Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia

Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is a diverse place, with wilderness areas, highly urbanized areas and everything in between. It’s one of the fastest growing sections of the nation in terms of international immigration, and regularly attracts individuals and families from all around the world, including our northern neighbor, Canada. What are the major factors that attract Canadian immigrants to northern Virginia? Actually, you’ll find they’re pretty similar to what brings others to the state, with a couple of differences.

Stone house with beautiful sunny garden

Proximity to D.C.

Perhaps the most common reason for moving to northern Virginia is to be close to Washington D.C. From Richmond to Alexandria and a number of other cities, Canadian immigrants find that it’s more convenient to live in Virginia and commute to D.C., whether they’re working in the government sector, education, technology or something else.

 US Capitol

Cost of Living

Potential residents find that it’s cheaper to live in Virginia than D.C. as well. According to Zillow, Richmond has a cost of living index of 99, which is slightly below the national average of 100, but significantly lower than Washington D.C.’s 140. So, immigrants are able to get more bang for their buck in all areas of their lives, from real estate to groceries to gas and entertainment.


Quite a few Canadians choose to move to northern Virginia for the climate (combined with other factors, of course). With the state’s warm summers and cool, but not cold, winters, it’s an inviting difference in comparison to the climate of many areas in Canada, as well as the US Northeast.

 property 03

Income Potential

While not true across all areas of northern Virginia, the area in general has a higher than average annual income ($61,000 per year). That increases the closer to D.C. and other developed areas you get, and is actually about $9,000 per year more than the US national average. Canadian immigrants choose to move here to take advantage of the higher quality of living and the better income potential than what’s possible in other areas of the US, or at home in Canada.

 Julia Robert

 Real Estate Prices

You’d expect an area with a higher income potential to have higher real estate prices, but Virginia’s real estate is actually relatively reasonable, even within urbanized areas. Move out of Alexandria and Richmond and you’ll find those prices drop considerably, and rural areas are even more affordable. Canadian residents find that this enables them to own more home for less money than would be possible in another state.


 Retirement Areas

One of the major demographics seeing growth in northern Virginia is those aged 55 and up. The state attracts Canadians, US residents from the Northeast, and even those who’ve moved to Florida only to find that it didn’t really agree with them. Winchester, Williamsburg, Alexandria and Prince George are just a few of the areas popular with Canadians seeking a retirement home.

As you can see, there are numerous compelling reasons for Canadians to call northern Virginia home, but they are just one of a number of international investors.

Senior Couple Walking Along Golf Course Carrying Bags

Factors Driving Canadian Immigration for Northern Virginia


Contact Gene Mock, Premier Team, Keller Williams Realty 703-342-8100

We have locations to serve you in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC


Gene Mock Realtor http://northernvirginiarealty.com/






Canadian Investors in Northern VA Why, What and Where

Canadian Investors in Northern Virginia – Why, What and Where

living room

It’s no secret that Canadian investors in real estate have been making inroads into the US property scene for a long time. In fact, until just a few years ago, Canada was the single largest foreign real estate investor in America. While Chinese investors recently outperformed Canadian investors, you’ll find our northern neighbors are still avidly buying up properties across the country. And while states like Ohio, Utah and Michigan are very popular, many choose to buy in northern Virginia.

Why Virginia?

Many areas have undeniable appeal to real estate investors from abroad. Utah is rich in resorts, and buying properties around these areas gives investors a decent reward on their investment. Ohio has a very stable population, and cities like Columbus have increasing demands in the area of rental housing, making them smart choices. Even Detroit, Michigan is easy to understand – investors love the rock-bottom pricing. Why do so many choose northern Virginia, though? It’s all about location. Northern Virginia properties give investors something impossible to find anywhere else – proximity to the nation’s capital, combined with relatively low real estate prices and a stable real estate market.

Kentucky Horse Farm

Where in Virginia?

The “where” of things is a bit harder to nail down. Chinese investors tend to buy properties in highly urbanized areas near high-tech firms, or else within cultural enclaves in the state. Canadians share a very similar culture with Americans, and aren’t restricted by language barriers. Additionally, many are choosing to move away from highly urbanized areas for their investing because of high competition from other international investors. Where are they turning? More and more are putting their money into properties in smaller regional hubs that connect small town America, rather than big cities. So, you’re more likely to see Canadian real estate investors active in places like Charlottesville than Arlington.

Brambleton Condo2

What Are They Buying?

This one is even more difficult to nail down than the “where” – Canadian real estate investors are interested in a very wide range of different properties. Those with enough capital tend to focus on high-end properties with proximity to major hubs and the corridors of power in D.C., while others focus on smaller multiunit properties away from those major hubs. Single-family properties are popular as well, and provide a significant return on an initial investment. More and more Canadians are considering multifamily housing as a good investment as well. Apartment buildings, condos and the like are easily marketable and in high demand, particularly as northern Virginia’s population continues to climb with the recent influx of new employers and international residents to the area.

Key Features for Canadian Investors

Canadian Real Estate Wealth is a leading magazine dedicated to real estate investors in Canada, and it offers valuable insight into the minds of these investors, particularly what makes an appealing property. In an article published in December 2014, Ken Davidson recommends basing an investment decision on factors like high accessibility, public infrastructure redevelopment, employment trends, population growth and price.

Canadian real estate investors find that northern Virginia meets all of these criteria, providing a sound investment option.



Canadian Investors in Northern VA Why, What and Where