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Survey: 'Cost' Driving Buying Behavior of Americans to Purchase, Invest in Latin American Real Estate

Significantly Lower Cost of Living, Labor Are Major Draws

 

San Pedro, Belize - November 29, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) As inflation rises, the high cost of living in the United States is driving some Americans to seriously consider moving to Latin America, according to a new survey released today by ECI Development, a socially responsible and sustainable real estate development and hospitality company.

The survey also examined Americans interested in investing in Latin American real estate. For them, cost, specifically the cost of labor, also plays a significant role when determining where to invest in Latin America.

The top pick for people looking to move to Latin America is Costa Rica, and the favorite country for those looking to invest in property is Brazil. The survey investigated, among other areas of interest, why people want to move to or invest in Latin America, the countries they prefer moving to or investing in, the types of houses they want to acquire, and how they would like to pay for their property.

The nationwide survey, conducted by Pollfish, examined 500 Americans who had seriously considered living, working, retiring, or investing in property in Latin America. The margin of error is 5%, with a confidence level of 95%.

People Want Lower Costs and More Adventure

"Life in the United States was already expensive, and the current inflation has only exacerbated this for many people. Those who want to move to Latin America are looking for a more affordable cost of living, as well as more adventure in their lives. Luckily, Latin America ticks both boxes. Investors will always prioritize cost, so it is not surprising that the cost of labor is an important factor for Americans looking to buy and invest in property in Latin America" says Michael Cobb, CEO of ECI Development.

"Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil are the most popular countries for people looking to live in or invest in Latin America. Some countries in Latin America have a reputation that reflects what they have to offer. Others, such as Belize, seem not to get the credit they deserve. They are largely undiscovered by Americans, much like Costa Rica was only 20 years ago," concluded Cobb.

Motivations for Moving to or Investing in Latin America

A wide variety of reasons make people want to move to Latin America. The most important one is escaping the high cost of living in the United States. A lack of adventure or exciting experiences and a low level of material wealth share second place.

Question: Why have you considered living outside the U.S.?

Would-be investors were asked what their top priorities were when looking to invest in property in Latin America. The cost of labor topped the charts, with the amount of property taxes to be paid and the quality of governance coming in second and third, respectively.

Question: What are your top priorities when choosing a country in which to invest?

Getting in Before the Rush

"Our survey demonstrates that lesser-known countries like Belize, Panama, and El Salvador are not yet getting the attention they demand," said Cobb. "Real estate in these countries, and similar countries like Nicaragua and Honduras, offer value and growth multiples that better-known locations like Brazil or Mexico cannot match.

"In fact, Belize is currently showing the same pattern of growth Costa Rica experienced in the early 2000s, namely surges in tourism, international investments in hotels and resorts, and increasingly simple residency programs for expats."

Picking a Country

The survey probed the popularity of different countries among those looking to move to Latin America, as well as those looking to invest in property in Latin America.

Costa Rica was the most popular country for people looking to move to Latin America, followed by Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. The top five countries are identical for people looking to invest in Latin America, except Brazil and Costa Rica swap places.

Question: In what Latin American countries are you most interested? [asked of respondents interested in living in Latin America]

Question: In what Latin American countries are you most interested? [asked of respondents interested in investing in Latin America]

Choosing a Home

People wanting to buy a residence are most interested in single-family homes that are custom built. While this is not surprising, the popularity of tiny and eco-friendly single-family homes is notable - the former barely having a penetration rate of one percent in the U.S.

Question: What type of single-family home? [asked of respondents interested in living in Latin America and who prefer a single-family home]

Among people looking to acquire investment property, estate homes are the most popular. Here, eco-friendly homes come second, and custom homes come third.

Question: What type of single-family home? [asked of respondents interested in investing in Latin America and who prefer single-family homes]

Paying for Property in Latin America

While a majority (65.20 percent) of respondents plan to pay in dollars for their Latin American property, 9.00 percent would prefer to use bitcoin or another form of cryptocurrency. A remarkable finding is that no less than 21.80 percent would like to use the local currency.

ECI Development has been accepting several cryptocurrencies since 2015 for home buyers and investors alike, including in El Salvador, a country that adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender on September 7, 2021.

Question: Ideally, in what currency would you prefer to transact?

Definitions

1 The survey defined high cost of living as a high cost of basic goods and services, including housing, food, transportation, childcare, and healthcare.

2 The survey defined low standard of living as a low level of material wealth, comforts, or availability of goods and services in the area in which they reside in the U.S.

Note to the editor

The complete survey can be obtained upon request. Michael Cobb, CEO of ECI Development, is available to answer questions. Please contact Zach Young at zach@razorsharp.com concerning any requests.

The links in questions above the data tables direct to downloadable charts and excel sheets.

About ECI development

ECI Development is a socially responsible and sustainable real estate development and hospitality company. They have been developing properties in Latin American communities for over 25 years. Visit www.ecidevelopment.com to learn more.

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