THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 314

Investors in Costa Rica look more toward Tamarindo region Costa Rica’s real estate is setting a torrid pace amongst foreign nationals, with 2014 again expected to be a busy year. Supported by a strong recommendation from International Living magazine ranking it as one of the best investment locations in the world, Costa Rica is on target to reach new highs. The year 2012 saw more than two million international arrivals and development and construction continued its healthy run during the first quarter of 2013, then just continued on that track throughout the year. So far this year, the Central Valley is attracting the most buyer attention. But on a per capita basis, the less heavily populated Tamarindo region of Guanacaste’s Gold Coast is setting the sales pace this year. Costa Rica’s Central Bank says the country is experiencing quarterly sales increases that rival the boom year of 2000. North Americans lead the rush of those foreign buyers in search of a second home investment in Guanacaste, where rental properties are in high demand. But while North American foreign buyers comprise 65% of buyers in that state, it is expected that new financing and credit options will attract more of Costa Rica’s own growing middle class and drive up prices in Guanacaste. Luxury real estate leads the way in Costa Rica Baby boomers seem to be on the lookout for good buys in Costa Rica. This section of the foreign buying market is particularly attracted by the beauty of the country, the reasonable cost of living and good living standards, and sees their purchases as a great investment opportunity. 314 The country has for a long time been seen as attractive due to its treatment of nationals and expats equally in the area of property law, and the fact that there is neither property tax nor residency restrictions for foreign nationals wishing to own real estate. Luxury property prices remain strong, even as lower priced real estate has stagnated or dropped in value. High net worth buyers are drawn by the unique experiences on offer here. Costa Rica is also seen as an eco-friendly nation, and a place of incredible natural beauty. The strong market for luxury purchases in Costa Rica has not been limited to real estate, however. In 2011 as the country’s economy struggled along with the rest of the world, the sale of luxury cars jumped 15% over the previous year and more than half of the sales were made to foreign nationals. Luxury apparel sales and vacation stays also jumped and the trend is expected to continue as Costa Rica’s international appeal among the luxury segment of the buying public improves. Airline traffic continues to set records Worldwide airline passenger growth is set to rise fastest in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions during the five-year period between 2012 and 2017, with the overall rate likely to rise by 31.2%, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The association predicts there will be 3.91 billion passengers annually by 2017. Of the anticipated increase of 930 million passengers, 638 million will travel on domestic routes and 292 million on international routes. After the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America will likely see the fastest growth rates. The largest single market will be China and nearly one-quarter of all new passengers are expected to be in that country. Traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is to account for 31.7% of