While there was a time when the Canadian dollar matched the U.S. one in terms of value — about 5 years ago — 2015 has dramatically shifted the balance in favor of U.S. currency. The Canadian dollar now stands at $0.71 of the U.S. dollar (and that’s a 4 week-high), an exchange rate that increases the appeal for Americans to shop north of the border; and when we say shop, we’re not just talking commodities, but real estate as well.
And while property prices in Canada are by no means low, with cities like Toronto and Vancouver giving notoriously expensive markets like San Francisco or New York a run for their money, the current exchange rate opens the door to some great opportunities.
To get a better idea of how far you can stretch your American dollar, here’s how Canadian home prices translate into U.S. dollars, in terms of average home prices recorded at the end of 2015:
- A home in Ottawa costs $387,000 CAD = $276,000 USD*; to buy a home in the U.S. capital, Americans would spend nearly twice that amount: $510,000
- A home in Toronto costs $622,000 CAD = $443,700 USD; to help put things into perspective: buying an average-priced NYC home would cost you well over $1,000,000, while median home prices in some NYC neighborhoods jumped over $3 million
- A home in Vancouver costs $743,000 CAD = $530,000 USD; while that by no means sounds like a bargain, try comparing it with San Francisco, where the average American has to shell out over $1,100,000 to buy a home
*based on the exchange rates recorded at the time this article was published: Feb. 2.
This translates into a 29% discount on Canadian real estate, an opportunity for Americans to secure vacation homes in some of the most sought-after destinations for considerably less money. And here’s how that plays out, in case buying Canadian property was one of your 2016 resolutions:
Consider this charming 4-bedroom home in Niagara Falls, currently on the market for $207,900 CAD — which translates into roughly $148,000 USD.
Disclaimer: This post has been written for informational purposes only, and should not be considered investment advice.