Costa Rica’s housing market was booming for nearly a decade, but activity stalled after the 2008 global financial crisis. In the last couple of years, business has started picking up again, although “prices are still fairly affordable compared to what they were before 2008,” said Saul Rasminsky, the owner of Dominical Real Estate, in the town of Dominical.
While the housing market in the lake area has improved this year after a long, recession-induced slump, it’s still “a tremendous buyer’s market,” Mr. Lux said. “There’s a lot of real estate for sale.”
The real estate market in the Guanacaste region took a dramatic turn in 1995, when the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport opened in Liberia. The new airport allowed international visitors to the Guanacaste coast to avoid the five-hour drive on narrow, winding roads from the crowded airport in the capital of San José.
Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination, but it is also home to roughly 4.8 million people. That means that this tropical paradise must cater to both types of property owners. One Navarro home fulfills both of these needs by offering either a comfortable layout for homeowners or vacation-homeowners, or a useful layout for renters. This fully furnished property sits on a hill, providing majestic views of the nearby mountains, and includes amenities that are more practical as well.
There is no multiple listing service or central database in Costa Rica, making it difficult to find accurate information on sales and pricing. When the international second home market stalled in 2008, sales in the Manuel Antonio area slowed to a trickle and prices dropped 20 to 30 percent, according to agents.
But activity has been picking up in the past year. “We’re definitely having an uptick in sales,” said Shawn Ferguson, co-owner of the Coldwell Banker office in Manuel Antonio and Quepos, a real estate agency.
The market is very dependent on the United States economy, which generates the largest group of buyers. “We’re probably six to eight months behind the U.S.,” Mr. Ferguson said. “As the U.S. heads up, so do we.”
Buried treasure can be found in the Caribbean, and you don’t need a pirate ship to find it. The treasure comes in the form of affordable real estate in five sub-tropical markets primed for growth. These areas are all poised to experience an economic boom in 2013 and beyond, and that has put wind in the sails of North American baby boomers. Each market has an inventory of move-in-ready properties that are suitable for retirement and investment purposes. They are also relatively inexpensive.
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