So here are a few examples of the ‘truth’ that affects Costa Rica real estate of the 9th May 2008:
1. Costa Rica remains a safe and peaceful haven for many real estate investors and entrepreneurs from other countries in Central and Latin America.
2. With the Central American free trade agreement a ‘done deal', real estate investors, business people and entrepreneurs are no longer in a ‘wait and see’ mode, they are now coming here from the USA, Mexico, Spain, Germany and other countries in Europe.
3. In 2007 Costa Rica attracted 27 new foreign high technology companies which generated some 6,352 jobs and about US$421 million in investment. For a tiny country like Costa Rica, that's huge!
4. Boston Scientific announced that they will invest another $35 million over the next three years and add about 1,200 employees.
5. The German company Continental AG will produce electronic components for car transmissions in Costa Rica after investing US$61 millions dollars in their new manufacturing facility in Alajuela.
6. The Baxter medical equipment company which has over 1,300 employees in Costa Rica recently opened a new, first of it's kind 152,000 square foot sterilization plant in Cartago. This new manufacturing facility in Cartago, has already been recognized with the 2008 Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, the first to be awarded the Shingo Prize outside North America and they are being “honored for their achievements in driving higher quality and improvements in productivity, manufacturing cycle time and customer lead-time. "
7. “Thanks to the human resources of Costa Rica, " Intel builds the most powerful processors in the world right here. Intel has invested about $800 million in Costa Rica over the last ten years and will invest another $90 million in 2008. “Costa Rica plays in the greatest technology leagues. Thanks to Costa Rica talent, millions of people can connect to the web. "
8. While the working class and the middle class continue to be decimated in the USA as jobs move inshore to countries like Costa Rica and offshore to China, Costa Rica has plenty of work. At the job fair a few weeks ago, companies including Procter & Gamble, Intel, IBM, HP & Fujitsu (recognize any of those names?) are having trouble filling 8,000 positions they have available.
9. And while America's biggest banks and some of Wall Street's largest investment firms are literally begging for money from foreign investors and the USA is by far the world's largest debtor, after 40 years of deficits, Costa Rica will close 2007 with a surplus. . .
In any market, be it stocks, bonds, commodities or real estate, there are always pockets of opportunities so while the blood maybe running in the streets of certain real estate markets, I can assure you from first hand personal consulting experience with well over 100 transactions in the last 12 months, that Costa Rica continues to boom as an emerging market, the real estate market in most parts of the country is excellent and there are plenty of opportunities for the savvy investor.
Daniel is Costa Rica real estate market specialist living in Costa Rica.