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.

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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/





worldwide homes

Canadian Real Estate Investors

Canadian Real Estate Investors

Canadian Real Estate Investors Are a Force to Be Reckoned With

As more focus goes toward the number of Chinese real estate investors buying up property in the US, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this is just one of myriad factors. There are plenty of other international real estate investors out there. Europe and Australia are both heavily involved in the American real estate industry. However, you need to look closer to home to find the second largest such group – Canadians were, until very recently, the number one buyers of US real estate. Today, they’ve slipped to second place, but they’re still playing a major role.


Canadians Investing in Commercial Real Estate

One of the high points for Canadians investing in US real estate is the commercial property sector. According to a November 2014 story from Reuters, “Canadian investment in US commercial real estate is on track to hit record levels this year, once Canada’s second largest pension fund closes a $2.25 billion deal to buy a landmark Manhattan property.” The first three quarters of the year saw almost $8 billion funneled into the US economy from Canada through commercial real estate. Buyers aren’t limiting their purchases to the Big Apple, though. Other hot spots include California, New England and other highly populated areas. The key to their strategy is buying multifamily properties, but other commercial real estate is on the table as well.


Canadians Also Investing in Residential Property

Canadian real estate investors aren’t limiting their efforts to commercial property alone. Residential real estate is also hot, particularly in highly urbanized areas. A Vancouver couple recently purchased a Brooklyn brownstone with three units, and plans to rent all three to different tenants. The rent payments on the brownstone are expected to be enough to cover the Brooklyn property’s mortgage, as well as the payments on the couple’s home on Vancouver’s Upper East Side.

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Why Do Canadians Invest Internationally?

So, why are so many Canadian’s turning to their southern neighbor for their real estate investing needs? Really, it comes down to prices. Canadians are able to get into the market for less, and are then able to realize higher profits on rent than if they kept their money at home. It’s really a win-win for everyone involved. Capitalization rates are another big factor here. Business Vancouver reports that the typical capitalization rate in the US is up to 7.5%, while Canadian rates have decreased from 5.3% to 5.1%.

A Lack of Options at Home

One element that’s pushing Canadians south of the border is the fact that there’s a lot of available property in the US. That’s not so in Canada, where the majority of the property is tied up with domestic pension funds, limiting the availability of property on the open market, and forcing investors to look elsewhere to grow their wealth.

As with any other international real estate investing scenario, the Canada-US trade is subject to change at any time. A slipping Canadian dollar is one element that many experts expect to start putting the brakes on the situation, although it has yet to slow things down at all.





Canadian Real Estate Investors