Costa Rica Real Estate Investment
An Interesting Alternative
Soaring real estate prices in America’s Sun Belt region, particularly California and Florida, have begun, over the last few years, to open the doors for investors and retirees to consider off-shore locations – most notably in Costa Rica. In some areas, property is found to be 50 to 70% less expensive than comparable property in the United States. There have been plenty of cases, throughout the last decade, where Costa Rica Real Estate values have doubled or even tripled.
In addition to the increasing ranks of baby boomers that are discovering the attractiveness of life and investment in Costa Rica, many other age groups have joined the movement of northerners to this jewel in Central America. They, too, appreciate the scenic wonders, lower cost of living, yet high standards of living, along with attractive investment potential.
Who Is Investing in Costa Rica?
In recent times electronics, pharmaceuticals, financial outsourcing, software development, and ecotourism have become the prime industries in Costa Rica's economy. High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location.
Large corporations like IBM, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, GE, Abbot Labs, Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Motorola and Gerber have discovered Costa Rica’s investment-friendly climate and pro-US policies in regard to financial security and tax laws. Their in-country investments have included both production and distribution facilities. Other high-tech companies are also considering the safe political environment and overall economic health of Costa Rica and are in the process of joining in.
In June, 2011, according to Costa Rica's most influential daily newspaper La Nacion, IBM is to invest $300,000,000 in opening a high technology professional services center which should generate 1,000 jobs in the next three years. The announcement was made by President Laura Chinchilla, who called the IBM initiative as "the most significant foreign investment in Costa Rica in the last 13 years and the largest ever in the field of services." esident Laura Chinchilla
Hewlett Packard began operations in Costa Rica in August 2003 with 123 employees and now in 2011 has 6,300 employees. Arturo Velasco, Director General confirmed that HP invested $40 million in Costa Rica in the last few years and by the end of 2012, there are plans to hire another 2,000 employees.
On July 20th, 2010 HP announced within the next three months they will have 89 national
engineers in their Research and Development Center (Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo) in Heredia who will begin to design highly complex chips for use in wireless networks.
It was announced in early 2012 that Hewlett Packard (HP) Costa Rica has been chosen by the parent company in the US as one of only six important, global infrastructure technology support centers.
HP executives were quoted as saying that: "Costa Rica has proven to be a tremendous
operation. Not only have we seen what can be done with clients in North America but
also in other countries in Europe, to provide services in other languages and in other
areas such as financial support."
Well funded international corporations continue to expand, creating high paying jobs while improving the country’s infrastructure, resulting in an increasingly beautiful paradise.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) was the first transnational company to chose Costa Rica
as a venue to offer support in the financial sector.
Tara Polanco took over general management of the Costa Rica operation of the
multinational company Procter & Gamble in 2011 however, she
has a broad knowledge of the company's progress in Costa Rica since it's arrival
At that time the local operation started with only 13 people, now the payroll is
close to 1,500 workers and the company continues to hire more staff.
In a recent interview Tara Polanco discussed the challenges the company faces:
"I can tell you that Costa Rica has adjusted well to the needs of the company.
We found that we can take any business wherever we need it, thanks to the
talent we have in the country. Costa Rica can continue to benefit from this..."
When asked what were the principal challenges faced by Costa Rica in continuing
to attract companies like P&G, she replied that:
"Speaking of the country's competitiveness, we found that the main strength is
the talent. That's why we came and why we stayed, and we have to continue to
ensure that the country can continue to provide the talent that we expect."
Many other multinational companies such as Lucent, Bristol Myers, Chiquita Brands, Esso, Texaco, 3M, UPS, DHL, Gillette, Warner Lambert, Xerox, Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Sherwin Williams, Sony Music, Pfizer, Kimberly Clark, Manpower, Dole Fresh Fruit, Colgate Palmolive, LL Bean, Alcatel, BASF, KPMG, Price Waterhouse, Deloitte & Touche, Oracle, Unisys and Cisco Systems have made large investments in Costa Rica.
It was also announced in February, 2011 that US companies Curtiss Wright (one of the world's largest aviation companies), Value Access and Covidien will also be setting up new operations in Costa Rica. They just keep on coming! They just keep on coming.
In addition, celebrities including Mel Gibson (purchased $25 million in real estate in May 2007), Michael Jordan, Pamela Anderson, Woody Harrelson to name just a few have also purchased land in Costa Rica. Visitors to Costa Rica in 2007 include, Vince Vaughn, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Danny DeVito.
And the latest entrant to the Costa Rican real estate market is Wall Street's Henry Kaufman, famous since 1957 when he took over the largest bond specialist unit of the New York Stock Exchange.