Highly dependent on the U.S. economy, Costa Rica’s property market continues to trend upwards after a slow first half of the year in 2016, likely due to the economic uncertainty in the lead up to the US elections. It has rebounded since mid-2016 and is proving very vibrant in the first quarter of 2017, with record numbers of properties being sold in our region of the South Pacific, known as the Costa Ballena (Whale’s Coast).
The most expensive and fastest-selling properties in Costa Rica are still in the Central Valley, in the areas surrounding the capital of San Jose. This is mainly a result of the proximity to offices for companies SC Johnson, Microsoft, and FedEx, which in recent years have been moving their regional offices into and around the capital.
In the southern regions like the Costa Ballena, properties are still trending as the least expensive by comparison, likely due to the slow-paced nature of this region. Not many large businesses operate from this area, which is populated with agricultural economies and expats looking to get away from fast-paced city living.
The pricing of the market in this region and the uptick in most of the world’s biggest economies has resulted in many sales of properties in the first three months of 2017, with buyer’s looking to get in on this quietly growing investment opportunity. This year, we are seeing more people come into our office than in any other year in the last decade, and our housing inventory has substantially thinned as a result. Our office has had multiple competing buyers on a number of properties in the first quarter of this year, so buyers need to be prepared to make a purchase or they may miss out on a great deal.
There are no taxes or residency restrictions on foreign buyers in Costa Rica, who are entitled to the same property rights as Costa Rican citizens. Property in the Costa Ballena is an ideal consideration for people wanting to have a retreat from their lives back home with minimal legal hassles and offering great value in comparison to similar beach real estate in the U.S. This region won’t stay a secret for very long, with more tourists to Costa Rica making their way further south each year. This region is most visited and populated by North American expats, although numbers of visitors are growing each year from the UK, France, Germany and Belgium
This is a country with no soldiers, an environmentally protectionist government, and laws that cater to investors, foreign and domestic. This booming climate is attracting more investors in 2017 than we’ve seen since the early 2000s, and it is reflected in the growing number of construction projects around the nation, which increased by more than 23% in the last year.
Costa Rica is the most visited country in Central America, capturing around 26.4% market share. Americans account for about 40% of all visitor arrivals in the country every year. It is estimated that about 100,000 American citizens live in Costa Rica and more than 1 million visit the country every year. Come and see what many others already know about Costa Rica’s Southern Zone and get your slice of paradise before word gets out any further and we see the market shift again towards sellers.