Beach areas have high demand and low prices  approximately $120/square footLiving areas split between indoor and outdoor spaces.

El Salvador Now Global Surfing Hub

El Salvador’s beaches attract global attention from amateur/professional surfers, investors and world-wide travelers.  As the host of this year’s International Surfing Association’s 2021 World Surfing Game, beach properties in this global surfing mecca are optimizing the international spotlight.

 Though overall prices remain below pre-pandemic levels, Gary Barquero Arce, president of SCRiesgo, a Central American risk-rating agency that tracks El Salvador’s economy and housing market, said that El Salvador’s anticipated economic growth and infrastructure improvements make the country a good place to invest.

Many Homes Arranged in Traditional Salvadoran Ranch Layout

As is common in El Salvador, living areas (kitchens, living rooms, dining areas) are outdoor, roof-covered, open-air spaces.  Bedrooms and sitting areas are indoor, walled spaces.  Veranda covered walkways guide residents and guests into various fingers of the home and/or compound.  Typically, landscaping is lush and renders a feeling of living in a forest.

Market Overview

After too many years of depressed home prices due to political instability, a weak economy and gang violence, El Salvador’s real estate market embarked on an upward flight path in 2020 pre-pandemic.  Then came COVID, lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Now, beach regions of the country are more than recovering due to many Salvadorans flocking to the country’s coast.  According to Arron Varquero, founder and CEO of Oceanside El Salvador, “As soon as the economy reopened, the demand for beach homes went to the sky.”  Sales volume has tripled.

Prices Rebounding

Varquero said that prices have been climbing 15% – 20% over early-2020 levels.  For example, a traditional 3-bedroom house would have cost $150,000 18 months ago while today, that same home might cost $180,000.  (Yes, you read that $180,000 price tag correctly.)

Mauricio Ramirez, an agent with San Salvador-based RE/MAX Central, said the housing market began seeing “nice jumps” in the spring.  Today, there are more domestic and foreign buyers than there were pre-pandemic.

Comparatively, prices in El Salvador are lower than in Guatemala and higher than in Honduras.

Who’s Buying?

Both Ramirez and Varquero say buyers of beach properties in El Salvador are fairly evenly split between local and international clients.  Approximately one third of foreign buyers come from the US with the balance coming from Germany, France, Holland and other countries.

Foreign buyers from most anywhere (as long as their countries grant equal rights to Salvadorans to acquire real estate) can buy properties under 605 acres without any restrictions.  The market operates on the US dollar although many foreign buyers are excited to use Bitcoin to pay for their transactions.

Buying Basics

Buyers pay notaries who charge 0.5 – 1% of the purchase price to handle real estate transactions.  Buyers are also responsible to pay both transfer taxes and registration feeds.  (For a property costing $250,000, taxes total some $8,000.)

Thanks to The International Edition of The New York Times.








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