Study: Guanacaste one of World's hottest Real Estate destinationsAs traditional workplaces shift people are rethinking lifestyle choices. Enter Costa Rica!
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COVID-19 Caused an Existential Crisis
Reevaluation is a common reaction to sudden, strange stillness like that brought on by the pandemic, says Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, “It gives people a lot of time to review their lives and think about what life could look like moving forward,” she says. “For many people, that’s not a bad thing, for them to really spend time taking an inventory of what their life is like currently and what they want it to be like.”
Quarantine also creates a perfect storm for making big decisions, says Jacqueline Gollan, a psychiatry professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine who studies decision making. Many people are stuck at home for most of their waking hours, watching one day bleed into the next. When it feels like nothing noteworthy is going on, people may try to make things happen.
“People have a basic bias toward action,” Gollan says. “People will want to take action on something, whatever it is, rather than delay action [even] when that’s the best option.”
That natural inclination may be ratcheted up even further when people are trying to relieve negative leftover emotions associated with the pandemic, Gollan says. In addition to a general preference for action over inaction, humans are also likely to seek out situations—new relationships, living situations, jobs—that seem like they’ll relieve stress, sadness or other bad feelings. That’s particularly likely during something as emotionally taxing as a pandemic.
Coronavirus has also reminded people of their own mortality, Gollan says. “People are realizing that life is short, and they’re reprioritizing,” she says. That’s an expected reaction: Studies show that natural disasters and other traumatic events can prompt people to make big decisions like getting married, often in a search for security or comfort.
Crises can also make people analyze and change their values. People tend to become more religious after natural disasters, research shows,perhaps out of a desire to understand or cope with difficult and inexplicable situations. Similarly, a Pew Research Center report from October 2020 found that 86% of U.S. adults thought there were lesson(s) humankind should learn from the COVID-19 pandemic. When asked to specify what those lessons were, people gave Pew more than 3,700 answers—some practical (the importance of wearing a mask), some spiritual (“We need to pray more and pray harder”) and some personal (we should “value humankind and intimacy”).
Relationships are often the first thing to get a makeover when people take a hard look at their lives, says Amanda Gesselman, associate director for research at the Kinsey Institute, a research center that focuses on sex and relationships. Gesselman’s research shows many people, particularly those in their twenties and thirties, are spending more time than usual on dating apps during the pandemic, and report having deeper conversations with the people they meet there, compared to before the pandemic.
Nowhere has this ripple effect been more strongly felt than in the Guanacaste real estate market, and most specifically areas near the Daniel Oduber airport , says Randall Fernández, manager of Ranfer-Networking. Deals are being closed at an unprecedented pace especially among luxury homes and large resort sized land parcels in Guanacaste.
The province has become an increasingly attractive spot for international investors, to the extent that there is little developed real estate inventory on hand. We expect a dramatic increase in investment by the large hotel chains and especially in luxury residences and vacation second homes by american buyers in the next 12 months in the province.
In a recent study on the real estate market in Guanacaste investors are clear that Costa Rica and, specifically Guanacaste, are what they are looking for for after the pandemic.
“This pandemic created a global awareness of the need to be in healthy environments and the tradition of conservation, natural beauty, and ecology in Costa Rica has left them in a strong real estate position strategically.
In turn, it was found that Costa Rica is being perceived not only for vacation enjoyment, but also permanent new residents. “Not just as a second home, but as a first home,” he emphasized.
“To this add news such as the Earth shot prize, awarded to Costa Rica recently by Prince William for the conservation of the environment generated an even greater resonance for the country as a health and wellness destination.”
The study identifies Rio Celeste, Nosara and Palmitas beaches as particular hot spots; also Flamingo for the increased interest generated by the new marina slated to open its first phase this year, the study also identified Playa Avellanas as a strong area of buyer interest.
In addition, it highlights that the Nicoya Peninsula which has its own laid back rhythm and atmosphere is becoming more attractive to buyers ; Santa Elena is a thriving place and Carrillo is perceived as an undiscovered jewel.This gold rush climate and high demand is putting upward pressure on real estate prices.
For the country, the rise in real estate activity is synonymous with work for real estate, construction, service companies and other businesses thriving in the province.In turn, it is a catalyst for the economy and an important generator of employment and opportunities.
But it also creates challenges for the country. Along these lines, Ranfer-Networking identified the difficulty in accessing water as the main one, given the lack of investment, in some cases, and timely management, in others.
“This situation makes development more expensive because it causes high investments in the search for solutions aimed mainly at the desalination of seawater, so as not to depend on wells or the public system.”
Other challenges are the slowness of bureaucratic processes, the lack of personnel with a good level of English and in the underlying goal of achieving an orderly and sustainable development to turn the province into an engine of economic development that improves the quality of life of the population.
Retirees, new immigrants, and investors who choose Guanacaste are looking to their enjoyment and quality of life emphasizing experiences rather than goods.This area of Costa Rica boasts excellent infrastructure, including fiber-optics, healthcare and education, but due to its eco-conscious laws, still retains its pristine beauty.
- The arrival of tourists through the Guanacaste airport already exceeds pre-pandemic levels.
- Several major hotel chains have increased the pace of the construction of new lodgings or expansion of existing ones.
- There is a thriving market for luxury home construction.
- Eco resort projects are an increasingly popular trend in Guanacaste.
- Major transactions are increasing for land with beachfront development opportunity and with ocean views.
- The most sought-after land are those closest to the newly named Guanacaste airport in Liberia, the capital of the Province.
- The most highly sought areas are Rio Celeste, Papagayo, Santa Teresa, Conchal, Mojagua, Santa Elena, Pinilla, Manzanillo, Nosara and Garza
- The cost of land in Guanacaste has skyrocketed in reaction to high demand
- The international surf crowd plays a large role in Guanacaste’s increased popularity and international visibility