My interview with Welovecostarica’s Scott Oliver where I discuss real estate and provide some detail on the market for 2012 in the Central Pacific.
Recently I caught up with David Karr to talk with him more about the real estate market in the Central Pacific.David has been living in Costa Rica since 2005. He shared some news and his thoughts of the past year. How has the real estate market been in the Central Pacific in 2012?........
Sales have improved from the previous year. I know many people will question that, and by no means is it like anything in the peak years of the mid 2000s, but across the board there has been more sales and activity than 2011. The key is still good location, good views and/or access, and the right price, properties that fit those three are selling. We still have a lot of gridlock with many sellers not in the desperate situations to sell in which many buyers are seeking, it might sound crazy but there are a lot of sales that aren’t being made over a difference of 10%, that’s gridlock!
But with the global economy in tough shape aren’t there foreclosures, distressed sales, there has to be plenty of sellers who are in a bind right?
Not really. Our market has always been primarily a cash market, so banks are rarely involved and that has also kept the bottom from falling out. And because we have a good tourism and vacation rental market, most sellers simply rent out their property to cover their expenses which really does not create the same urgency for them to sell. There are always a handful of what I’d consider tremendous deals, but its simply supply and demand, there are few of them and lots who want them so those deals typically move fast.
How can someone find one of those great deals?
A great value is really in retrospect. Each person’s intrepretation might be a bit different. Is a great deal 20% under market value, 50%? What is even more important to understand is that any good realtor is going to help their client obtain a terrific value when it’s a buyers market, thats the easy part, but there is more to it. I can go to a department store and might find an Armani suit on clearance reduced by 80%, but if it’s not exactly my size, doesn’t really fit, and I never wear it, then is it reallly a good deal? Go backwards, identify your goals and where you want to be, then focus on the best value available within those parameters. Then choose a realtor who has their ear to the ground and knows which sellers really are motivated. I help my clients get the best values, but more importantly, I help them get the right property for them, and that’s the key.
Is the highway from Escazu to Puntarenas still impacting Jaco?
Absolutely. Virtually every weekend there are people in town. It used to be that our tourism was dependent on foreigners and was more seasonal, but local tourism is just booming. More and more Costa Ricans are coming here on holidays, for a weekend stay, or even just for a day trip. This might not be as lucrative as some rich gringos coming down for two weeks, but it’s traffic and it’s commerce none the less. Local Costa Ricans are also renting and purchasing properties, all of this is helping stimulate our market.
What else is new in the Central Pacific?
Jaco is still seeing most of the growth and impovements, as the infrastructure and investment is all coming here. There is a new soccer stadium set to start construction at the beginning of next year. A new condo-hotel project just broke ground, which is one of the first new projects to start construction in some time, and many storefronts continue to remodel. Five years ago I used to have clients looking for property tell me I’d like to look at all the areas in the Central Pacific, but prefer to be outside of Jaco, now more and more are saying the opposite where they want to be specifically and only in Jaco.
What is your outlook moving forward.
I think the San Jose market is going to continue to merge with the Central Pacific. Those in the city are going to continue to come more and more during the weekends. An hour drive is just too close not to come enjoy this beautiful weather and beach life. What’s great about the Central Pacific is it’s not all Jaco. From rustic areas like Hermosa, more secluded spots like Esterillos and luxurious ground of Los Suenos, it’s more than Jaco. I think the entire area provides a great variety for types of people and think more are discovering that this is one of the best areas in Costa Rica.
For more information on real estate in the Jaco, Los Suenos & Hermosa area give me a call at 707.962.4482
Providing you with real estate tips, deal alerts and news for the Jaco area.