Los Cabo’s days as a buyers market are limited. The Time to buy is now
By Carol S. Billups
The party’s over, people. Well, it’s at least winding down. We’ve enjoyed five years of the strongest buyer’s market anyone can remember. That’s quickly changing. There’s no more waiting on the sidelines, waiting to see how far the market will drop. You’d better act quickly or you’re likely to miss out completely.
Ask any real estate agent or broker, and she will tell you the action is at the extremes of the spectrum: The very high-end projects—which really weren’t that impacted by the recession—and the very affordable properties are seeing quite a bit of activity. In fact, the more affordable properties on the Cabo San Lucas side of the Tourist Corridor (the land that separates San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) are becoming harder to find, and their prices rose 18 percent in the first half of 2015. That came after an 18 percent increase in 2014 over the previous year.
The star in this category is Cabo del Mar Ecopark from Portus Group, the same developer behind the very successful Ventanas projects and Soleado in San José. Cabo del Mar offers all of the amenities that are expected of a Portus development as well as a few new additions. The Ecopark name signifies that this development is environmentally responsible, with each house outfitted with solar panels, park spaces, and extra attention to native plants. There will be a large clubhouse with restaurants, spa, minimart, gym, and pools, and there is a private bilingual school already in session. Designed for families and active retirees, Cabo del Mar Ecopark offers two floor plans, each with an optional expansion package. Prices here start in the low $200,000s U.S., and the developer is offering financing.
At the high-end there is no shortage of new projects under way: Chileno Bay, VieVage at Chileno, Mar Adentro, and Soleado in San José del Cabo, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now that development is back under way, it appears most projects are aimed at the $2 million U.S. and above demographic. Elite real estate is nothing new in Los Cabos, home to such established prestigious communities as El Dorado, Punta Ballena, Cabo del Sol, Palmilla, Diamante, and others. Most of the high-end communities boast golf courses as well as other amenities. Additionally, most offer both developer-built properties and custom estate lots. For example, at Querencia both home sites and villas surround the famed Tom Fazio–designed private golf course. For those who wish to avoid the building process, there are the Club Villas, a collection of single-family homes located steps away from Querencia’s Club Village. Ranging in size from approximately 3,200 to 5,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, the Club Villas start at about $2 million U.S. The developer also offers the Las Verandas condominium residences, starting at just over $1 million U.S. And for those who want a custom home, building lots are available ranging from about $400,000 U.S. to $1.5 million U.S.
For the rest of us in the middle, Pueblo Campestre within the master-planned community of Club Campestre in San José del Cabo at the intersection of the airport toll road and México Route 1 is an excellent option. These fairway and ocean view homes are currently under construction, and buyers still have time to help select interior finishes. With prices starting at about $375,000 U.S., the homes have three bedrooms of which two are master suites. All include memberships in the Campestre Beach Club as well as a golf membership, terraces, and high-end finishes.
Sendero San José (www.senderosanjose.com), which is located within the upscale Club Campestre development, invites buyers to discover a new way of living that is relaxing and luxurious. The outside world is there for you to enjoy, but when you want to retreat here to Sendero San José, you’re protected by magnificent ocean views, beautifully landscaped gardens that blend the desert with trees and flower meadows. The amenities are spectacular, so you will want to check out the availability sooner rather than later.
Fewer and farther between than in the very recent past, there are, believe it or not, still a few bargains to be had. Most of the remaining recession-priced properties are resales by individuals, and your best option for finding them is working with an agent who is part of our multiple-listing service (MLS-BCS). Just as an example, it was noted that the developer’s lot inventory at Querencia started at about $400,000 U.S. But at press time, there was a very large resale lot (more than one acre) in the same community with an asking price of $250,000 U.S. Such examples are becoming rarer but can be found in most budgets in many parts of Los Cabos; your MLS-BCS agent can guide you to the best option in today’s changing market.
Carol Billups is broker-owner of Cabo Realty Pros in Cabo San Lucas. She can be reached at (624) 147-7541 or her website is www.caborealtypros.com.