Puerto Vallarta Real Estate | June 2009
|Summer Mexico Resort Real Estate Update|
John K. Glaab - settlement-co.com
Settlement Team Visits Quivira:
The Settlement Company team visited the new Quivira project in late May. Johni Orr, Director, Residential Sales for Quivira and the Residences at the Ritz Carlton Los Cabos, provided an overview. During the discussion that followed, Johni was asked about the name Quivira.
It turns out that Quivira and Cíbola are two of the Seven Cities of Gold existing only in a myth that originated around the year 1150 when the Moors conquered Mérida, Spain. According to the legend, seven bishops fled the city, not only to save their own lives but also to prevent the Muslims from obtaining sacred religious relics.
Years later, the Spanish Conquistadors would travel across Mexico in search of the seven cities where the streets were supposedly lined with gold. Award winning developer, Ernesto Coppel, chose the name from his familiarity with Mexico’s history and as developer of Quivira is developing the Ritz-Carlton Residences Los Cabos, joint venturing with Ritz Carlton for the Ritz Carlton Hotel on site and the Nicklaus Community of 200 homes to be built.
There are two Nicklaus Signature golf courses slated for the master planned community with spectacular oceanfront holes. Of the two courses, one is private for Quivira Homeowners and one is for the resort guest of Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Ritz-Carlton Hotel guests.
While at Quivira, Settlement staff was joined by sales agents on a tour of the model home. The architecture style is Mexican Hacienda. A lot of natural materials, including wood and stone have been used in a very creative fashion.
Homes will be offered in three phases. Ritz-Carlton Residences, Ladera, of 44 ocean view homes with 1/3 acre home sites has an initial offering of 15 homes. The Ritz Residences, Riviera, ocean front of 75 ½ acre plus home sites for one story beachfront homes will present 9 purchase opportunities in the first phase. Quivira will also have a village center reminiscent of, and modeled after, the plazas of Spain.
Professional Tennis Comes to Los Cabos:
For over fifteen years, golf has been a popular sport in Los Cabos. Amateur and professional golfers have come from around the world to compete or to play for recreation. Sports and news television stations have covered more than one tournament.
Now professional tennis has arrived. The Del Mar Development Cup was a very successful event. The five day event attracted over 4,400 people. It would not have been possible without the vision and hard work of Christopher Clouser, Chair of the Tennis Hall of Fame and Ron Hatfield President of Del Mar Developments plus an army of volunteers, young and old.
This event was one of the Outlook Champion Series. Founded in 2005 to be eligible compete, players must have reached at least one major singles final, been ranked in the top ten in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team. The Outback features eight tournaments in 2009 all with $150,000 in prize money.
Besides Pete Sampras form the U.S.A., and Patrick Rafter from Australia other competitors were Mats Wilander from Sweden and Luis Herrera, Leonardo La Valle and Jorge Lozano from Mexico. The Tennis Channel featured 16 broadcasts of the tournament. Another popular Tennis Channel show” Destination Tennis has selected Los Cabos as one of its four destinations this year. Mexico’s network Televisa had daily reports on the tournament.
The Settlement Company Launches New Insurance Department:
Mexico's oldest escrow and title company has increased its services for the real estate industry. Property and Casualty Insurance have been added to the long list of services the company has been delivering for many years, which has always included title transfers, escrow, legal and tax solutions for the real estate industry.
Property and Casualty insurance are the newest products. This is available as a result of an agreement with La Paz insurance broker Mario Ortiz Pelayo. His company has the moto, "We'll protect your life, family, home car and boat." A licensed insurance agent, he will oversee The Settlement Company insurance division which includes offering title insurance polices through all three major U.S. title companies operating in Mexico.
by Bob Findley - Manzanillo Real Estate Professionals
June is coconut harvest time, in Manzanillo. There are signs, such as “Watch out for falling coconuts, please...” Manzanillo continues to maintain an image of tranquility, authenticity and a traditional Mexican atmosphere, with low crime, low unemployment and no known impact from the swine flu.
Despite Manzanillo’s recent extensive infrastructure improvements and the opening of new shopping opportunities such as a Super Wal Mart, Subway, Starbucks, Office Depot, Office Max, a casino and KFC in the Salagua district, we still retain the option of shopping at the many traditional and authentic Mexican marketplaces throughout the area.
There is a great sense of pride and sensitivity by the Manzanillo population in balancing this authenticity while allowing progress. Thus, Manzanillo retains its attractiveness for vacationers and business ventures. With the recent influx of new corporate business enterprises, one can’t help but think that Manzanillo is recognized as a destination with current and future opportunity for investment, vacationing and living.
On the development side in Manzanillo, there are several projects either in progress or planned. Cascadas de Manzanillo has settled its past issues and moving forward with their planned ocean front development. Puerto Santiago is, another new project ready to break ground.
The project boasts 122 ocean front acres with 5 star hotel accommodations, a marina, custom homes, condominiums, shopping and entertainment. FEEN is a new luxury condominium development planned to start construction very soon on the Peninsula de Santiago (Las Hadas.) Perla del Mar is a very successful ocean front new construction condominium project that is nearing completion.
The recent bad press regarding the drug wars and swine flu in Mexico and world economic situation seems to have had some negative impact on the non-national real estate and hotel occupancy market in Manzanillo. Many of our north of the border customers have indicated their insecurity about coming to Mexico for the meantime.
The "gavacho" market during the latest high season was probably fifty per cent of normal. Properties purchased were predominantly at the lower end of the price range (200K and below.) The economic crisis has pricing for many of the higher end properties. With many international Sellers desperate for cash largely because of stock market losses, there are some extremely good deals to be had for properties in Manzanillo with many “fire sale” slashes in list prices.
Mexican national market for buying property in Manzanillo seems stronger than in past years with a 50 per cent increase in clients. Feedback from customers is that they have been minimally impacted by the world economic situation. They further express their realization that Manzanillo still has very attractive property prices compared to other resort areas.
Professional Golf in Ixtapa:
Two of the world’s top ranked female golfers competed in Ixtapa on June 20th. Lorena Ochoa ( see above) ranked number one competed against U.S. Paula Creamer who was born in Mountain View California. Paula at the time of writing was ranked Number Five. She has been as high as Number 2.
For those of you who are not golf aficionados, skins is a match with a winner at each hole. Players play a type of match in which each hole has a set value. (Usually money or points.) The player who wins the hole is said to win the “skin.” And whatever the skin is worth.
Skin games are more dramatic than a standard match play, because holes are not halved when players tie on a given hole, the value of that hole is carried over and added to the value of the following hole. The more ties, the greater the value of the skin and the bigger the eventual payoff.
For example, a friendly skin game might be played for as low as $1 per hole. If three holes in a row are played without a winner, then the fourth hole is worth $4 ($1 for its on value, plus a dollar for each hole that carries over.)
The match is certain to bring out the international media and be good publicity for Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.
Following a dismal April, hotel occupancy levels are up in May. The drop in April was attributed to the bad an some times misinformed news about the flu H1N1. All of the major Mexican tourist destinations reported increased occupancy in May. In other good news, the major cruise ship lines have announced a resumption of sailings "Mexican Riviera" (Ports such as Los Cabos, La Paz, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.)
John Glaab has been a member of NAR's International Section for over a decade. He has earned the Certified International Property Specialist designation and is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos. He spends half the year in La Paz, Baja California Sur and the other half in Uruapan, Michoacan. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)settlement-co.com.