A step towards a one stop pricing guide for homes in Central America, and perhaps one day MLS, comes from an enterprising Realtor in Managua, Nicaragua.
"It's a simple dataset that helps set expectations and compel action," according to Claudia Gonella, co-founder of Reveal Real Estate. "We wanted to provide the most straightforward representation of the market."
She writes - Real estate professionals working in Central America weren't surprised by the "low transparency" result given to Central American countries by Jones Lang LaSalle in their 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index.
Official property statistics are not available in countries like Panama Belize, Costa Rica, or Nicaragua and the same property can be marketed by different brokers for vastly different prices.
North American buyers used to Zillow-type house price estimates and the niceties of a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) don't always understand this. So many don't get the information they need to make an informed investment decision.
It's against this background that Reveal Real Estate (http://www.revealrealestate.com) and Global Property Guide (http://www.globalpropertyguide.com) have prepared the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot.
The study provides an apples to apples comparison of the sales price of a typical three bed home across 12 different property hotspots in Central America. The results are generated by a special Benchmarking Group of recognized real estate experts with in-depth knowledge of their local market.
The snapshot shines a light on 12 of the most popular purchasing destinations for
international investors … locations with inherent natural appeal and local attractions that draw in tourists as well as real estate investors. Places like Boquete in Panama, Ambergris Caye in Belize, Tamarindo in Costa Rica, and San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua.
• The median house price for the 12 markets was $260,000
• The average house price for the 12 markets was $285,000
• A $425,000 price gap was found between the most expensive market (Placencia
Peninsula, Belize) and the most affordable market (Granada, Nicaragua). Note: The
house identified in Placencia, Belize is located on the beachfront
• In all locations the price for a typical three bedroom house was below $580,000. If we remove the beachfront property identified in Placencia from the sample, in the remaining 11 locations the price for a three bed house was below $380,000.
• The two lowest priced markets are located in Nicaragua.
• The two highest priced markets are located in Belize and Costa Rica.The snapshot (available at http://www.revealrealestate.com/snapshot) can't compete with the mountain of market data available in more mature real estate markets, but it’s a first step in improving the flow of information to buyers and sellers interested in opportunities in Central America.