Whither Puerto Escondido?
Or maybe it’s just an illusion. The lots are for sale, but are people moving in? Interestingly, in both the lowland and highland areas, prominent in the pitch is that they are great investment opportunities - buy now, sell later, or as the website for the Miramar development in Chila suggests, “Invest now and if you prefer build later - there are no time limit restrictions on building.”
Ocean front developments also are expanding, or not. Only two years ago there were three developers in Chila (the town west of Puerto) offering the dream of resort living writ large. One folded, another is on hiatus, and only Vivo Resorts is starting to build. Smaller developments, like Costa Cumaná, east of Puerto, that do not offer “resort living” seem to fare better, with all its lots sold and new houses being built all the time.
Most of the new subdivisions are organized as condominiums, no matter if the properties are apartments, houses, or just lots. (See the article on condos.)
At the end of the day, there seems to be something in Puerto for every pocketbook and every style of living. $160,000 U.S. will buy you a new, two bedroom, palapa-topped row house with a killer view of the ocean at Zicatela Heights in Linda Vista, or for around the same price you can move into the older Pueblito complex next to Manzanillo beach where every house is different. Both include pools. You can get a beachfront house for $1,000,000 U.S. or buy a 3-story, 3-bedroom townhouse in Brisa Residencial, a gated community a mile west of Puerto for only 626,000 pesos (around $52,000 U.S.) OK, for that price you don’t get a pool or a view or built-in, king-sized, platform beds. However it is a planned community with a lot of green space, manicured lawns, fountains, and a huge multipurpose palapa.
A 250 sq. meter lot in Linda Vista goes for 375,000 pesos (1,500 a sq meter); while they are asking 1,200 pesos a square meter at Villa Nautilus, across the highway from the Zicatela Pemex station. Jicarito, a subdivision still in the planning stages, on the ocean side of the highway, in Jícaro, a half mile from the airport, is offering lots at 600 pesos a square meter. Of course, it will be a lot more once it is completed.
Puerto real estate values did not take a hit in 2008, as was the case with some resort communities in Mexico, nor have property values increased (with some notable exceptions) over the last few years. Most local realtors report a downturn in sales in the last two years, especially to foreigners. Unresolved questions of ownership and titles continue to be an issue in parts of the region both in the “contested zone” of the municipalities of San Pedro Mixtepec and Santa María Colotepec, as well as in the Bajos de Chila. What effect the new highway to Oaxaca will have on real estate or housing construction is anyone’s guess.
by Barbara Joan Schaffer
Brisa Residencial, 4a Norte corner 1a Poniente 954 582-0611
Jicarito, Fenix Inmobilaria, 1a Poniente corner 4a Norte 954 582-0262
Linda Vista, Zicatela Heights, Aragón, 4a Norte corner 3a Poniente 954 582-0262
Villa Nautilus 954 123-6363