The Top Property Markets in Central America

by revealreal on January 11, 2010

There is not just one real estate market in Central America or one real estate market in Costa Rica, there are many markets and sub-markets. Real estate is not uniform across the region, the performance of different ‘purchasing destinations’ can vary considerably. The most successful real estate investors understand this and get geographically granular when analyzing the market.

We’re fans of finding ‘property hotspots’ – areas that stand out as being attractive for real estate investors. We’ve looked across the region, seen how each area has fared in 2009 and run the numbers on our database of real estate developments. Then, by looking at tourism numbers and infrastructure improvements, we’ve culled the list down to a top 5.

1) Placencia – Belize real estate
Placencia is the second most popular area for tourists in Belize. Ambergris Caye is the top draw. But when it comes to infrastructure improvements, Placencia is booming. The paving of the road along the Peninsula is underway and a new international airport is under construction. A wave of upscale real estate developments is launching ready to put the region on the world map for investors.

2) San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua real estate
2009 saw a new pedestrian bridge connect the north and south parts of town. A trench for a new water pipeline from Lake Cocibolca is being dug. And you can drive from Managua (the capital) or Granada to San Juan del Sur without hitting a pothole. All of this is reinforcing San Juan del Sur’s position as the hub of real estate investor activity in Nicaragua.

3) Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica
Most real estate headlines in Costa Rica focus on the Guanacaste region to the north – a region that saw spectacular growth during the boom years. But now, as things have settled and investors take stock, the focus is shifting southwards to the southern Pacific. The real estate prices are cheaper and infrastructure is improving. The new San Jose – Caldera highway, for example, is cutting journey times drastically.

4) Chiriqui Pacific coast, Panama
There are still only a handful of real estate developments located on the Chiriqui Pacific coast near David. But this will change. The area boasts beautiful islands and sheltered cover – exactly what real estate investors are after. It still feels like a real estate frontier for now, but those people who get a toe-hold early could set themselves up for a positive run.

5) Corozal, Belize
Corozal makes are list for two main reasons. First, prices are lower than Ambergris Caye and Placencia – the better known purchasing destinations in Belize. Second because of it’s geographical proximity to Mexico. The town of Corozal is minutes from the border and the city of Chetumal. Real estate developers have started to enter the region to launch master-planned communities targeting North American retirees.

That’s our top 5. Areas that we think will stand out for tourists, retirees and real estate investors for years to come.

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