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The future of the Real Estate business in Costa Rica

On September 22 and 23, Outlier Legal Services participated in the Costa Rican Real Estate Congress 2022, that was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Escazú, where real estate companies, business experts, government officials and

Costa Rican Real Estate Congress 2022

On September 22 and 23, Outlier Legal Services participated in the Costa Rican Real Estate Congress 2022, that was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Escazú, where real estate companies, business experts, government officials and entrepreneurs shared their knowledge about the local and regional market as a whole.

The third Costa Rican Real Estate Congress had the active participation of more than 50 national and foreign panelists, eager to share their learned experiences and expectations for the future of the sector, after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The previous editions in 2011 and 2018, had not managed to unify the sector, to discuss the latest trends and include as speakers well-known real estate representatives from Latin America, United States and Europe. Approximately 350 people attended more than 20 talks, panels and discussions during the two-day congress.

The organization  in charge was the Costa Rican Chamber of Real Estate Brokers (CCCBR), with the aim of inspiring and connecting the real estate sector with their business aspect, in a country that enjoys a privileged position worldwide because of its biodiversity, climate, access to education, foreign investment and technology.

For the organizers, this face-to-face and non-virtual meeting will help the real estate sector, to define short and long-term plans, to reactivate one of the essential sectors for the country’s economy through investments in properties. Their motto was “Let’s all go back to our roots”.

Is the government doing enough?

The opening ceremony was attended by government officials, including Jéssica Martínez Porras, Minister of Housing and Human Settlements (MIVAH); Francisco Gamboa, Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC); and Jorge Ernesto Ocampo, Executive President of the Institute of Municipal Development and Advisory (IFAM).

The first topic was the fact that Costa Rica by joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the list of upper-middle-income countries, changed the landscape of viability in real estate. For example, foreign investments become a priority as well as the fight against corruption.

Alliances between the public and private sectors and the local governments, tend to persist over time and transform people’s lives, by understanding the importance of global projects such as the Sustainable Development Goals, especially number 11 which objective is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

One of the great productive opportunities of the sector, is the investment and planning of better infrastructure in the Great Metropolitan Area (GAM) and the peripheral regions, since the financial sector wants to support the development of the country and generate housing solutions for low income families.

The current administration defined their efforts in public infrastructure policies for 2026, aiming to a more dynamic and resilient real estate market that breaks with the social, economic and territorial gaps that the country currently faces.

In addition, the government has the great challenge of generating chains that complement the construction of housing, such as ensuring drinking water, public transportation, educational institutions and health centers for all residents.

It is essential to rethink the idea of cities and the way we construct homes in order to make them safer and more environmentally friendly, if Costa Rica wants to achieve the economic stability it requires.

What’s in it for foreigners?

Since Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries for expats to relocate due to tourism, weather, legal security, connectivity, human capital, political stability and sustainable model, it becomes the perfect setting for investment and tax incentives, through residency by investment and free economic zones.

Due to the value it offers, Costa Rica attracts some of the most foreign direct investment globally. However, speculation in land prices is a reality that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Although investors choose Costa Rica for its strategic geographical location, free trade agreements with more than 50 countries and the two available ports, it is necessary to improve infrastructure, limit bureaucracy and eliminate corruption.

Costa Rican Real Estate Congress 2022

Life after Covid-19

The topics of other panels were, Real Estate Development in the Pacific; Sustainable and Resilient Construction; Real Estate Business in Latin America by 2023; Smart Contracts; Franchises; and much more.

For example, it was mentioned that there are four important investment sectors in Guanacaste with high end developments: La Cruz, Papagayo, Tamarindo and Nosara. They have benefit from the internacional airport in Liberia due to it’s proximity and of businesses that fit the country’s model “Essential Costa Rica” by following eco-friendly constructions”.

One of the most ambitious projects that was shared in the Congress, was the initiative by the CBR and the MEIC, in which they are planning to reform the commercial code, in order to create the figure of the real estate broker in the country -since there is currently no law, right or even an ethics code that regulates the profession- with the objective that the people who hold these positions have the necessary suitability to do so.

Although we are facing one of the most important hinge moments in the real estate industry, the creation of niches must remain a priority to keep the market and the needs of consumers updated. Agents must be constantly trained to offer the best service available, specialize in an area, generate international connections and credibility within users.

Representatives of the Latin American Real Estate Confederation (CILA) agreed that the region of more than 600 million inhabitants must be unified to demonstrate its potential and the competitive advantages that our market offers to the world. Our culture, gastronomy, nature and friendliness, differentiate us from other markets, so we must highlight them in our campaigns.

At OLS

Our Real Estate Team reaffirmed the value of the work they do everyday with expats who decided to choose Costa Rica as their new home. Considering that our main goal is to educate and inform the best and most up-to-date real estate practices in the country.

Their experience and accompaniment in facilitating the process of finding a property, passing the due diligence process, complying with all obligations, and becoming aware of all their rights as owners or tenants, differentiates them in a competitive market.

We can assure that their knowledge, fulfills your needs and requirements, and aims to make the whole process as simple as possible, so you can focus on enjoying the “Pura Vida” lifestyle.

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mvillalobos@outlierlegal.com

She serves as the Journalist at Outlier Legal. Maripaz Soto has a Degree in Communication Science with a major in Journalism from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She has worked with UNOPS and GIZ. Empathic, creative and determined, are some adjectives that fit her perfectly.

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