Real Estate Values and Mortgages

peterchristopher's picture

In this link - http://www.coztarica.com/2008/10/homeowners-tapping-their-home-equity/ - I was surprised to see that Costa Rican banks are reportedly making cash-out loans to foreigners for properties at present. I suspect that the maximum equity percentage must be small, with conservative property valuations. Is there anyone who has experience with loans like this, in Costa Rica or elsewhere in Central America?

I have also heard that property values in this area (Pacific coast of Costa Rica) seem to be down about 40%, but so far very few sales are happening. Most of the real estate agents have thrown in the towel. Their offices are vacant or occupied by new tenants. The owners seem to be holding out rather than advertising low prices, although some discounts around 40% are visible on craigslist and at the few remaining agent shops. My instinct, seeing the vast amount of unsold real estate available here (already-divided lots with flattened building sites) is that the prices will fall further, but only in desperation-sale situations. I think the properties will still be advertised with prices near their pre-crash values from two years ago, even though the real sales prices will be far less.

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