It could be sell time for two big groups of metro Phoenix homeowners.
Many Canadians and institutional investors bought bargain foreclosure homes in the Valley during the crash. Now, they are poised to make a lot of money on metro Phoenix housing.
Canadians went on a U.S. buying spree that peaked in 2011, when the loonie was worth more than the dollar. They were behind 6 percent of all Valley home purchases then.
But that currency exchange has shifted.
“Today, the stronger U.S. dollar buys 1.29 Canadian dollars, turning our Canadian friends into mostly sellers rather than buyers,” veteran real-estate analyst Tom Ruff said Wednesday.
That means that if a Canadian sold a home here for 300,000 U.S. dollars, it would be worth almost 390,000 Canadian dollars. And vice-versa.
Ruff, who works for The Information Market, is also author of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s monthly Stat report.
He has been tracking north-of-the-border addresses on property records, concluding that for every Canadian buying a metro Phoenix home now, another nine others are selling.
About 65 percent of those Canadian homeowners bought between 2009 and 2013, according to his research.
Big institutional investors, who paid cash for Valley homes and turned them into lucrative rentals, also could start selling at least some of their Phoenix houses soon, Ruff said.
These buyers are backed by Wall Street and venture-capital money. They now own about 12,629 houses across metro Phoenix , according to Ruff’s latest count.
But institutional homeowners are losing renters as more people opt to buy.
Many people who lost houses to foreclosure during the crash had to rent, but now their credit has rebounded so they can tap low interest rates to buy.
Institutional investors Colony Starwood Homes, Invitation Homes and American Homes 4 Rent all report losing more than 20 percent of their renters nationally as those folks decide to buy, Ruff said.
All three investors have big stakes in metro Phoenix.
The Valley’s median home price has more than doubled since 2011. So Canadians and institutional investors are likely going make hefty profit on their Phoenix houses.
Many of the rental houses owned by institutional investors in the Valley were bought for less than $150,000 and could now sell for double that.
It's a good thing there's a shortage of metro Phoenix homes for sale under $350,000.
Still, I hope they don’t all try to sell at once. That could produce a glut of homes for sale, potentially hurting all our home values.