Foreigners and recent immigrants account for 7% of all Arizona home purchases, with Canadian vacation- and retirement-home buyers leading the way.
"We see Canadians come here just to get away from the cold weather," says Jodi Kevern of Arizona Focus Realty, which specializes in working with buyers from the Great White North.
Kevern says buyers from Canada's western provinces flock to Arizona because the state has a mild climate, lower prices than the West Coast and a location just 2.5 hours from Alberta by plane.She considers the Canadians a godsend for the Grand Canyon State -- and for her own neighborhood, where they've turned several run-down, foreclosed properties into well-maintained vacation homes. "The houses may be still vacant for much of the year, but at least they're taken care of instead of having weeds 5 feet high," Kevern says. "It's boosting all of our property values."