Published on NYTimes, by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 15, 2007.
CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) – Two hours after his flight landed in Phoenix, Calgary resident Doug Farley already was cruising the city’s vast stuccoed suburbs in search of the one attraction Canadians can’t seem to get enough of these days, cheap homes.
There are thousands of them here: almost new, unoccupied and dropping in value. The mortgage meltdown, combined with a surging Canadian currency, has Farley – and many of his countrymen – dreaming of winter golf on grass that’s always green.
”My dollar’s the same as your dollar, finally,” Farley said, grinning as he peered through a pool fence at a sparsely populated condominium complex in Chandler, a Phoenix suburb.
For moderate-income Canadians like Farley, the race is on to take advantage of the ‘loonie’, which in September reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976. Many are combing the Internet for anxious American home sellers and looking with an investor’s eye at the condos they rented while on vacation in sunbelt states … (full text).