The Cost of Owning a Home on Guanacaste’s Famous Coasts: $45,000 to $3.6 million

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How much would it cost to have a home in Guanacastecan paradise? If you’re yearning for ocean views of Papagayo from your living room, you can find lots starting at $900,000 (¢450 million). If you want something less expensive, lots in Playa Grande, Santa Cruz, start at $45,000 (¢25.1 million). See Infograph.


These figures were highlighted by the latest reports from two real estate firms that most closely follow the region, Newmark Grubb and VIP Costa Rica Real Estate Services. Both show a wide offering of residential homes, condominiums and land throughout the province, with a broad range of pricing.



Variation in pricing is due to type of property, topography, whether or not it has an ocean view, access to services like water and existence of property title or concession. Two neighboring properties, for example, could have widely different values.


After consulting with the real estate firms and specialized websites, we compiled the following list of available lots and homes:


Most and Least Expensive Beaches


Papagayo Peninsula has lots available ranging from $900,000 to $3.6 million in front of the beach. According to Andrés Zamora, manager of Costa Rica VIP Real Estate Services, this area is the highest priced in the entire Guanacaste beachfront market at $1,800 per square meter on average, pre-construction.


In contrast, the Pacífico real estate development, located in Playas del Coco, has a few condominiums available at $300,000, with lots priced at $100 per square meter, pre-build.


Flamingo has projects such as 360 Flamingo (residences from $275,000-$975,000), Oceánica (homes from $360,000) or The Palms (villas from $875,000). Zamora and his team of real estate agents classify this area as having the highest concentration of luxury homes on the northern coast.


In Tamarindo, The Oaks development has about 20 percent of its 96 homes available, starting at $200,000; Hacienda Pinilla, also in Tamarindo, has homes from $500,000 to $2 million.  


Nosara is another sought-after location by tourists, not only for its mountaintop ocean views, but also because it is surrounded by a reserve that tourists and expats call “jungle.” According to the website Encuentra24, which specializes in real estate, the average square-meter cost of a constructed home is about $1,800. Currently you can find 123 homes available.


Buyers Are In Charge


Some land was heavily discounted after the crisis, including “premium” land with ocean views. But values began to increase again, attracting more sophisticated foreign investors who prefer locations at most 15 minutes from the beach, the real estate firms noted.


Who benefits the most? For now, three large groups have been identified, according to Costa Rica VIP. The first is composed of young, Tico and foreign adults from 18-35 who want offerings in the range of $80,000-$150,000 on average.


The second group is mostly foreign families older than 44 who want to move to Costa Rica or are looking for a second or third home option abroad for relaxation, investment or retirement. In general, these clients look for small homes from 150-500 square meters and medium-sized lots from 600-2,000 square meters (the equivalent of about a third of a football field).


For tourist or commercial developments, buyers for the most part are established companies or corporations looking to invest.