Global Property Guide

Financial Information for Residential Property Buyers

2009 has been a tough year for real estate sellers in Central America. Sales volumes are down, buyers are more risk adverse and financing is tight. The one bright spot is a growing group of ‘lifestyle buyers’ looking for cheap properties and a low cost of living. Many see Central America as an affordable safe haven and a way to side-step the worst effects of an economic downturn at home.

As it’s cheap real estate these lifestyle buyers are after, we thought we’d offer up a resource that highlights the lowest priced real estate in the four countries we follow: Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

Not surprisingly, the most affordable way into the market is by purchasing a lot or homesite. Our analysis looks at master planned communities targeting the international buyer. This means that a lot purchase comes with access to community amenities. Swimming pools, clubhouses and fitness centers are the most common. In some of the larger, resort-style communities, you’ll find golf courses, restaurants, shopping centers, racket courts, hotels and marinas.

So what’s the starting price point for lots in master planned communities?

We’ve built a ranking table to answer this question, giving the results in overall price and price/sqft for 2009. The table complements the earlier PriceRank we prepared for single family houses and condos. The columns are sortable letting you organize the list in different ways. If you want to know what amenities are offered by each real estate development, click through to the individual page for the answer. You’ll also see if the amenities are planned or completed.

A quick glance at the table shows two broad themes:

  • Real estate developments located in Nicaragua tend to rank lower (ie are lower in price) than those in Costa Rica, with Belize and Panama falling somewhere in between. This pattern mirrors the level of maturity of the real estate markets - from emerging (Nicaragua) to middle markets (Panama and Belize) to the most mature (Costa Rica). We’ve analysed this before by plotting ‘development curves’ to show the relative levels of each of the markets.
  • Generally speaking ocean property has a premium over other locations. Master planned communities on the ocean rank higher for the most part than lake/river and pastoral locations.
Rank Real estate development Country Location Location type Median price ($) Median price/sqft
1 Camino Del Rio Belize Belmopan Lake/river 20,000 2
2 Lomas de Santa Rosa Costa Rica Tamarindo Pastoral 21,200 6
3 Club Alegria Nicaragua Granada Pastoral 21,500 2
4 Better in Belize Belize Belmopan Lake/river 23,000 1
5 Prana del Sol Nicaragua Tola Ocean 25,000 3
6 Rancho Las Lomas Costa Rica Parrita Ocean 26,500 4
7 Villa Davina Panama David Lake/river 28,400 3
8 Casa Llanta, Nicaragua Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 30,000 1
9 Congo Hills Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 30,000 3
10 Rancho Los Suenos Panama Espave Pastoral 31,000 2
11 Waterside Belize Flowers Bank Lake/river 31,730 1
12 Progresso Heights Belize Corozal Lake/river 34,816 3
13 Rancho del Oro Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 35,000 2
14 El Camino del Sol Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 38,175 5
15 Apanas Lake Estates Nicaragua Matagalpa and Jinotega Lake/river 39,900 2
16 Rancho Papayal Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 40,000 2
17 La Vista Nicaragua Nicaragua Tola Ocean 40,000 2
18 Consejo Shores Belize Belize Corozal Ocean 42,500 2
19 Seahorse Tropics Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 44,200 4
20 Villa Lagos Nicaragua Granada Lake/river 45,240 5
21 Parque Maritimo el Coco Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 48,600 7
22 Las Fincas de Escamequita and Las Haciendas Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 49,000 1
23 Belize Reserve Belize Cayo Pastoral 49,950 2
24 Paraiso de Amelia Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 50,000 4
25 Tamarindo Beach and Ocean Estates Nicaragua Central Pacific Nicaragua Ocean 50,000 5
26 Bella Mar Nica Nicaragua Tola Ocean 52,561 5
27 Cerros Sands Belize Corozal Ocean 53,500 5
28 Dreamscapes Belize Belize Dangriga Ocean 54,111 5
29 Finca Java Nicaragua Matagalpa and Jinotega Lake/river 55,000 0
30 Selva del Mar Nicaragua Tola Ocean 55,000 5
31 Bella Vista Guasacate, Nicaragua Nicaragua Tola Ocean 59,000 12
32 Altos de Maria Panama Chame Highlands 59,100 3
33 Club Vistalagos Nicaragua Laguna de Apoyo Lake/river 64,000 4
34 Cantamar Playa Yankee Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 65,000 4
35 Montanas de Caldera Panama Boquete Highlands 67,500 4
36 Finca del Mar Nicaragua Central Pacific Nicaragua Ocean 70,500 4
37 Hills of Santa Marta Nicaragua Tola Ocean 72,000 6
38 Turtle Cove Lake and Yacht Club Costa Rica Arenal Lake/river 72,720 4
39 El Encanto del Sur Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 73,500 4
40 Costa Dulce, Nicaragua Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 82,000 6
41 Starfish Reef Panama Bocas del Toro Ocean 84,000 3
42 Hacienda Los Molinos Panama Boquete Highlands 84,660 6
43 Pacific Marlin, Nicaragua Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 85,000 7
44 El Club del Mar Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 89,000 7
45 Papagayo Golf Lots Costa Rica Playas del Coco Ocean 90,000 1
46 Remanso Beach Resort, Nicaragua Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 92,792 12
47 olcan Springs Ranch Estates Panama Volcan Highlands 97,250 4
48 Bahia Lomas Estates and Marina Panama Bocas del Toro Ocean 98,499 4
49 Balcones de Majagual Nicaragua Marsella / Maderas Ocean 99,000 6
50 Mansions at Banyan Bay Belize Ambergris Caye Ocean 101,000 15
51 Paradise Dreams Panama Bocas del Toro Ocean 103,333 10
52 Boquete Country Club Panama Boquete Highlands 107,189 5
53 Valle Verde Costa Rica Central Valley Highlands 107,685 1
54 Boquete Plantation Panama Boquete Highlands 110,000 7
55 Rio Oria Estates Panama Azueros Peninsula Ocean 112,000 1
56 Cala Azul Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 117,000 11
57 Orchid Bay Belize Corozal Ocean 119,000 9
58 Finca las Brisas, Costa Rica Costa Rica Nicoya Ocean 120,750 2
59 Montanas y Mar Costa Rica Quepos/Manuel Antonio Ocean 122,500 1
60 Cheetah Chombo Costa Rica Cahuita Ocean 125,500 1
61 Cerro Grande Estates, Costa Rica Costa Rica Tamarindo Ocean 126,250 1
62 Placencia Yacht Club Belize Placencia Ocean 130,000 18
63 Gran Pacifica Nicaragua Central Pacific Nicaragua Ocean 132,665 21
64 Montecristo Beach and Golf Resort Nicaragua Central Pacific Nicaragua Ocean 133,833 10
65 Rancho Santana Nicaragua Tola Ocean 136,750 5
66 Residencial La Esmeralda, Costa Rica Costa Rica Tamarindo Ocean 137,500 4
67 Hacienda Iguana Nicaragua Tola Ocean 140,417 7
68 Tierra Pacifica Costa Rica Playa Junquillal Ocean 145,000 2
69 Sanctuary Bay Estates Belize Belize Stann Creek Ocean 146,500 3
70 Bosques de Vista Marina, Costa Rica Costa Rica Playas del Coco Ocean 150,000 6
71 Playa Santa Rosa Nicaragua Central Pacific Nicaragua Ocean 155,563 13
72 Costa Paraiso Nicaragua South of San Juan del Sur Ocean 159,000 7
73 Rancho Villa Real, Costa Rica Costa Rica Tamarindo Ocean 171,000 3
74 Portasol Costa Rica Dominical Ocean 180,500 2
75 Sittee Point Belize Hopkins Ocean 193,500 13
76 Lobster Cove Panama Chuchecal Bay Ocean 208,750 8
77 Pura Jungla, Costa Rica Costa Rica Paraiso Ocean 209,275 2
78 Lomas del Mar, Costa Rica Costa Rica Playas del Coco Ocean 212,500 3
79 Brisas del Pacifico, Nicaragua Nicaragua San Juan del Sur Ocean 217,174 9
80 Eagles View, Costa Rica Costa Rica Nosara Ocean 224,900 5
81 Valle Escondido Panama Boquete Highlands 227,140 7
82 La Reserva Camaronal, Costa Rica Costa Rica Samara Ocean 233,475 18
83 San Buena Golf Costa Rica Southern Pacific Ocean 234,400 11
84 Ladera del Mar Costa Rica Playas de Coco Ocean 237,000 4
85 Villas Cabo Vela Costa Rica Playa Grande Ocean 247,000 3
86 Sunset Point Bocas Panama Bocas del Toro Ocean 255,000 10
87 Manuel Antonio Estates Costa Rica Quepos/Manuel Antonio Ocean 284,000 5
88 Cabo Caletas Costa Rica Costa Rica Esterillos Ocean 285,000 18
89 Cocoplum Belize Belize Placencia Ocean 305,250 11
90 Sonidos del Mar, Costa Rica Costa Rica Nosara Ocean 306,667 28
91 Coco Bay Estates Costa Rica Playas del Coco Ocean 311,250 12
92 Balcones del Lago Arenal Costa Rica Arenal Lake/river 315,000 4
93 Rancho Playa Negras Costa Rica Playa Negra Ocean 337,112 22
94 Lora Hills Costa Rica Costa Rica Playa Ostional Ocean 498,877 11
95 Hermosa Heights Costa Rica Playa Hermosa Ocean 565,000 48
96 The Four Seasons Papagayo Peninsula Costa Rica Papagayo Ocean 950,000 31
97 Hacienda Pinilla Costa Rica Tamarindo Ocean 970,983 45
98 Isla Viveros Panama Panama Isla Viveros (Pearl Island) Ocean 993,866 18

We’re continuing to sort through the data we collect, looking for the best ways to present and dig out the facts. We’d love to have your ideas and suggestions. They’ll be more price rankings to follow. We also plan a “Master Plan Completion Index” to give a sense of how far along real estate developments are with their master plan - a piece of information that savvy real estate investors should follow with care. www.revealrealestate.com/blog/perfect-master-planned-community/