The real estate market in Costa Rica has always been steady however in this article we’re going to breakdown what the 2018-19 market trends are telling us the future holds for this prosperous sector of the GDP.
Over the past 5 years we have witnessed GDP growth on average of 9.76% which is over double Mexico and 8x higher than the popular expat destination of Ecuador. However because the Hacienda de la Republica of Costa Rica does not report on housing sales in the country, we can not be for certain what percentage of the entire GDP can be credited to real estate.
That being said…when you are the authority for real estate in Costa Rica, you have access to figures and sources not published or readily available to the general public.
Agents from around the country, albeit reporting slightly different market conditions, all are positive.
Now it is true that the average price per square meter of a home across the country has declined, the fact remains that overall real estate transactions are up by double digit figures since 2013. This is why realtors are pleased with the outlook for the coming year given the more transactions the more payable commissions.
So what does this all mean for someone looking to buy/invest in real estate in Costa Rica?
Well just like it is in the US, Canada and other parts of the world, when housing prices drop this naturally sparks a buyer market. Costa Rica is most certainly enveloped itself within a buyer market. Both foreign and domestic buyers of real estate are seizing the opportunity to pick up discounted real estate.
Diving deeper in to home prices in Costa Rica for 2018-19 across the provinces we find that Guanacaste for example sits around $113.52/sqft while the Central Valley (San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela & Heredia) has an average housing cost of $97.75/sqft. Along the Pacific Coast in Puntarenas Province we see the highest housing costs at $124.50/sqft. Limon province is the lowest at $87.05.
So why such differences between the areas around the country? Simple…it boils down to location.
Naturally you will see higher housing costs in areas of demand and declining costs in less attractive areas. Now does that mean Guanacaste is any less attractive than in Puntarenas? No. What is does mean is that if we excluded the local consumers of real estate and merely focus on the foreigners who are buying, we see a trend in preference in climate.
Almost everyone moving to Costa Rica wants to be at or near the beach, while those that have spent more time here, understand that the beach is hot. Real hot.
Costa Rica is famous for its lush vibrant landscapes. Like something out of a Jurassic Park film. Well actually that movie was in fact filmed here…but you get the point. There is a growing number of expats migrating to the appeal of the Costa Rican jungle life.
Something else we should consider is the glaring difference between a condo/vacation home buyer over a single-family home. Guanacaste is more of a destination to have a vacation home or condo to escape to when winter hits. Meanwhile those who prefer the southern zone (Puntarenas province) like their mountains and flora & fauna to live surrounded by it all each day. Not temporarily.
The Central Valley is another popular condominium destination and has what has been called “the perfect climate” whereas temperatures always hover around 22°C (71°F). It is for this reason the Central Valley is ever growing in popularity with retirees.
For the moment it still remains a buyer market in Costa Rica however we will see if that shifts for 2019-20. So for now if you’re thinking at all of buying a home in Costa Rica then now might be the time!