Strong economy expected to boost property market in Costa Rica

There is growing confidence that Costa Rica could be one of the first South American property markets to show recovery – just ask the IMF.

Like many countries on the continent it has experienced real estate price declines and a falling off of foreign investment, particularly from US investors.

More doom and gloom this week from economists in the US has not helped encourage many retirees who made up a large percentage of the number of investors in the country but positive predictions from the International Monetary Fund has renewed confidence.

Miquel Savastano, Assistant Director of the IMF Western Hemisphere region predicted that Costa Rica will be one of the first countries whose economies will recover in 2010 based on the financial and fiscal policies of the Costa Rican Government and the country’s Central Bank.

His boss Nicolas Eyazaguirre, Director of the IMF, is also confident about the area in general. ‘Latin America will experience a quicker recovery than the larger economies because many countries in the region have responded to the crises with policies that boost production and employment,’ he told a meeting of US bankers.

‘The outstanding feature is that more than six months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, no Latin American financial system has experienced a banking crisis. Liquidity is good and Latin American banks have little dependence on foreign financing,’ he added.

The comments have been welcomed by the real estate industry. ‘The IMF’s endorsement of the Costa Rica’s fiscal policies and their predictions for an early emergence from the current global downturn is great news for investors,’ said James Cahill, managing director of Costa Rica Invest, which specialises in investment in development land.

Les Nunez, a real estate consultant in Guanacaste, who has over 12 years experience in the property market, said that he believes prices will show strong returns in coming years as foreign investors realise the strength of the country’s economy compared with other popular investment locations.

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