What will Playa Del Carmen be like in the future?
Everyone wants to know what the future will bring. With Playa Del Carmen, if you like to vacation in the area, you will no doubt like to see how it develops and changes. If you are living in the Playa or looking to invest in the area, knowing the future is a very important topic for you. Knowing what areas will become more popular and what places might not be a good investment, can be the difference between a good investment and a bad one. So, this is our second time we have made a 5 year prediction of what Playa Del Carmen will be like in the future.
First, you might be interested to see how well we did predicting the future of Playa Del Carmen 5 years ago. That might give you more confidence in our predictions for the next 5 years. We will first break down what we predicted and see what the reality was.
How did we do with our predictions?
These are our predictions from 5 years ago. Let’s see how we did.
Constituyentes will become the new grand entrance to Playa Del Carmen
We did see in the past few years Constituyentes grow a lot. The City Condos, Gallery Condos, and other condo buildings were built. There was even an old hotel, renovated (HM Playa Del Carmen) and a new Holiday Inn built on Constituyentes. There we also additions built on top of preexisting buildings. All of this gave Constituyentes a more filled in feel and even a little more walkable since more commercial spaces we added.
The section of Constituyentes Avenue between 5th and 10th got a facelift and the parking was removed and a walking path installed.
Constituyentes remains a central avenue in Playa Del Carmen and a good location to stay due to its central location.
Playa will continue moving north
More than ever did we see this come true. The growth on the north end pushed past streets where there were no new buildings. Nowadays lots are much more expensive between 38th and CTM due to the amount of building going on. Also in Colosio there was a continuing in infill and moving north. We saw several condo buildings on 5th Avenue between CTM and 64th Street be built.
More infill between Playa Del Carmen and Maroma Beach area
This was minimal in the past 5 years. We did see Ciudad Mayakoba open and a few more areas where housing was added. No doubt, the highway feels more congested due to more people living in the area. Development of this area has been slow but it is happening.
A bypass will be built around Playa Del Carmen
This did not come to fruition. There are more overpasses and connections on the western side of town, but no bypass for Playa. We hope that one actually does not get built because that usually means carving into the virgin forest on the edge of the city. This area is already being damaged and it would be ashamed to see more of it go.
City Hall and other governmental offices and schools will move from the downtown to further back from the beach
For the most part this has not happened yet. Even though there is a master plan to move most of the governmental offices to the other side of the highway, and the fact that most students don’t live in the downtown near some of the schools, this project has not happened that fast. A few offices have moved, but it is taking longer than we predicted.
Bye bye airport
Surprising enough, the little airport in Playa Del Carmen is still around. We remember talking to the Skydive business that was practically ready at any moment to move. This predicted development project has not taken place.
AKI supermarket will be gone
This did not come true. Although we still feel this will happen in the future and the handwriting is on the wall. We just recently saw Mega supermarket use part of its parking lot for a restaurant. The land is getting more valuable and is being looked at for other options. Lets see if this comes true in the next 5 years.
Playa will go more upscale
Playa was always a beach town with laid back roots but over time has added more upscale options. This has been especially true in the last 5 years. We have some examples like the new Reef 28 Hotel and rooftop, Sonora Grill, Patio 8 and other upscale businesses.
Housing developments on the other side of the highway will grow up
As pre-planed neighborhoods are built for locals, the business sector takes note and moves in. We have really seen this in places like the new plazas on main avenues across the highway. Even some of the popular local restaurants and bars have opened a second location on the west side of the highway to cater to the local market.
Condo buildings will cross 30th Avenue
As the center of Playa filled up and there were more eager people to purchase, we save the market cross 30th Avenue in the past 5 years. Some examples are on 6th, 14th and 34th street. We saw new luxurious buildings rise up and become part of the city.
There will be a lot of businesses that start and fail especially restaurants
In the past 5 years we have seen an overturn of restaurants to say the least! We have to continually update our restaurant guide for Playa because of all the changes. Even chains like Guy Fieri’s Restaurant (which we predicted would close) did close. The restaurant business is everyone’s go to idea for a business and not everyone knows how to do it or make it work. This prediction was really on par.
What are our predictions for 2025?
Here we go! These are our predictions for the next 5 years in Playa Del Carmen. We will come back in 2025 to see how we did.
Goodbye more Mom & Pop restaurants and businesses
As rents rise and low seasons kill more business, it will be the larger chain restaurants and businesses that survive. The business climate has changed in the past few years and the cost of running a business in Playa Del Carmen has become more taxing. More small business owners are looking for options out of the downtown and even out of Playa.
The competition of restaurants has raised the quality and variety of food options in Playa Del Carmen which has been nice. There is. however, always a downside. Without the best locations, budgets to advertise, cost of doing business in Playa and other factors, small business will have an uphill battle over the next 5 years in Playa.
Playa will keep moving north
Already Playa is springing up condo buildings up to CTM Avenue from the beach to 30th Avenue. We do predict this trend to continue. although not as fast as the past 5 years. There still are barriers to the beach access that limit where people will rent, hence limited where people invest.
We also predict that more locals will move from the downtown to outer lying areas of the city. This is because more property owners will sell and new construction on small lots will take place. Also rents will increase as short term rental income attracts owners to change even more from long term to short term rentals.
The luxury market moves out of Playa Del Carmen
We have started to see this trend already taking place and we predict it will continue. Many upper end tourist just don’t find Playa to be charming enough, luxurious enough nor the beaches to be sufficient. There are also other locations like Tulum, where there are more luxury options both in accomadations and dinning.
This will affect upper end hotels with lower occupancy and make them lower rates and offer extras to attract guest. For those that purchase properties to invest, this will affect the upper end market. The luxury hotel market is slightly different than the luxury rental market. We predict the luxury rental market will be less effected but be impacted with a smaller percentage of people to appeal to.
Faster ferries to Cozumel
You might think the ferries are pretty fast now, but imagine how it would be if they were faster? More people would visit Cozumel for the day if it was faster and easier to get there. It also means the thousands of people that arrive at Cozumel via cruises, would have more time to see things on the mainland. With faster ferries the island of Cozumel can be more closely tied to Playa Del Carmen, increaseing business for both sides.
The fast ferries we have now have been running for a decade at this speed. We predict it is only a matter of time (and in this case, in the next five years) that the business world figures out how adventagous this will be and run faster ferries.
Tale of two cities
There is the downtown of Playa Del Carmen and then there is the “other side of the highway”. This area is more residential and for locals. There is hardly ever a cross over for tourists coming to Playa and more and more, locals are staying out of the downtown. Locals have more options now to shop, dine and entertainment and we see this trend continuing. Not only are costs for businesses much less, this savings is passed on in lower prices for customers.
In the past Playa was one city where everyone mixed, but we predict this trend of two cities will continue. The area of 5th Avenue will continue to cater to tourists and a more functional cities will develope along main avenues on the other side of the highway.
Airbnb will become more regulated and hotel popularity will rise
Airbnb was started as a way to stay in a unique place and have a more local experience. It has developed, especially in Playa Del Carmen, as an investors dream of buying a condo and paying it off. With thousands of people buying condos to rent them out, this has gotten to be an unregulated mess. the government has caught on and is installing more monitoring and we predict further restrictions.
Other parts of the world have instituted tight control so as not to affect the local rental market. The short term rental market has definitely effected Playa Del Carmen in the downtown area. We predict a more standardized way of reporting income and taxes.
Because the Airbnb market is so large, that means many people use it, but also have problems with it or the cool factor has worn off. Many people are turning back to hotels as the option for staying. We predict that people over the next 5 years will want more services, convenience, plus more the ease of booking hotels. All of these factors combined with further regulation of the Airbnb market, will mean people will need to invest more wisely, as we will mention next.
Real estate market will tighten
With as much building that has taken place in the past 5 years, there is more supply now. There are still people looking and buying, but as we mentioned above, the rental market is more competitive and this makes harder to make the bigger ROI’s. We advise people to be vigilant buyers and educated ones to make smart investments. Our prediction for the next 5 years is a tighter market, more flashy buildings with more bells and whistles to catch buyers attention, and real estate to become more popular going south in the Riviera Maya.
In the past two years we have seen Tulum go through a boom of building and real estate. Some people are hedging bets between the two locations, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. Both locations are continuing to be linked together. As locations develop, they form niche markets. Even though Tulum is becoming a more luxury market than Playa, it means Playa is developing into mid market range with younger buyers and more nationals.
Big events will come back to Playa
Back in 2016 where there was a shooting at the Blue Parrot Club, there was a dialing back of support for large concerts and events in Playa Del Carmen. It is still in peoples minds but people have also missed some of the extra tourism that accompanies these events. With the passing of time and fading memories, slightly better security situation and lower occupancy rates, we predict that larger events will come back to Playa in the next 5 years.
Things we wish would happen in the next 5 years
Besides just predictions, there are things we wish would happen. It does not mean it will, but we can always dream and hope. We wish the beaches would be in better shape, the city follows a sustainable path and so much more. We are all responsible in how we spend our money and what we support, to aim the direction of where Playa Del Carmen goes in the future.
We will be here following and writing about it and we will be sure to follow up on this article in 2025.