Internal and external factors are working together to create a very active real estate market.

Costa Rica, like most countries has distinct areas that have more active real estate markets than other areas. For the last eleven years I have watched the property value rise slowly and steadily along the central Pacific coast region all the way up to the northern Pacific coast region.

Very distinct zones of constant activity over the last five years have been the Manuel Antonio (southern central Pacific coast) area, the Jaco Beach (central Pacific coast) area, the Tamarindo/Flamingo( northern Pacific coast) and the Playa Hermosa/Papagayo(northern Pacific coast) areas.

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Recently however one region is distinctly becoming the hottest area of real estate activity in all of Costa Rica. The northern Pacific zone is experiencing tremendous growth and as a result, property values are increasing, and will continue to do so, which is creating very advantageous investment opportunities for those that are able to take advantage of them.

As has occurred in many other regions of the world, the reason for the accelerated growth is due to the opening, or more accurately put, the use of an International Airport, specifically the Liberia International Airport. There is a some what lengthy and interesting history to the airport, rife with intrigue but for that, you have to come to Costa Rica and get from me in person.

For the last nine years the Liberia airport has been used by charter airlines. Initially just Canadian charter airlines, and then three years ago US charter airlines starting coming in. Charter companies such Apple Vacations, Go Vacations and Vacation Express. Things changed significantly in December 2002 when Delta Airlines began the first commercial airline route from Atlanta, Ga. direct to Liberia offering three flights a week.

The region witnessed a noticeable increase in people interested in buying property, and in people buying property. Property values began to rise. The effects of supply and demand were and are taking their natural course because of the ease of international access and increased traffic.

These effects were increasing also because the First Phase of the Three Phase Peninsula Papagayo Project entered its third year of work with projections to open by the end of 2003. The First Phase is comprised of a Four Seasons Resort and an Arnold Palmer Signature golf course. The projected initial investment for the First Phase is just over $110 million.

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Additionally a new road is being built from the airport area directly to the Playa Hermosa area making it the closest beach area to the airport.

For the last year these three internal factors have worked to increase the demand for property in this area. As a result land values began to rise. Land values are going to continue to rise in this area dramatically over the next two to three years and thereafter at a very steady pace. The reasons for this are as follow;

Delta Airlines started bringing in three flights a week direct from Atlanta, GA. As a result of the success of this route, Delta is increasing the route to five flights per week starting in January 2004.

Another result of the success Delta has enjoyed, is that American Airlines will start a route from Miami direct to Liberia three times a week starting in January 2004.

Not to be left out, Continental Airlines will bring in three flights a week direct from Houston, starting January 2004.

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These are extremely significant events and are factors that definitely indicate the overwhelming demand of people wanting to get to the area, and as history has proven a precursor to significant increases in land values. As has occurred in other vacation destinations around the world, when international access becomes readily available, property values increase simply from the increase in demand.

You can take advantage of this information and the timing of it, and benefit directly from the increases in property value, if you act quickly.

After four years of work and an investment of over $100 million, the neighboring Four Seasons Resort and Arnold Palmer Signature golf course are on schedule to hold their grand opening January 19th, 2004. The sheer investment in the Four Seasons property and the introduction of their clientele to this market area, will have very positive effects on local property values.

This is the First Phase of a Three Phase project, which includes additional golf courses, two marinas, other 5 and 6 star hotels, with a total investment that will surpass $400 million and be completed over the next ten years. As has occurred around the world, neighboring properties to resort communities of this caliber increase in value dramatically as they build out.

A brand new road is under construction from the airport area to the Playa Hermosa area. It is due to be completed with in the next year. The effects of a new road will be another positive factor and work to increase property values.

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The wheel is not being re-invented here. Historically, the combination of massive foreign investment, direct international access, and new local roads, has lead to an increase in property values.

These internal factors are also combined with three equally significant external factors.

An unprecedented number of people will retire over the next 17 years when approximately 70 million Americans will retire. This is a staggering number and will most certainly affect the prices of retirement property around the world.

The stock market remains volatile. Investor confidence remains low. Historically the real estate industry enters a growth cycle when investors are shying away from the stock market.

Similar to the effects of the stock market, the real estate industry benefits considerably when the bank interest rates drop. Again, historically when banks are offering low interest rates, as they are now, people turn to real estate as a safe and better performing investment. It is a global world now, with easy access, Costa Rica is a viable real estate market for these investors.

These internal and external factors all coming together at the same time are creating tremendously advantageous opportunities for those that are considering purchasing property in Costa Rica. The timing could not be better. Land values in the Hot Zone will appreciate for many years to come.

You will not only be acquiring your property, home or condo in Paradise, you will be making a wise and timely investment.

Costa Rica’s HOT ZONE is just starting to warm up. It is time to put a little sun block on and come to take a look for yourself. You have the information, it is up to you to act on it.

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Scott MacDougall has lived in Costa Rica for the last ten years and has been intimately involved in real estate construction and land development during this time. Scott is presently the co-owner operator of ‘Century 21 At The Beach’ – a full service real estate and development company.

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