Increasing numbers of British people are choosing Canada as the location for their second home, attracted by its spectacular scenery, laid-back lifestyle, political and social stability. Easier travel and increasing coverage by low-cost airlines are also considerations, as is the fact that Canada’s international homes market is still young and developers seeking to attract British buyers therefore have to provide good value.
The Canadian residential property market has performed well in recent years, and is only suffering from the global recession by the economy’s association with world markets. Residential property is generally cheaper than in the UK, which, along with historically healthy capital appreciation, makes it an attractive investment for British second home purchasers or those looking to emigrate permanently.
Canada is said to have weathered the global recession better than almost any other developed economy in the world, the government having put aside money when times were good and there was a budget surplus for 12 years. The problems currently being seen by Canadian companies are almost exclusively as a result of their exposure to global markets, although experts are predicting modest economic growth of just 2.2 to 3.2 per cent in 2011.
Down the years, intrepid Britons have emigrated to every part of Canada. For those contemplating the purchase of a holiday home, however, travel time and cost will probably govern the choice of location. These will vary considerably depending on whereabouts in the UK you live.
Because of the comparative ease of travel, British second home purchasers have traditionally favoured eastern Canada. However, the recent introduction of low-cost transatlantic services has led to increased interest in western areas. Purpose-built resorts are also proving popular.
We hope this guide provides a place to start. There are many resources to help with further research, including television and radio programmes, magazines, the Internet and property exhibitions, as well as estate agents in both the UK and Canada.
Homes in eastern Canada are generally cheaper than comparable ones in the west.
Traditionally, Montreal has had the lowest residential property prices of Canada’s major urban areas. However, they are now increasing rapidly, so this may be a good place to consider investing.
The area has much to offer. Beautiful countryside and excellent sporting facilities, including skiing, are within easy reach. The US is 40 minutes to the south. Boston and New York are six hours’ drive away, or an hour by air. There are several daily flights to London, in a flight time of approximately seven hours.
Because of its strong rental market, Toronto is also growing in popularity. Rental yields in both Toronto and Montreal have held up well despite the credit crunch.
British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is also one of its most beautiful, with glorious mountains, lakes, rivers and beaches. It has Canada’s most temperate climate and some of its friendliest people.
Vancouver, the capital, is the most expensive area of Canada for residential property, with the average house price hitting $679,000 (£429,500) in September 2010.
Transport links with the UK are improving. There are direct daily services from London to Vancouver (flight time approximately 9.5 hours).
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