I just returned from the Coldwell Banker Global Conference (GenBlue) in Universal City CA where I met dozens of brokers from around the globe. For the sake of this post, I will focus on my conversations I had with those in the USA.
In California, the average home is on the market for less than 90 days. Florida is close to 75 days. New York is about the same. Dallas or Houston is hovering near 75 days.
The deer-in-the-headlight facial contortion happened when I was asked about our market-indicator data point. “So John, how long are homes (not land) taking to sell in Costa Rica?”
32 Months! (That is correct. Months. Not Days).
968 Days…. Please don’t correct my math…I am on a roll…
“Um, so, how do you make a living down there selling real estate?” We will save that answer for another time.
Costa Rica is a secondary – perhaps tertiary – market. With only 4+ Million people (the size of Orange County CA), it is not a primary economic market. Come to the coast, where the majority of foreigners invest or live and there is very little real economy.
This is lifestyle! People buy homes here to enjoy a certain lifestyle that is hard to explain as it is something you must experience. Yet, even with lengthy days on the market, construction is extremely robust. Just in my area of Costa Ballena, we see over 60 homes under construction. I anticipate seeing high quality inventory hitting our market in 2015.
32 months is an alarming number when sharing with sellers as we take their listings but bodes well for potential buyers as their remains stress for sellers to realistically price their product.
For you, my prospective customer, this is an interesting opportunity to consider. Every time I share this data with you in my car, your response is that the seller must be desperate, distressed or that something is significantly wrong with the home. Not at all.
Don’t be alarmed by the length of time it takes to sell inventory in Costa Rica. Remember, we don’t do Sat/Sun open houses or have listing magazines in every grocery store, newspaper and dental office. Our clientele is looking at homes while on vacation in between their zip line tour and scuba diving. So yes, selling a home is going to take longer than in the US. It just is what it is.
Things are progressively getting better, supply (the lesser quality inventory) is dwindling, new construction is on the rise and demand is back.
I predict my data point – Time on the Market – will show 24 Months within one year and a continued downward trend. By that time, prices will have begun to creep back up. Based on these statistics, managing your patience is critical as the boat may have left the dock.
Now is the time to be purchasing!