Friday, February 15, 2013
More than 400 attendees gathered in Quito for last week’s International Living conference. It kicked off on Thursday afternoon. I was there to speak about the top real estate locations in Ecuador and to walk attendees through a 10-step guide on what to look for when buying an overseas property.
I missed the first few presentations. That’s because as soon as my flight landed at the airport, I headed out to look at a piece of property in a booming Quito suburb.
The views were impressive. And so were the prices. This neighborhood is for well-heeled locals looking for secluded country living a short drive from downtown Quito. It’s home to the seriously wealthy, with large homes on big chunks of landscaped land. One house in the neighborhood reportedly sold recently for more than $2 million. It’s a gorgeous location, the nicest I’ve seen in the Quito area. But it’s most definitely not the affordable Ecuador that I’m used to scouting.
But it gave me some insight into that particular location. It’s on a roll, partly because of Quito’s new airport (more on that in a moment). And back at the conference I caught up with the real estate agents and developers we work with – and got the heads up on some far more affordable developments.
I talked with a real estate agent from Cuenca about a potential new condo block with 20 units with a rooftop social area and nice finishes in a good neighborhood. The developer would like to pre-launch it to Pathfinder readers (Real Estate Trend Alert members first, of course, as always), with a nice discount off average prices for the area.
Our real estate contact in Salinas also wanted to discuss a new project. This time, it was condos a couple of minutes’ walk to the beach. We’ve worked with the developer before. And once the project gets off the ground, you’ll hear about it in Real Estate Trend Alert and Pathfinder.
Quito’s airport will close in a few days and the brand-new airport outside the city will open for business. New roads will link Quito to the new airport. And that’s causing growth in the areas en route. Previously seen as niche country retreats the new roads are making them more accessible – and more desirable. I spoke with one developer about a piece of land I saw on my last scouting trip to Ecuador. He told me that the local mayor liked his plan for a community of lots and houses with a small commercial plaza, the first of its kind in the area.
The final project I discussed was a golf one. But the owners in this community won’t get hit with hefty maintenance fees. The developer is one of Ecuador’s wealthiest men and the golf course is a personal passion. He’ll open it to members of the public and stay in charge of the day-to-day running and maintenance of the course. Better yet, he wants to sell lots next to the course. And they won’t come with sky-high sticker prices.
Along with my scheduled discussions, we kept getting crashed at the conference by local real estate agents and developers, stopping off to give me brochures and business cards and DVDs of their projects. I plowed through them and evaluated them all but none of them stack up. But I figure we’ve got some exciting new inventory in the pipeline already.
P.S. If the projects get all their permits and pass the Pathfinder test, I’ll write about them in Pathfinder. But Real Estate Trend Alert members will hear about them first - and get first pick of units, plus special pricing, discounts or payment terms. If you’d like to find out more about Real Estate Trend Alert, click here.