Real Estate in Playa Del Carmen-How is the Market for you?

Playa Del Carmen things to do

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 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, and how to keep your property secure. 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 18 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 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.

Our videos about real estate in Playa Del Carmen

We put together a video to help our readers know more about the market here. It covers topics like where to buy, what areas are like, what investors look for and how to find a good agent. We hope you find this video helpful. 

We also have this video in which we visit the 11 neighborhoods of the downtown of Playa Del Carmen. We talk about the pros and cons of each in our article and also in the video so people can get to know the neighborhoods of Playa Del Carmen better. 


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. For more about the buying process in Mexico, see our article with videos here

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 affected 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. Although there is no MLS system for Mexico, you can get some idea of prices by looking online at different properties. It can be hard to know exactly what the differences between properties is, so we do recommend working with a real estate agent that can explain differences to you and give you some comparable properties to ones you like. 

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.

Tip: Since many people are looking for an investment property, check out this date analytics tool that can help with hard numbers for rentals and other stats. 

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 beachfront 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. For those interested in learning more about beachfront property in Playa Del Carmen and the Riviera Maya, we have an article and video for you.

playa del carmen real estate
Beachfront real estate in 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 than 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 than 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?  With the added attention that has been given to Playa Del Carmen, the downtown filling in with new development. There is a new crowd of internationals that appreciate a walkable city that is on the beach. Large scale infrastructure projects like the Tren Maya and the Tulum Airport are going to keep driving the market for years to come. 

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 likeminded people often gravitate to the same location. Playa has its rough edges but is developing in its 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 Riviera Maya, 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.

About The Author


  1. Hi Mr Yucatan

    I’m Nikky. I’m really impressed about the quality of your website! The content is excellent and useful. Gracias! Keep up the good work!

  2. I have been looking to buy in the Playa Del Carmen and it is hard to keep up with all the new condos going up. I appreciate your helpful intro to buying in the area. I will be down in August to buy something, perhaps I can take you out for a meal as a thank you.

    • Hello Annet

      That is such a nice offer. We will send you a private email message with some more information for you and we will try to meet in person and welcome you to Playa Del Carmen.

  3. Hello, I am interested to hear more about condos for sale in the area. Can you send me more information.

    • Hello Maggie

      There are hundreds of options for you. We will send you an email with some questions and then help you find what you are looking for or point you in a good direction.

  4. Thanks for sharing this information. My wife and I have been looking at buying in the area for a couple of years now. I think it is about time we start looking more seriously and I have been reading all your articles on real estate in Playa.

  5. hello…

    i am looking to build or buy a modest B&B with a kitchen attached that serves guest meals and perhaps a food stand/food truck that serves cuisine from the southern united states/ soul food.

    i am interested in land with utility, or an existing structure that can be expanded.

    i intend to demonstrate financial responsibility after the real estate sale closing 12/7, which sells for $316k and should remain $225k post taxes/fees, and create a 2 person corporation with my partner.

    of course i need to be near the beach, of course i need to be near public traffic, hospitals, and an airport. i realize this is a stretch, but i’m pleased to introduce myself.

    if this request does not represent your business model, i hope you consider passing it on to an agent who may be interested.

    thank you.

    brien burroughs
    [email protected]

  6. I have been searching online for information on buying something in Playa. I have been coming down or the past three years and love the place. I see that condos are going up everywhere and it is hard to decide where to look and who to go with. I also dont know many of the new developers and want some help. Can you suggest some realtors to contact? Thanks

    • Hello

      There do seem to be many new developers and quality of construction varies. We will send you a couple of recommended realtors for you to contact. We will send it to your email. Thank you for reading the site.

  7. Very helpful article. I’m confident I am ready to buy but need some help. Can you send me an email of realtors or buildings that are interesting to buy in?

    • Sure Jorge. We will send you an email with recommendations and info. We love helping people connect with good people here and what options there are for Playa.

  8. I keep seeing in my facebook feed a lot of new buildings. I cannot tell where they are in Playa del Carmen. It seems like there is a lot of new buildings to look at. I am wondering where is a good place to start?

  9. I have read all your articles about real estate. They have been helpful in letting me know what is going on in Playa. I wanted to ask what your thoughts were about Tulum? I see more and more real estate developments there. Is that area competing with Playa? How is the roi there?

  10. Thank you for this and all your real estates articles. We have read I think all of them as we are keen to buy a condo in Playa. We have also been looking at Puerto Aventuras as well since we like to go out on the water.

  11. I am looking at buying in the area and need a good realtor to send me info on available condos and presale in the area. I would like something two bedrooms, two bath with some outdoor space. I am looking at beach to 30th Avenue and from CTM to Calle 20 area. Thanks

  12. Some great perspectives and great information. Thanks for providing this. Wondering if you have any market level information such as inventory,sales, sell/list,median,avg,dom kinda level for past few years per location in Playa?

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