Belize condos: A market snapshot
Belize condos are the mainstay of the international real estate market in Belize. We analyzed over 50 real estate developments catering primarily to foreign buyers, and found over half had condos for sale. Far fewer are selling serviced lots or single-family houses. As land is relatively expensive compared to construction costs (particularly at the ocean), it makes sense for developers to design multi-story buildings.
Ambergris Caye, the most popular tourism spot in the country is home to 44% of all condo projects in the country. Placencia on the mainland has 31%. Combined, the two purchasing destinations make up 75% of the country’s condo market.
How much for a Belize condo?
Ambergris Caye is the most expensive location for condos with a median asking price of US $273 per square foot for ocean view and beachfront locations. Placencia comes in second at US $249. The median asking price for Belize condos for sale across all other parts of the country (including inland areas) is significantly lower at $186.
What amenities are Belize condo developers offering?
A characteristic of the market for Belize real estate, when compared to other countries in Central America, is smaller master plans and a more boutique style of development. There are fewer large-scale destination resorts for example.
We looked at condo projects with completed amenities and found the most common community master plan includes a multi-story condo building (2-5 floors), swimming pool (the most common amenity), restaurant and pier or dock. For condo projects still undergoing construction, this same pattern continues with yoga/spa centers being the most frequent additional amenity planned.
Completion ratios for condos in Belize
We looked at the balance of amenities offered by condo developers and found for every 2 completed amenities, 3 were still planned or in the process of being built. This ‘completion ratio’ of 2 to 3 is higher than in Nicaragua for example where we found the ratio to be 1:4 (i.e. for every project with a completed amenity, 4 were still planned).
While this is only one data point, it does underscore the view of most market watchers that Belize is less emerging, (and probably less ‘speculative’ even), as a real estate destination than Nicaragua. We’ll be reviewing completion ratios for Costa Rica and Panama in later posts. So stay tuned.
After the crisis
After a soft market in 2009 and early 2010 for Belize property, inventories are still high and vendors motivated. Buyers are treating asking prices as starting prices and are negotiating hard. Many are comparing developer-direct prices with the re-sale market (where end-user sells to end-user) to see if they can find motivated sellers with lower prices. Developers are slowly adjusting to the fact that it’s a new market for condos in Belize and the post-crisis real estate investor is here to stay.