Undervalued and overlooked.
Those two words should get real estate buyers excited. Undervalued means you’ll get more square feet for your real estate dollar. And overlooked often doesn’t last forever. Once buyers realize what good value a location is, they pile in…and prices start to rise.
It’s a trend we’re seeing right now on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. More on that in a moment. But first, what do we mean by undervalued?
I want to get one thing straight. We’re not talking about property that’s simply cheap. We’re talking about locations with stunning scenery. We’re talking about locations where you’ll love spending time, on vacation, as a snowbird or for retirement.
Now, you likely won’t find these spots featured in a mass-market travel magazine or touted as a wedding or golf destination – yet. They’re much more low-key than that. They’re places where a weird market anomaly has kept them off the mainstream radar. And that’s kept prices low.
But markets change. And that’s what we’re seeing right now on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. It’s ripe with potential.
Ecuador is Ripe For Real Estate Investors
For years, Ecuador’s coast was like an unloved book sitting on your bookshelf. The one someone bought you a gift that you never read. The one you look straight at – and past – when you’re browsing for something to occupy a few hours. It’s obvious, it’s in your face, but you just don’t see it.
Starting in 2003, North American real estate buyers flocked to better-known Latin American destinations (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama) in hordes. They snapped up prime properties – city, beach and ocean-view. They triggered massive appreciation in those countries, doubling prices in some areas in only a couple of years.
And all the while, Ecuador’s coast sat on the sidelines, completely overlooked. It wasn’t known as a famous tourist destination or a global business center. It didn’t grab world media attention in the same way as Costa Rica or Panama. Ecuador’s property market was driven by a relatively small local middle class. The country missed out on the wave of foreign buyers – so it missed out on the property boom we saw in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
But that’s good news for today’s savvy buyer, because property prices remain hugely affordable.
I wrote about running comps a few days ago. Compare a Pacific beach home in Ecuador against a similar property in Costa Rica and Panama, and you’ll see one clear difference. You’ll pay 40%-50% less for the property in Ecuador.
That’s good news if you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to give up your dream of owning a beach house. You’ll get a lot more for your money in Ecuador…a bigger home, closer to the beach, with better views.
North American Investors Buying in Ecuador
Today, North Americans are tuning in to the possibilities that Ecuador’s Pacific coast holds. More are buying a second or vacation home here. Some are looking for low-priced property. Others simply want more bang for their real estate buck.
We’re already seeing a trend of rising prices. And as that trickle of foreign buyers grows, price appreciation should gain momentum.
Six years ago, when I first scouted Ecuador’s Pacific coast, properties listed at $50,000 to $60,000 were easy to find. Today, it’s unusual to find properties in that price bracket.
But don’t worry. There are still good deals on Ecuador’s coast…such as a beach condo for $75,000