4 percent.

In Lakeland-Winter Haven, nearly two-thirds of the area’s Canadian buyers came from Ontario, while just over 1/10th came from Quebec. Interestingly, while Newfoundland and Labrador only make up 1.5 percent of Canada’s population, they accounted for nearly 10 percent of Canadian buyers in the area.

This may be partially attributed to the province having the third-highest per capita GDP in the nation in 2010 ($55,138 in Canadian dollars), after Alberta and Saskatchewan. By comparison, Ontario’s per capita GDP was $46,303 in 2010 and Quebec’s was $40,394.

The share of Canadian buyers who used a Canadian home address among the total pool of global homebuyers in the 10 U.S. markets ranged from a high of 90.2 percent for the Phoenix market area to a low of about 8 percent for the Manhattan market area.

The Phoenix metro area had the highest proportion of Canadian buyers, accounting for nine out of 10 of overall foreign buyers. There, those hailing from Alberta and British Columbia made up two-thirds of Canadian buyers overall.

Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. (share of Canadian buyers, by province/territory)

Alberta 39.5%
British Columbia 27.1%
Ontario 13.5%
Manitoba 7.8%
Saskatchewan 7.4%
Quebec 3.9%
Nova Scotia 0.2%
Northwest Territories 0.2%
New Brunswick 0.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.1%
Yukon 0.1%
Prince Edward Island 0.1%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale (May 2011-January 2012): 90.2 percent.

North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province/territory)

Ontario 74.2%
Quebec 11.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador 6.6%
Nova Scotia 2.9%
British Columbia 1.8%
Manitoba 1.1%
New Brunswick 1.1%
Saskatchewan 0.8%
Alberta 0.3%
Northwest Territories 0.2%
Prince Edward Island 0.2%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota (May 2011-January 2012): 77.2 percent.

Residents of Ontario made up a fifth of Canadian buyers in the Las Vegas metro, not far behind the share of buyers from Alberta.

Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. (share of Canadian buyers, by province/territory)

British Columbia 38.6%
Alberta 26.5%
Ontario 20.5%
Saskatchewan 6.1%
Manitoba 4.1%
Quebec 3.4%
Nova Scotia 0.4%
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.2%
New Brunswick 0.1%
Yukon 0.1%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Las Vegas-Paradise (May 2011-January 2012): 73 percent.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province)

Ontario 71.3%
Quebec 11.1%
Newfoundland and Labrador 4.9%
Alberta 3.2%
British Columbia 2.9%
Nova Scotia 2.9%
Manitoba 1.6%
New Brunswick 1.2%
Saskatchewan 0.7%
Prince Edward Island 0.1%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (May 2011-January 2012): 72.3 percent.


In contrast to the other Florida metros on this list, the Quebecois make up most of the Canadian buyers in the Miami metro area.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province)

Quebec 61.1%
Ontario 34.8%
British Columbia 1.3%
Alberta 1.1%
Manitoba 0.6%
New Brunswick 0.4%
Nova Scotia 0.4%
Saskatchewan 0.2%
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.1%
Prince Edward Island 0.1%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach (May 2011-January 2012): 70.5 percent.


Residents of Ontario made up the overwhelming majority of Canadian buyers in the Cape Coral, Orlando, Sarasota, and Tampa metro areas.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province)

Ontario 81.5%
Quebec 9.3%
Nova Scotia 2.3%
Alberta 2.0%
Manitoba 2.0%
British Columbia 1.3%
New Brunswick 0.6%
Saskatchewan 0.6%
Prince Edward Island 0.3%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Cape Coral-Fort Myers (May 2011-January 2012): 67.4 percent.

Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province/territory)

Ontario 74.1%
Quebec 11.2%
Alberta 4.6%
British Columbia 2.5%
Nova Scotia 2.1%
Manitoba 1.8%
Newfoundland and Labrador 1.5%
Saskatchewan 1.2%
New Brunswick 0.7%
Prince Edward Island 0.3%
Yukon 0.1%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (May 2011-January 2012): 46.1 percent.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. (share of Canadian buyers, by province/territory)

Ontario 65.4%
Quebec 11.3%
Newfoundland and Labrador 9.5%
Alberta 3.5%
Manitoba 3.0%
New Brunswick 2.6%
Nova Scotia 2.2%
British Columbia 1.3%
Saskatchewan 0.9%
Nunavut 0.4%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Lakeland-Winter Haven (May 2011-January 2012): 41.7 percent.

In the West, the hot spots for foreign buyers featured in the above-mentioned report were the Phoenix, Honolulu and Las Vegas metro areas.

British Columbia and Alberta accounted for about 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, of Canada’s population in 2011– just under a quarter combined. Nevertheless, in all three of the featured western metros, residents of the two provinces accounted for more than half of all Canadian buyers.

British Columbia and Alberta accounted for the biggest share of Canadian buyers in Honolulu, 78 percent, but Canadian buyers as a whole made up less than a fifth of overall foreign buyers in the area.

Honolulu (share of Canadian buyers, by province)

British Columbia 46.3%
Alberta 31.7%
Ontario 9.8%
Quebec 4.9%
Manitoba 2.4%
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.4%
Saskatchewan 2.4%

Share of overall foreign buyers from Canada in Honolulu (May 2011-January 2012): 16.3 percent.

Note: No chart is provided for the Manhattan/New York County market area because of the scarcity of Canadian buyers there who used a Canadian home address in their purchase. All charts are based on public records data provided by DataQuick and analyzed by Inman News.

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