Real Estate Update for the Papagayo Region
Well, it is time again for another boring Papagayo area real estate market update. In case you had your head in the sand the last two years, you would know that the real estate market in Costa Rica has been completely affected by the global pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were busy feeding our less-than-fortunate friends and neighbors, and then dealing with closed borders. After that came hesitancy to travel, even though the borders have been completely open for over a year and a half.
If you would rather read about the lighter side of life in paradise then just stop reading here. Those of you interested in real estate, please read on.
Over the last 10 to 11 months, the real estate market has been very strong. This has made some people forget the year or so before that when sales were well below normal averages.
So, let’s keep this in context. Before this whole mess started in early 2020, we were on track for our best year in 10 years. The pent-up demand from the first 18 months of the pandemic has been concentrated into six months, and while sales have been great, don’t expect them to sizzle like they have been forever.
Don’t get us wrong, we still believe that more and more people want to own a property outside of North America as a haven to relax and escape their hectic lives. And more and more people have decided they want to live and work in a place that offers great weather and good infrastructure for themselves and their families.
Paradise punch clock
The pandemic made so many companies and individuals realize that they can work remotely from anywhere on the planet. This has created another completely new set of buyers, who would rather punch the clock from paradise than from their home in North America. Many owners who were vacation-renting their homes have taken them out of the rental market, and are now occupying those properties themselves.
Tourism and entries into the Liberia airport – now called Guanacaste International Airport (LIR) have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Many foreigners are returning to their second homes here and others are coming for the first time. Vacation rentals are again booming, giving many buyers a feeling of confidence as they invest in the real estate sector of Costa Rica.
There are virtually no homes available for long-term rentals. The fire sales are long gone, and we are running out of inventory. This is fueling a surge, as people are feeling the fear of losing out. Many homes that were on the market before the pandemic started are sold, and many of the spec homes are also sold, with the next batch of homes being built at significantly higher prices.
For those interested in building, there are still some great deals to be had, but they too, are disappearing quickly. If you find your dream lot, our advice is to jump on it, as it probably will not be here on your next visit.
Also, many retirees, who might have been contemplating other Latin American countries, now realize the extreme risks and inherent dangers of living in those places. Costa Rica is still the safest country south of Texas and the most stable democracy in the region.
On September 15, 2021 we celebrated 200 years of independence. Wow, what an accomplishment — something very few countries in the world are able to brag about. With massive hurricanes still being an issue in the Caribbean, our calm weather and consistent climate keeps pulling more and more buyers away from there and headed our way. We just keep rocking and rolling.
Here to stay
Probably the most enjoyable part about living in Costa Rica is seeing how many people are making this their full-time home. Our community keeps expanding, as retirees are making this their permanent residence. What is truly exciting is seeing how many young people are moving here, including families consisting of parents in their 20s or 30s raising children. They have the entrepreneurial spirit and are taking advantage of the new work-from-home reality, taking it to a whole new level in Costa Rica. What a great lifestyle, to be able to work and live in paradise, put your children in first-class bilingual schools, and in your free time, soak up everything this amazing little country has to offer. Everyone who now lives here wishes they had made the move much earlier in life.
To all of our clients who are thinking about making the leap and investing in paradise, we encourage you to consider doing it sooner rather than later. We have definitely seen a clear shift from a buyer’s to a seller’s market.
Hope to see you down here soon!