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The state of luxury properties in the Riviera Maya, Mexico

On this occasion, we have the pleasure of interviewing Carlos Castro, real estate agent at Gama Master Broker, leading company in Real Estate Development commercialization in the Riviera Maya, with more than a decade of experience in the world of Mexican real estate. Carlos Castro will talk about his work as a real estate consultant and the professional and personal perception he has about the Mexican real estate market thanks to the experience he has acquired in these 6 years of work, advising local and foreign real estate investors with respect to luxury properties in the Riviera Maya.

HalloCasa: “Welcome Mr. Castro. First of all, we want to thank you for accepting our invitation. We are confident that the information you will share with us will be of great value to our audience at HalloCasa.”

HalloCasa: “As a first step, we would like ask you to introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us a bit about how you came to the world of real estate, which is the area in which you currently work and what is exactly a consultant for luxury real estate properties?”

Carlos Castro: “Sure, I have been in sales for more than 12 years in different industries and for 6 years living in the Riviera Maya.

Real Estate is for me one of the noblest industries which exist because it gives me the opportunity to advise my clients with real estate products which allow them to feel joy.

At the same time it generates very interesting investment returns for my investors.

I started in real estate due to the growth of the industry in the region. I wanted to produce something that would give me freedom of time and space and in turn allow me to meet people from all over the world. Besides that, I really enjoy the new challenges and to obtain an expertise in new fields. Advising a client in this beautiful destination, implies having knowledge of geography, laws, taxes, migration, languages ​​and comparisons between countries, among others, in order to have references that in turn can help our investors. It is also important to have exclusive information about future projects that may positively impact the location where the property is located.

Discovering the most important aspects for my investors and their families, in order to find the perfect product, is a huge satisfaction.

I work with GMB, the best master broker in Mexico. We design, market, build and manage properties, offering our investors an integral product to all our clients both locals and foreigners which includes legal, administrative and accounting services with important alliances on immigration and tax matters.”

HalloCasa: “Currently you are a real estate advisor. Your work area is Playa del Carmen, head of the municipality of Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, which is located southeast of Mexico and south of Cancun.

Apart from this beautiful beach which is located in the famous tourist area called “Riviera Maya”, which is bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and whose main economic activity is tourism, do you work in any other place in Mexico?”

Carlos Castro: “My work is throughout the Riviera Maya with destinations such as Puerto Aventuras, Puerto Morelos,

the beautiful island of Holbox and Tulum, excelling as one of the fastest growing destinations and a market very focused on caring for the environment . This can be seen in the latest projects that are coming to the market, which have technologies in favor of the generation of green energy, materials from the region, and LED lights, among others.”

HalloCasa: “Please tell us a little more about these locations and about the demand by foreign investors.”

Carlos Castro: “Puerto Morelos, is located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, just 15 minutes from the airport and with a large area of ​​protected mangroves which are located between the federal highway and the town.

Its beaches have one of the largest barrier reefs in the region, perfect for snorkelling and scuba divers.

Actually, now is one of the best times to invest in this destination, since the urban development plan which is underway, promises a redesign of the city, such as the relocation of electrical wiring to make it underground and a pedestrian square in front of the Caribbean Sea.

Puerto Aventuras is the safest fractionation in the Riviera Maya because it only has an entry and exit access. For enthusiasts of activities and sports such as kayaks, jet skis, boats, yachts and fishing, this destination has the most important marina in the region, 9-hole golf course, 3 hotels, an area of ​​restaurants and bars, one of the best schools in Riviera Maya and a unique lifestyle. With the completion of the last phase, it is the best and perhaps the last moment to buy a new property in this beautiful subdivision.

As for the growing and vibrant destination of Tulum, there are many aspects to highlight:

the only Mayan ruins facing the sea, a protected area of ​​more than 664 hectares, ecological restrictions that make it one of the most coveted destinations, also because of its proximity to hundreds of cenotes and the reserve of Siaan Kan and Punta Allen.

The paradisiacal Holbox Island, known for whale shark sighting, is a unique place with beaches without waves, simulating a gigantic natural pool, surrounded by islets and a completely relaxed lifestyle, ideal for couples and families.”

HalloCasa: “Apart from being a highly tourist and attractive area for its luxurious buildings and its proximity to the sea, what are these other aspects that both local and foreign investors seek when investing here?”

Carlos Castro: “The quality of life, the amount of services offered, the labor and academic offer have made the state of Quintana Roo the destination with the highest economic growth in 2017 throughout the country.

The creation of theme parks that will soon open their doors such as Nickelodeon and Amikoo, the latter inspired by the Mayan culture, with an investment of 172 million dollars and 840 million dollars respectively, are a sign of the trust that investors have in this destination.”

HalloCasa: “Much is said that Playa del Carmen went from being a town with a fishing vocation to one of the prosperous and powerfully tourist cities throughout the Mexican Republic. What were the main drivers for this transformation?”

Carlos Castro: “Its privileged location, the ferry station to Cozumel, the diversity of its residents making it the most international city in Mexico with more than 35% of foreigners, main tourist destination without low season (87% of average occupancy in the year), a recreational lifestyle for all ages, its fabulous nightlife, water sports and activities and an interesting offer of educational institutions and hospitals make this destination one of the most interesting and fastest growing in the history of the country.”

HalloCasa: “What advice would you give to foreign investors looking to settle in Mexico with their preference being the tourist areas?”

Carlos Castro:  “Take advantage of the growing industry of vacation rentals, which generates investment returns superior to those of long-term income, coupled with the fact that this model allows investors to enjoy their assets while generating income and with a dollarized market, which benefits many investors in the medium and long term.”

HalloCasa: “What aspects should the foreign investor take into account when choosing a property in the Riviera Maya?”

Carlos Castro:  “The location is paramount. People looking for a rental apartment want to be close to the main activities. In turn the concept of presale is very attractive, since it allows the investor to buy from 10% to 25% below the final price and finally, choosing a company that offers a comprehensive product, with legal, financial, administration and promotion services.”

HalloCasa: “What are the main aspects an adviser should consider when providing guidance and advice on exclusive projects?”

Carlos Castro: “On the one hand, Being hungry (to be eager) of knowledge is one of the main aspects. This industry requires constant updating in legal, fiscal, and administrative matters, among other aspects.

On the other hand: be enthusiastic, be sociable, interact in the field, attend events, launches, courses, workshops. In general, it is important to be present in a real estate association, especially in states such as Quintana Roo. Furthermore, having a license or at least being in the process to have one is important. Since January 2016 it is even mandatory to have a real estate licence in order to operate as a broker. In my opinion, having a license was a necessary transition, especially with the real estate boom which we experience currently. This also speaks of the professionalization which is necessary and gives much more trust to investors.”

HalloCasa: “Currently, the Riviera Maya has an approximate number of 200 hotels, with an average occupancy of approximately 87%, with an aerodrome, three tourist marinas and several golf clubs. From which countries do foreign investors come mostly for this important Mexican area?”

Carlos Castro:  “The mixture is very varied; There are investors mainly from the Americas, mainly from countries such as the United States, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Uruguay.

As for Europe, countries like Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany would be the most popular.”

HalloCasa: “Quintana Roo represents a very important market for the Mexican real estate sector and La Riviera Maya to the largest tourist area not only in Mexico but also in Latin America. That being the case, how do you perceive that in 2018 it will become a Mexican tourist destination of such magnitude?”

Carlos Castro: “With the opening of the Nickelodeon theme parks and hotels, the Amikoo park, the entrance of Top Golf in Cancun, hotels, stadium, convention center and a mall with water channels of corridors in Xcaret, a strong wave of investments will come which altogether surpass the 1,500 million dollars.”

HalloCasa: “You might think that a tourist area is striking in the high seasons, but Mr. Castro, is it attractive to live in a tourist area in any season? And if so, why?”

Carlos Castro: “Definitely, especially as a resident. The low seasons are the best to enjoy the destinations and attractions that the region has. There are better prices, availability, tranquility and a lifestyle that encompasses life in the Caribbean.”

HalloCasa: “How is an exclusive project characterized?”

Carlos Castro: “An exclusive project is a project that is handled by a master broker who takes care of its marketing. In most cases they are pre-sales and high-end products, since it is necessary to do it in the hands of a company with enough infrastructure and experience to meet the objectives of both developers and investors.”

HalloCasa: “What are the most representative exclusive projects of the moment? What are those most relevant characteristics that define them?”

Carlos Castro: “The most exclusive projects to date are categorized by destination.

In Playa del Carmen we have 2 projects that stand out, the case of IT Beach, the latest and newest project that guarantees views of the Caribbean Sea from virtually any apartment, as well as The Shore, which has the latest technology in terms of automation.

Tulum Tuk Tulum is one of the best projects, since it has everything you need to enjoy this beautiful destination, privileged location, 60 shops, amphitheater, gym, hotel and a luxury hotel service.”

HalloCasa: “What other destinations, apart from Playa del Carmen and Quintana Roo, are the most desired destinations when investing in real estate in Mexico within exclusive zones?”

Carlos Castro: “San Cristobal de las Casas, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta sound like the fastest growing destinations in the real estate industry after Quintana Roo. This is due to the foreign communities that seek these destinations because of its privileged climate, the quality of life, being ideal sites for retirees and investors.”

HalloCasa: “As for the rise of the dollar, how is the current situation of the real estate sector in relation to fluctuating costs?”

Carlos Castro: “The rise of the dollar directly affects the costs of both land and materials, this benefits the investor, since properties are mostly offered in dollars, especially high-end ones.”

 HalloCasa: “Mr. Castro, please tell our audience the 10 main reasons why an investor chooses the Riviera Maya over large cities of the Mexican country.”

  Carlos Castro:

  • “Location
  • Quality of life
  • Gastronomy
  • Archaeological sites
  • Night life
  • Activities
  • Theme parks
  • It is the destination that receives more foreign tourists in the country (4 out of 10 tourists who visit Mexico come to the Mayan Riviera)
  • Excellent for retirees
  • Unmatched climate. “

HalloCasa: “What tips can you offer, as a professional real estate advisor, to foreign investors who wish to invest in luxury hotels in the Riviera Maya?”

Carlos Castro: “That they obtain advise on the future projects in the neighborhoods of the place where they think to invest, as well as to obtain market studies and comparative studies that help them to find the best option. The subject of the services offered is very important, since the competition is strong and the more added value the guest finds in the hotel where he will stay, the more opportunities the investor has for success.”

HalloCasa: “Very interesting and to finish our interview Mr. Castro: currently Quintana Roo is positioned as one of the five states with the highest offer of sale and rental of hotels, housing, offices, land and commercial spaces priced in US Dollars. Among those projects mentioned, which are the most desired and which ones are demanded to a lesser extent?”

Carlos Castro: “Both rent and sale of housing as well as land are the most desired ones, both as investment and enjoyment. In the case of hotels and offices there is movement, however, due to the relatively high amounts necessary for investments they move less. This can change soon, especially in the field of offices, since it has been commented that due to the recent earthquakes which happened close to the center of the country, it will cause a considerable migration and therefore not only the housing but the offices will have a considerable high demand for the next few months.”

HalloCasa: “Mr. Castro, thank you very much for this interview. We appreciate your time. If investors and the audience wish to contact you, what would be the means to do so?”

Carlos Castro:  “Thank you very much for such an interesting and important invitation. Investors can contact me through HalloCasa or can contact me directly on +52 (1) 984 108 1601 or email carlos@gmb.com.mx Thank you.”

HalloCasa: “Thank you very much for being with us.”

Carlos Castro:  ”Thank you.”

About HalloCasa:

HalloCasa, the marketplace for international real estate properties, is being founded by a German in Bogotá. HalloCasa´s mission is to build trust for vendors and investors with respect to cross-border real estate transactions.

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