Prices are booming south of the border but as the US housing market continues its recovery from the housing crisis a decade ago, Canadians are enjoying the relative affordability.

With many Canadian homeowners sitting on equity, many are taking the opportunity to pick up homes in the US, despite the challenge of tight inventory.

The US National Association of Realtors says that Canadians drove a 49% surge in foreign ownership of American homes in the year to March 2017.

Canadians bought a record-high U$19 billion of US homes, a leap from the $8.9 billion spent in the previous 12 months, which was a slump from 2015’s $11.2 billion. Florida was the top destination for Canadian buyers.

Chinese nationals remain the largest buyers of US homes, as they have been for 4 years. In the year to March 2017 they spent $31.7 billion.

The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said that Canadian purchases of US homes may ease during this year due to the weaker loonie.

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