If you are looking at Playa Del Carmen real estate the market is important to you. If you are looking to buy or have already bought a property you want to know how your investment is doing. Buyers want to get good value for their money and sellers want to know if they are going to get a return on their investment or if it is a good time to sell and upgrade to another property. We here at EverythingPlayaDelCarmen have already brought you several articles related to property like considerations for looking at property, cost of living in Playa and comparison between Miami and Playa Del Carmen, how to keep your property secure, and a gallery of changing Playa Del Carmen with photos of recent developments in Playa Del Carmen. Here is a further article to discuss how the market is now and who is buying and selling.
Real Estate in Playa Del Carmen
We recently sat down with Ernesto Riquelme who is the Director of RE/MAX Playa real estate here in Playa Del Carmen to gain further insight on how the market is doing and how it is changing.
RE/MAX Playa has 15 years here in Playa Del Carmen and Mr. Ernesto Riquelme has 17 years of experience here in Playa Del Carmen. He has seen a lot of changes over time. One of the changes he has seen in Playa Del Carmen is the popular areas change.
When asked what he thinks are the popular areas now for real estate, he mentioned Playacar to the south, the center of Playa Del Carmen (aka downtown), and to the north of downtown the developments like Selvamar and El Cielo.
Playacar has traditionally been a nice community with a mix of all inclusive hotels, luxury houses and condos with an ever greater access to shopping and services like Centro Maya shopping Plaza and the new Liverpool department store.
The downtown of Playa Del Carmen is getting new infill development, new condos, new restaurants and shops and is becoming popular because everything is so walkable. The north end is popular because of nice new construction and good location and access to beaches and golf courses.
Misconceptions about Real Estate in Mexico
The biggest misconception of course is the fact that foreigners cannot buy in Mexico and along the coast. Foreigners can of course buy and set up a fidecomisco (trust) for their property. This different step makes some people apprehensive about buying but Mr. Ernesto Riquelme recommends potential buyers talk to other foreigners that have gone through the process and bought in Playa Del Carmen. Most that have bought here in Playa Del Carmen will say how relatively easy it is and how secure they feel buying in Playa.
Who is buying in Playa Del Carmen?
The market in fact is mostly American, Canadian and other foreigners buying between the beach and 30th Avenue. There are Mexican buyers as well, the only difference is that the purchases made closer to the beach are made as investment properties and not used for living in like other buyers. To further break it down as to who is buying and where, you can practically do it by age. Younger buyers are preferring to buy in the center of Playa. This is because of convenience to everything and not having to have a car. Older buyers 50 years + prefer the quieter neighborhoods like Playacar and are more likely to be retired and have more time to go shopping or out to eat.
The Playa Del Carmen real estate market
Most real estate agents will agree that 2005-2010 were the golden years of property sales in Playa Del Carmen. This was effected by the influenza and the global turn down in the economy. The market has been progressing and ticking upward recently.
When times were great for sales there were a lot of people calling themselves real estate agents but when there was a downturn these tended to go out of business. Recently there have been more regulations for tax purposes as well in the industry that will further restrict people from operating a business under the premise that they are a 100% legal company. This not only helps buyers feel more comfortable but also helps the real estate companies that are following the rules to succeed. There are stories out there that people had been scammed or had a deal not work out because there were not dealing with people that knew all of the laws. This no doubt discourages buyers but in reality most transactions in Mexico go very well. When buyers educate themselves about the process it makes the process easier for a buyer because they know what to expect.
How to establish real estate price in Playa Del Carmen
Nowadays it is easier for buyers to educate themselves as far as what prices are like and trying to find comparable sales. The internet makes this much easier to do. Mr. Ernesto Riquelme finds that after 17 years in the Playa Del Carmen market it is fairly easy to find comparable sales to establish a pricing for buyers and sellers. At times though when a seller comes to him he sometimes has to educate a seller in order to help establish a marketable sale price.
In Mexico there have been many people wanting to sell properties and but expecting a fortune. This can make it hard for an agent because they sometimes have to turn down a listing because they know that the person wants the property listed too high and it will not sell.
Listing property with one or multiple agencies?
Another issue for buyers to consider is the listing with one agent and having their property exclusive or listing with multiple agents. Again, often in Mexico people will list with many agents and the listing is priced differently on different websites. (There is no multiple listing service in Mexico which means that each realtor is responsible for their website and the prices). This only benefits a buyer because an educated buyer shops around and of course will make their offer based on the lower price. It also tells the buyer that the person selling is not set on one price and it is negotiable.
Sellers should consider not listing multiple places . It may seem logical to get your listing on as many sites as possible but you may be damaging your possibilities for getting the best offer. Of course a seller should research the real estate agent to make sure they are going to help price the property fairly and do their upmost to show and sell the property.
Beachfront Real Estate in Playa Del Carmen
Some buyers come to Playa Del Carmen with the dream of owning a beach front house. This of course is hard because there are only a limited number of houses on the beach. If you will be living on the beach you have to take into consideration all beaches are public in Mexico and you can have people just in front of your house on the beach. You will also have to think about the insurance for the property and the maintenance if you are not going to be there year round. After some of these considerations people start to think about a condo because they offer lower maintenance and are easy to rent out especially if they are in the center of Playa Del Carmen.
Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum Real Estate
Real estate in the Riviera Maya is a tale of three cities. Cancun was one the main place to buy but things have slowed down there now. Playa Del Carmen is still growing and developing, Tulum is the hot market as people are expecting big things to develop there. Most sales there are land, about 70%, so you might not see the development going on but things are moving. All in all the Riviera Maya is doing well because it provides year round good weather, good tourist economy, increasing services and infrastructure that residents and investors like.
Playa Del Carmen-New vs. Old
In Playa Del Carmen most things are considered new since Playa is a young city. So what sells better, new construction or things that might be 10 years old? It depends on price. Since most buildings are concrete and don’t deteriorate very fast, buyers look at value. If a place is older that might need some things done to it but it is cheaper, then it will sell before a new place that is priced higher. Of course design is what appeals to most people as well as location. Some older construction has charm because it “looks more Mexican” and then some like the newer construction because the modern design appeals to them.
Tip: Living in Playa Del Carmen is different then vacationing here. You can get a lot of perks owning property that are not available to those on vacation, for example golf course fees can be less then half to residents.
Buying in dollars and pesos
Having a good working relationship with a qualified realtor can save you a lot of money. When purchasing a property in a different currency you want to make sure you are exchanging money at the best rate. You will no doubt hear of Monex or Intercam financial institutions that help bring money into Mexico at the best exchange rates. Ask you realtor if it is possible as well to transfer funds directly to the sellers account especially if it is in the same home country as yours. If possible this can save double exchanging the money.
What is the future of real estate in the Riviera Maya?
So where is Playa Del Carmen headed? Mr. Ernesto Riquelme likes the increasing attention the Riviera is getting with new headline shows at the Hard Rock Café Hotel, the new Cirque du Soleil permanent show, and other big name entertainment coming that puts the Mexican Riviera on the world stage. With the added attention that has been given to Playa Del Carmen he sees the downtown filling in with new development. There is a new crowd of internationals that appreciate a walkable city that is on the beach.
Playa Del Carmen is always changing and the people that are moving to and visiting are changing it. This can be a good thing since like minded people often gravitate to the same location. Playa has its rough edges but is developing in it’s own way. It is not developing like Cancun or any other city. What makes Playa so unique is the international community of people from all over. This creates a very open society that is not closed to outsiders. So if you are looking at living in Playa Del Carmen or the Mexican Riviera come and check things out. We will continue covering life here, interviewing people and bringing you information to make visitors and residents educated about the best things in Playa and beyond.
If you enjoyed reading this article then you might also like to read our article about “Investing in Real Estate for Retirement Strategy” . Also our article on real estate agents that we recommend to our readers is here.
You might also like reading our complete guide to Playa Del Carmen real estate here. We also have an article and lengthy video about the Tulum real estate market.