Real Estate Trend Alert

By Ronan McMahon

Party Time in Playa

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Ronan McMahon Dear Your Overseas Dream Home Reader,

It’s party time again in Playa del Carmen.

Along famed 5th Avenue, there is a celebratory air among the throngs of people strolling along from morning ‘til late at night, looking for a place to eat, drink, and be merry.

They’re singing along with the rock bands…dancing on the tables at the nightclubs…and grooving to Latin rhythms…the music spilling into the streets.

The restaurants (and Playa has everything from steakhouses to tapas bars) are busy…the cafes packed in the mornings with those seeking a pick-me-up from the night before and digital nomads working diligently between lattes. The beach is full of vacationers laying out on loungers or soaking in the Caribbean…and area hotels solidly booked.

On my last visit to Playa in early December, it was very quiet…almost deserted. On my scouting trip to Playa last week, it had done a complete 180.

That’s because Playa is the definition of what I call an “internationalized place.” A destination that’s inherently desirable, a place people want to be in good times and bad. A place to escape for vacation or to just escape full stop. A place that is easy to get to and from…

You have great weather year-round. A big international mix of people, lots of fun things to do, good food…a stunning white-sand beach (though there was some seaweed last Saturday—which happens from time to time.)

There is strong rental demand from multiple markets pretty much year-round.

I’ve created this short video just to give you an idea of how universally appealing Playa is:

Take a walk through Playa del Carmen in this video.

I like these internationalized places as an investor because—with the right real estate—even in bad times you still do okay. These are places that bounce back quickly from global crisis.

In fact, they bounce back stronger.

Like I say, right now Playa del Carmen is booming. And Real Estate Trend Alert members are coming out strong because of it.

For instance, in our Siempre Playa deal in 2017, members had the opportunity to lock down condos in the heart of what I call the “Zona Dorada,” or the Golden Zone in Playa.

Our price was from just $193,800. The same unit type today now lists at retail for $314,333. A paper gain of $120,533. And the first owners are just moving in.

In fact, I took a tour of the development last week, and I’ll be sharing it with RETA members tomorrow.

I was very impressed with the (almost) finished product. You first walk off the street into shady expansive courtyards landscaped with vibrant tropical foliage. The rooftop terrace has multiple pools and sitting areas—even a pool bar. And, of course, you can see the Caribbean in the distance. One of the little touches that I liked was the art in the hallways and reception areas, paintings created by professional artists and handpicked by the developer.

The developer is now moving on to the ground-floor commercial area. It’s planned to be a shopping and dining destination that will allow residents to grab a bite or a coffee just downstairs…and attract visitors as well. The developer tells me they have already signed a variety of restaurants, shops, and cafés to fill the storefronts. The developer’s Midtown concept is coming together nicely.

Siempre is in the Zona Dorada (five blocks long by four blocks deep), an area being transformed into a cosmopolitan-beach-chic neighborhood. It will be Playa’s premium address. The big and smart money from Playa del Carmen, Merida, and Mexico City is driving this transformation.

As the finishing touches are put on Siempre Playa, construction continues next door on what will be a location of one of Mexico’s most exclusive supermarkets—think a large selection of fine wine, cheese and charcuterie from Europe, sushi bar, and other gourmet favorites.

My contact in Playa tells me that across 10th Avenue from Siempre, the land that is now a vacant lot is owned by a foreign investor who is planning a luxury shopping mall. This investor developed the popular Quinta Alegria mall on 5th Avenue. They evidently see potential here in the Zona Dorada.

This area, just off the tail end of 5th Avenue and a block west, is growing fast. And the Midtown concept of Siempre Playa plays right into that. Playa as a whole is seeing a lot of activity. New hotels, new condos, new commercial buildings…are going up across the city.

That’s why working with best-in-class developers in primo locations is so important. Hot markets attract a lot of wannabe developers. But those moments are typically short lived. When you have a speedbump those businesses are too marginal to survive. Many projects in marginal locations started failing. So, there’s been a clear-out.

Tomorrow, I’ll be showing RETA members what a truly best-in-class project looks like when I take them on a tour of our Siempre Playa deal.

If you’re not a member, you can sign up right here.

Wishing you good real estate investing,


Ronan McMahon, Real Estate Trend Alert

Your Comments and Questions

Heidi says: Hi, I just read the article on the condo build in Tulum. How can I get more detailed information on this?

Ronan says: Hi Heidi. The answer is “soon.” We’re currently putting the final details of the deal together. Once everything is ready, I’ll be sending my full report to RETA members.

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