Costa Ballena Real Estate Market Report for November 2020

May 13, 2023 in Tips for Buyers, Tips for Sellers, Real Estate in Costa Rica

Osa Tropical Properties' Costa Ballena real estate market report is out now! New listings coming soon to our office from Osa Mountain Village, Playa Ballena, Ojochal, Uvita, and Dominical. It’s nearly the start of the summer season in Costa Rica and this is the time of year for new listings to be coming onto the market. But we have noticed a share decline from the same time last year, as evidenced by our last few newsletters. 

New listings for early 2021

New luxury homes are selling prior completion in our Costa Ballena region. We are predicting a crunch in supply in this burgeoning market and a few others. Newly-remodeled homes are making their way back onto the market since many people took the opportunity presented by this year’s pause in tourism to put some work into their home for sale. And with our helpful feedback from showings in the past, our listing clients are poised to sell these homes in this coming busy season.

What is selling at the close of 2020

For weeks now, buyers have been placing conditional offers on homes and properties in Costa Rica that they have only experienced via our virtual tours. They knew that the country was on the cusp of reopening and they did not want to miss out on these properties. And now that they have been allowed to travel in, these offers are finally closing to satisfied buyers. Sellers are also feeling satisfied with these offers, which are moving closer and closer to 100% of asking price. Really special listings are highly competitive right now and buyers are inclined to make a good offer so that they do not lose out on the property of their dreams. Most buyers today are looking for homes in Costa Rica with ocean views. These have always been the most popular property types, however the value of these homes is increasing every year. This is because people can expect a higher level of quality with the newer homes being built, which tend to be modern structures with high ceilings and lots of glass. Some buyers are purchasing multiple properties—one to be their main home and another to rent out. One set of clients we are working with have begun a mega project and are looking to buy a small, turnkey home to live in while they await completion. On the more affordable property side, river lots are gaining in popularity with buyers this year. Some people value the privacy and wildlife sightings afforded by big trees and the calming sounds of flowing water instead of a more expensive ocean view. We predict that homes that can be used for popular vacation rentals continue to be a big seller in Costa Rica real estate in 2021. This is because many new buyers are not yet certain that they want to live in Costa Rica full-time and want to be able to rent it out their property while they are not using it. They may not yet be ready to retire or they simply haven’t spent enough time here to know that this is where they want to live. Those of us who have spent a number of years in Costa Rica know that the longer we’re here, the less we ever want to leave. But we’re finding that there are many more buyers this year who have hardly spent any time living in Costa Rica and are buying on a recommendation, or a hunch, or because they know someone who lives here and want that same lifestyle. There is enough written and filmed about Costa Rica for people to know that there is something special about this location and they want in. In fact, our office has had over $2million in offers this week alone, and this is just the first wave of tourists who have been brave enough to travel during these cautious times. And with the huge number of inquiries we have been fielding in the last three months from eager buyers waiting to be let in, we know that this enthusiasm will only continue to grow.

Travel to Costa Rica in 2021

As of November 1, Costa Rica welcomes tourists arriving by flight or ship from anywhere in the world. This has brought confidence to an international buyer’s market for Costa Rica real estate. Most buyers who have recently contacted our office are planning their trip to Costa Rica some time after Christmas. Many want to wait and see what is happening with travel restrictions in these uncertain times. But they are adamant that they are ready to make a lifestyle change and their hearts are set on Costa Rica.  Twenty-four airlines are currently flying to Costa Rica or are expected to resume operations at the start of 2021. Marriott International announced this week that it will open four of its properties—an indicator that there is confidence in the recovery of Costa Rica's tourism sector.  Costa Rica has seen a slowdown in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. Parts of the Southern Zone have almost zero risk of contagion. This has brought the country, and especially this region, up on more lists of potential travel destinations after a long year of nearly world-wide border closures. ‘Workation’ is a new term taking action in the local tourism market, which will be looking to attract employees who are able to work “from home.” This alternative work environment is expected to put Costa Rica on the map for a whole new class of buyers. There are four geographic areas to which more attention should be paid due to their high reproduction rate of the virus, which all center around the northern border with Nicaragua and the Central Valley. Travelers coming to Costa Rica no longer require a negative coronavirus test but travel insurance is necessary for the duration of the stay. 

Predictions for Costa Rica’s economy

According to the IMF, Costa Rica’s GDP is not expected to rebound significantly in 2021. This means that the U.S. Dollar will continue to trade at a higher rate compared to the Costa Rican Colon. Fortunately, as of this week, Costa Rica is being included in the OECD. This is slated to mark a before and after point in the standard of living with a range of new business opportunities opening in the country. Costa Rica is the 38th country to become part of this commission and the 4th in Latin America. “We see a more positive mandate from Biden for Costa Rica. We do see opportunities for the country in environmental matters and the return of supply chains for large U.S. companies, which leaves the country in a very good position to attract this foreign investment,” said Silvia Jiménez, Manager of Inversiones de Mercado de Valores. 

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