Based on global real estate prices, anyone that feels Costa Rica real estate prices are high is not looking at the big picture…

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Most of our American friends are seeing serious declines in most US real estate markets and assume that because that’s happening in the USA, that it must be happening in Costa Rica.

It is not.

Real estate prices in Costa Rica are not declining, in fact all of the experienced developers with proven track records of delivering a quality product in Costa Rica that I consult with are raising their prices.

Smaller unproven developers may be lowering prices, however I have not seen that and as you know, former Florida swampland/ostrich farms/penny stock sales people now selling Costa Rica land are not recommended on and can no longer try and advertise on this site because we have removed all Google ads.

My consulting company is a member of the Costa Rica Chamber of Construction and according to their statistics, construction in Costa Rica continues to explode:

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Costa Rica Construction Growth:

  • 2001 – 40.75%
  • 2002 – 10.35%
  • 2003 – 40.83%
  • 2004 – 19.90%
  • 2005 – 10.15%
  • 2006 – 64.43%

Growing from 1,257,049 square meters of construction in 2001 to 5,949,980 gives us an average growth rate of 31% per annum and with 500,000 square meters of construction permits in January 2007 alone, this year looks like it will be another very busy year.

75% of those new construction permits in January 2007 is for homes which is 23.5% higher than the same period in the previous year. For the same period, commercial real estate construction is up 62.5%, industrial real estate is up 49.8% and ‘others’ is up 37.5%

European Real Estate Prices?

The owner of the Global Property Guide and I have been swapping a few emails and here are a few European real estate prices to put things into perspective for you.

The following prices have been converted from Euros (EUR 1 = US$1.31259) into US dollars (see chart below) to make it easier for you to read and are the prices per square meter for a 120 square meter apartment (1,292 square feet) in a variety of European cities:

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  1. Monaco – US$32,683 per square meter – Yup! That means $3.9 million
  2. London (Prime) – US$19,061
  3. London (Other) – US$9,499
  4. Paris & Amsterdam – US$8,751
  5. Moscow – US$8,224
  6. Rome – US$7,984
  7. Zurich – US$7,789
  8. Dublin – US$6,562 or US$787,554 for the apartment.
  9. Denmark – US$4,967
  10. Helsinki – US$4,375
  11. Berlin – US$4,157
  12. Vienna – US$3,937
  13. Bucharest – US$3,085 or US$370,150 for the apartment.

Admittedly you could buy an apartment in some of the cheaper European cities like Istanbul in Turkey, Brussels in Belgium, Riga in Latvia, Ljubljana in Slovenia but you would still be paying 2-3 times what you would have to pay for the same sized apartment in Costa Rica.

And the cheapest city in Europe is supposedly Bucharest where you would pay US$3,085 per square meter for a 120M2 apartment.

According to this data, Costa Rica real estate is half the price of the cheapest city in Europe.

You can certainly find ultra-luxury condos in Costa Rica for $2,000 per square meter but you can also easily buy a modern, brand new, very comfortable home anywhere near the business, cultural and entertainment centre of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica for US$1,000 – $1,500 per square.

And how much are property taxes in Europe or the USA? Don’t get me started… Costa Rica property taxes in Costa Rica are only 0.25% a faction of what you would pay in most European countries and US states.

Yes! I know that San Jose, Costa Rica is NOT London, Paris, Moscow or Bucharest (thank goodness) however, this country is developing quickly and and the cost of living in Costa Rica is much more affordable!

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Written by Scott Oliver, author of How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa and Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore.

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