After the Storm

How Los Cabos real estate proved itself #unstoppable

By Carol S. Billups

Ventanas Residences, pictured, had a quick recovery after Hurricane Odile. Photo by Francisco Estrada

It started almost as soon as the winds died down. #CaboStrong. #CaboFuerte. And #UNSTOPPABLE. A whole city banded together to pull off the miracle that is the rebirth of Los Cabos. The real estate community was and will continue to be part of that effort. In addition to thousands of hours of volunteer service by the more than 300 members of our multiple-listing service (MLS), we did something else to contribute to the recovery: We sold a little real estate. It’s no secret that real estate is one of Los Cabos’ largest industries.

We provide jobs in many sectors, including construction, legal services, home furnishings, and domestic assistance. Our clients’ influence extends further into the community, adding jobs in retail, recreation, and restaurants. In the first two months after Hurricane Odile, MLS members closed 26 sales and negotiated an additional 21 accepted offers. Not bad, when you consider that for much of that time the airport was closed and there was no electricity or phone service.

We are, indeed, coming back.

“After 30 years in Los Cabos and some 11 hurricanes later, I can state with conviction that the recovery from Hurricane Odile was unprecedented,” says Mike Schaible, president of the MLS and owner of Baja Properties. “Not only has Los Cabos been able to clean up and reopen in record time, but [we’ve done so] with a renewed sense of strength and pride throughout our community.  Los Cabos is unstoppable.” According to Schaible, the real estate industry is poised for a strong comeback from the recession. Clients, he says, have not been fazed one bit by the storm. Industry-wide MLS brokers are experiencing high traffic on their websites from prospective purchasers requesting information on properties and planning to visit this season. “I truly believe that now is the time to purchase that perfect Los Cabos property, and I anticipate many of our visitors will do just that,” Schaible stresses.

The beauty of Los Cabos remained unblemished after Hurricane Odile. Photo by Joseph A. Tyson.
The beauty of Los Cabos remained unblemished after Hurricane Odile. Photo by Joseph A. Tyson.

Developers are also optimistic about the area’s future.  Copala at Quivira Los  Cabos sales director Rafael Covarrubias says the company has already closed the first post-storm sale, has two more reserved sales, and hosts daily tours of the property. “This confirms that interest in Los Cabos as a viable investment is solid,” he says. “[We] believe that the recovery after the impact of Hurricane Odile will continue at a steady pace.” The Copala project is located on the grounds of the 1,875-acre Quivira master-planned community. Located overlooking the 16th hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, the lifestyle community consists of seven condominium towers and 86 single-family homes with delivery due on Phase 1 in the spring. Copala features a holistic club, an organic lifestyle opportunity, a cultural center, a wine club, and a yacht club. The developer is confident it’s on track to make promised delivery dates.

Arguably the most famous of the developments in the area are those created by Portus. Amenity-laden and known for excellent value, the Ventanas Residences all include extensive clubhouses that serve as the community center. Spas, pools, restaurants, shops, gyms, and playgrounds draw residents in and provide a wealth of social opportunities. The new, even more affordable Cabo del Mar Village has added additional amenities including walking trails, an amphitheater, and a private school.

“Here in Ventanas Residences and Cabo del Mar Village we had a quick recovery after Hurricane Odile. The construction of new homes and all our services are operating normally,” says sales director and Ventanas homeowner Jorge D. Garcia. “Every Portus community is beautiful as if nothing happened, and the view from the clubhouse and Santitos restaurant is still wonderful!” Garcia reports that since mid-October, Portus has had many new clients from North America in numbers that surpassed expectations. Sales remain strong in all the Portus communities.

Developers are doing well, but what about resales of existing homes? Surprisingly, in some areas and price ranges, Odile may improve the market.

In the six months prior to the storm, inventory of resale homes had fallen every month. With some homes being withdrawn from the market for repairs, demand issues may even increase prices this winter. All in all? It looks like we’re going to have a very good high season. #CaboStrong indeed.

Carol S­­. Billups is broker-owner of Cabo Realty Pros (