Costa Rica Real Estate Snapshot October 2013


As the current economic crisis slowly crawls its way back into the black it seems to have affected the Costa Rica real estate market only temporarily. Experts that predicted that the market in Costa Rica would turn around sooner than expected were proven correct. Many predicted that market would flat line till 2015 but Costa Rica saw positive signs during the last quarter of 2012 and this positive trend has continued during the first half of 2013.

The main reasons for this rather quick rebound are that the government spent millions of dollars marketing the brand of Costa Rica to markets such as Canada, Europe and Asia as well as other countries in Latin America very quickly after global housing crash began. Further, the government/banking system opened credit availability for locals as well foreigners looking to buy in Costa Rica especially in regards to commercial development.

Even with these smart measures in place, prices did fall but not to record lows as seen in the States. The rolled back prices in Costa Rica were closer to prices seen in the early 2000’s. For example, a beach home that was listed at $240,000 USD before the decline was seeing a rolled back price range of $145,000 to $160,000 USD.

Many foreign real estate investors that were on board in Costa Rica before the down turn did not finance and as a result did not experience the pressures like in the USA were homeowners were crushed by high payments, real estate taxes and insurances.

Even during the down turn retired expats in Costa Rica have continued buying and developing properties for investment. Many of these foreign expats and retirees came from a higher social and economic status and have helped establishing a new segment in the Costa Rica real estate market.

Many in this new segment did quite well during this period, snapping great properties at desperate prices and reselling still at good price and a good profit.

With the large number of current and future retirees continuing to move to Costa Rica, this segment is expected to continue to see growth and be a major contributor to the real estate investment market in the years to come.

The income generating real estate market continues to gain popularity and investors are seeing the potential in commercial investment properties in Costa Rica. This year, many regions have report significant growth in commercial real estate such as the multitude of strip plaza’s being erected in and around the San Jose area.

Agriculture real estate was not affected as much other real estate sectors in Costa Rica during the downturn. Prices held pretty firm during this period and only this year have prices started seeing an uptick.

Costa Rica’s real estate market predictions all look positive and is based on a variety of factors driving the market, such as: its accessibility for North Americans, a young educated and productive workforce that are opening credit lines and investing, political, social and economic stability, free trade agreements continually coming on line, open access to strategic international markets, opening business infrastructures and Costa Rica’s high quality of life and low cost of living.

All things considered there is no doubt that Costa Rica’s economic future seems to be quite optimistic and this optimism is reflected by the positive predictions across the countries real estate spectrum.

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