1. What sort of decline/increase have you see in the number of potential buyers who have contacted you in the last six months in comparison to the previous year?

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I have had the same of higher number of potential buyers contact me in the past 6 months as compared to the previous year.

2. How has the number of sales declined or risen in the last six months in comparison to the previous year? My personal sales in the last 6 months have been as strong as ever. This is in part due to long term relationships that I have fostered and in part due to the good deals that are on the market.

3. What is the easiest real estate sale for you in your area right now? Income producing property and the occasional firesale.

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4. Where do land prices stand now in your area in comparison with this time last year? Raw land is the hardest thing to sell right now. Many sellers who own in cash and are in for the long run are holding steady on price. However those who really need to sell land have had to reduce prices by 20-30% to make a sale.

5. Where do finished home/condo prices stand now in your area in comparison with this time last year? Good quality new product in a good location is at the same level as last year. The properties that have declined are those homes that have been on the market for a while and are older construction in marginal locations.

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6. What sort of real estate product is currently available in your area? What are you lacking? Is there an oversupply of any particular product? In the Manuel Antonio area, we have a very diverse offering. Condos, Branded Condo Hotel units with cash flow, luxury homes. We lack good family homes in a good neighborhood for under $500K; there are just a few. There is an oversupply of rural 5,000 meter lots that were purchased from guys who developed large farms.

Many people are now realizing that Costa Rica will not develop over night and won’t experience the urban sprawl like the US. I always tell my clients that they should only buy a lot in rural Costa Rica for personal use, not investment. If you are looking for an investment you need to be in a proven area that currently has a tourism draw or has jobs (San Jose/Escazu). Real estate value is always based on jobs, tourism, and retirement use.

7. Where are the best opportunities right now in your area? A professionally managed condo hotel unit that makes money for owners, fire sales, and income producing properties.

8. How do you feel the real estate market will perform in your area for the remainder of 2009? I wish I had a crystal ball. Most people think that 2009 around the globe will still be a year of declining GDPs and real estate prices. However I am seeing more people looking to move wealth outside of the US and diversify their assets while there are some good deals to be had.

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Also, there is more infrastructure under construction in Costa Rica than ever before. So, buyers right now get the leverage of a depressed world economy and buyers market, but are positioned well for the upside when we recover and all of this new infrastructure comes online in 2010 and 2011.

Real Estate Market Update With Martin Gill in Manuel Antonio. March 2009

Article/Property ID Number 2139

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