Flight of the Canadians

Canadian Geese. / Phoenix Magazine.


Canadian investors swooped into the Phoenix real estate market like hawks during the Great Recession, but have been migrating back north.

By Lauren Loftus | Phoenix Magazine

A few years ago, Phoenix had so many visitors from the great white north – topping 1 million in 2015 alone per the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association – and so many snowbirds purchasing second homes and investment properties here, you’d have thought they were colonizing us.

“A pool and a palm tree [are] pretty much heaven to a Canadian,” says Diane Brennan, an Alberta expat and realtor in Scottsdale. That idyll goes a long way in explaining why people from the Land of Ehs and Polite Chit-Chat flock here come November. So, too, does the formerly fantastic exchange rate of the Canadian dollar. In 2011 and 2012, one Canadian loonie averaged about 1.01 U.S. dollars, according to online foreign exchange OFX, allowing Canadians to scoop up discounted and foreclosed homes (with pools, of course) in droves during the recession. “Canadians really helped when the market crashed here,” Brennan says. “They bought property, furniture, groceries… kept local businesses afloat.”


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