Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011
Florida Realtors president, Patricia Fitzgerald, was in Canada last week with Gov. Rick Scott and other business leaders to encourage Canadian companies to do business in Florida, a move expected to benefit the state’s troubled real estate markets.
“A large percentage of Florida property sales each year are to international buyers,” said Fitzgerald, manager and broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart.
“In fact, studies show that Canadians, by far, make up the largest percentage of international buyers and investors in the Sunshine State,” Fitzgerald noted. “Thirty-six percent of all international property sales in Florida are to Canadians.
During the weeklong trade mission to Montreal and Toronto, participants met with numerous corporations interested in Florida to discuss relocation. Florida Realtors’ leadership also met with individuals interested in buying Florida vacation and investment properties.
“The Canadian dollar remains very strong, and combined with the availability of a wide variety of homes at affordable prices, Florida real estate is more appealing than ever,” Fitzgerald said.
According to John Sebree, VP of public policy for Florida Realtors, Canadians expressed concern that Florida’s property tax system is unfair to non-homestead property.
“We have been eager to explain the joint resolution passed by the Florida Legislature last month that will be on the ballot (likely as Amendment 1) for the 2012 general election,” he said. “If passed by voters, this will provide a 5 percent assessment cap for non-homestead property owners, among other things, which is welcome news to potential buyers of investment and vacation properties.”
Companies in Canada cite the state’s favorable business climate and commitment to cut taxes and grow jobs as incentives for doing business there, Gov. Scott explained.
“It is vital to the future of our state and to all Floridians to encourage growth and business diversification,” Fitzgerald said. “Trade missions such as this one offer a prime opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of doing business – and living – in Florida.”
By: Heather Hill Cernoch DS NEWS