Canada's housing market is rolling over -- and buyers are flocking to America

Foreign buyers spent a record $US153 billion on US housing in the year through March 2017, according to an annual report Tuesday from the National Association of Realtors.

Although Chinese buyers were the biggest purchasers of American houses for a third straight year, the volume of sales from Canada surged the most among major foreign countries from a year earlier.

Canadians bought $US19 billion worth of residential property, 113% more year-on-year.

Purchases surged amid already robust domestic demand and a shortage of affordable houses in the US.

Canada’s house prices were also rising, but the pace of growth and sales have recently slowed as policymakers tightened access to credit on concern that some markets like Vancouver are in a bubble. Canadian home sales fell 6.2% in May, the fastest monthly drop since August 2012, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. And, home prices in Toronto had their biggest three-month decline through June since 1988, according to Bloomberg.

“Stronger economic growth and slower growth in house prices may have drawn in more resident Canadian buyers,” the NAR said. The share of Canadian buyers who live outside the US fell from a year earlier partly because of the weaker Canadian dollar.

Most buyers from Canada use the properties as vacation homes, and so warm Florida was the top destination of their choosing, the NAR said.

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