Luxury home construction trends along the coasts is largely fueled by the demand from foreigners according to Costa Rica’s LA NACION newspaper. In the published article from February 2024, Clari Vega, Managing Broker at LX Costa Rica, specialized in serving high-net-worth clients, shared insights into the motivations driving this affluent demographic towards the Pacific coast, particularly in areas like Guanacaste and Puntarenas where offerings of homes valued over $1 million are plentiful. The most significant constructions are underway in Garabito and Santa Cruz, attracting notable interest from Americans in Jacó, Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Ana.

Luxury Specialist Clari Vega recounted stories of  buyers of luxury homes on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.  It’s not uncommon for UHNWI clients seeking privacy to buy a luxury home with significant beachfront or city views, and have their team, including a chef, personal trainer, health manager, driver, and security, arrive by flight or helicopter to prepare the residence before their arrival.

It’s great to see how international buyers have recognized the great value and opportunity that Costa Rica’s real estate market offers.  The luxury home market in Costa Rica is very active and continues to grow, fueld in large part by an influx of foreign investment.

Clari VegaClari Vega, LX Costa Rica

Melizandro Quiros CENFI - LX Costa RicaThis trend is supported by data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), revealing a spike in the construction of homes over 200 square meters. Melizandro Quirós, executive director of the Center for Financial and Real Estate Business Studies (CENFI), alongside the growth in construction permits and new residences in this size category, illustrated the expanding luxury market in Costa Rica, particularly after the pandemic.

Quirós highlighted that in 2022, there was a 19% increase in construction permits for residences over 200 square meters, with the inventory of new homes in this category rising by 26% to 2,211 units, and the total constructed area seeing a 30% increase. This surge underscores the market’s evolution towards larger, more luxurious homes.

The surge in Guanacaste’s luxury housing market is partly attributed to the expansion of Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia and the resulting availability of goods and services in the area, such as hotels, shopping centers, and supermarkets.

Liberia Airport

Photo: Courtesy of Civil Aviation and Q Costa Rica

Multiple media and government sources, including this article about Luxury Private Jets in Costa Rica, iterate it is becoming more and more common to see several private aircraft that park at the Daniel Oduber airport, in Liberia, Guanacaste, while tourists vacation in that province.

Costa Rica ranks as the third most popular destination in the Americas for Americans looking to buy homes, with real estate searches for the country on specialized platforms increasing by 7% between August 2022 and August 2023. The most sought-after areas include beach areas such as Jacó, Tamarindo, and Nosara, and a significant uptake in city searches for the west end of San José in Escazú and Santa Ana.

Despite the focus on luxury, the concept varies by location, with each region offering distinct features catering to specific activities or preferences. However, luxury homes generally share characteristics such as large rooms with walk-in closets, spacious social areas with sea views, pools, and jacuzzis. Not all luxury homes prioritize high-end finishes; some emphasize privacy or exceptional views.

In terms of location, certain coastal areas like Carrillo and Liberia are popular among celebrities for their luxury homes, partly due to the proximity to Liberia’s airport. Meanwhile, places like Santa Cruz and Tamarindo attract families due to their access to private schools, shopping centers, and supermarkets.

In 2022, Garabito and Santa Cruz led in the construction of homes over 200 square meters, contributing to 46.5% of the total luxury residences built that year. This trend highlights a significant interest in coastal luxury properties, not only among foreign buyers seeking secondary residences or investment opportunities but also among Costa Ricans looking for luxury living within their country.

Clari Vega, reflecting on her experience with foreign buyers, mentioned that many foreigners are accustomed to high prices of smaller apartments in cities like New York or Miami, or even cities in California. They find Costa Rica’s luxury market appealing, where larger properties offer more amenities and privacy, offering greater value at a much lower comparable price. Vega’s insights into the luxury real estate market reveal a nuanced understanding of the desires and expectations of her clientele.

Melizandro Quirós and Clari Vega’s observations point to a significant trend in Costa Rica’s real estate market, with a growing interest in luxury properties among both domestic and international buyers. The emphasis on privacy, luxury, and unique amenities, combined with Costa Rica’s natural beauty and strategic locations, makes it a top choice for those seeking opulence combined with the tranquility of coastal living.

Additional insights from real estate advisor Ramón Coll and specific listing offerings represented by Sergio Fumero further illuminated the high-end market dynamics in Costa Rica. Coll emphasized the diversity in luxury property demands based on location, highlighting how specific areas cater to different lifestyles and preferences, from family-oriented communities near schools and amenities to secluded retreats for the ultra-wealthy seeking unparalleled privacy and exclusivity. Fumero and his represented agency, showcased other properties that not only offer opulent living spaces but also embody architectural design and location desirability. Together, their contributions underline the complex fabric of Costa Rica’s luxury real estate market, where the allure of pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and bespoke amenities continues to attract a sophisticated international clientele.

Luxury home construction in Costa Rica

On the cover of this article: Oceana Oceanview Home in Garza, luxury home for sale on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast in Guanacaste.

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