Costa Rica Blog

Colon's 11% increase spurs Central Bank to Buy Foreign Currency

Posted by Steve Linder on Fri, Sep, 03, 2010

With the colon's increase in value this year topping 11%, it was the second highest appreciating currency worldwide.  In a reaction by the central bank to control the astonomical increase in the value, the bank has announced plans to purchase up to $50 million dollars per month in foreign currency to curb the rise in value of the colon.  The rapid rise in value of the colon will make both tourism and exports more expensive.  The central bank has traditionally allowed the colon to float in a range between 500 and 640 colon to the dollar but this week the colon approached the upper ranges in value, at 504 colons to the dollar. 

By purchasing foreign currencies, the central bank hopes to decrease the value of the colon.  The higher value of the colon makes real estate and exports more costly to international investors.  This is a good thing for the many North Americans who have already purchased property there, as the value of thier property increases.  It does make real estate more expensive for new buyers unless the property is priced in dollars, not colon.  Fortunately our prices at Pacific Lots are priced in dollars but as the dollar continues to lose money worldwide, there is pressure to change our pricing system to colons.  For those who have purchased property using a self directed IRA, the gain they realize over time reflects the increase in the value of the colon as well as the increase in value of the property.  As the dollar continues to lose value, more Costa Rican real estate, home sites and lots will be priced in colons. 

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Tags: Real Estate Costa Rica, Costa Rica real estate, Real Estate, Costa Rica Colon, property purchase in Costa rica, property, home sites

The new Autopista Del Sol has some Growing Pains

Posted by Steve Linder on Fri, Jun, 25, 2010

Last Sunday the new toll road from San Jose to the west coast was closed shortly before noon due to a number of issues with rocks in the road from the heavy rains.  Although the company responsible for building the road, Autopista Del Sol, claims the road is fine, they have agreed to temporarily close one section of the road, between Orotina and Atenas, totaling about 12 miles.  The missing section means you have to use the old "aguacate" highway through a stretch through the mountains.  Though we have used this road for many years to reach our properties, our Discovery tour groups would prefer using the new highway rather than winding through the mountainous stretch we are again traveling, adding 45 minutes to our travel time.   

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Tags: Costa Rica real estate, Caldera Highway, Autopista del sol, Laura Chinchilla