Upscale Puerto Vallarta Condos Headed for Auction Block
- Apr 13, 2010
By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Puerto Vallarta–The market for high-end condos and other resort properties in this west coast Mexican city isn’t nearly what it used to be, but if a slated auction next month goes according to plan, the result might point to a floor for the market. The auction will be a traditional open-outcry event, with the added twist of being on the Internet simultaneously, so that long-distance bidders can participate.
Among an assortment of properties on the block on May 25 will be a Puerto Vallarta penthouse condo once priced at nearly $3 million. It will have a beginning bid of under $1 million. Another unit in the same property originally marketed for $800,000 will have an opening bid of less than $400,000.
Who might be in the market these days for upscale Mexican condo units at discount prices? “Canadians,” says Frank Diliberto, president of Orland Park, Ill.-based Diliberto Real Estate Services, which is holding the auction on behalf of a Chicago-area owner of the properties. The Canadian economy hasn’t suffered nearly so much in recent years as that of its neighbor directly to the south.
“Puerto Vallarta’s beachfront condominium market has benefited from an increased interest from Canadian buyers lately, which has somewhat mitigated the impact the economy has had on vacation or luxury properties,” Diliberto tells MHN.
The move of the Canadian dollar toward virtual parity with the U.S. dollar is another factor spurring Canadians toward investments in Mexican real estate. Previously, Canadians had to pay significantly more than U.S. investors when exchanging Canadian Dollars and purchasing Mexican properties with U.S. Dollars. The effect of parity for Canadian buyers is a significant discount compared with what they once paid for investment and resort properties in Puerto Vallarta.
“Investors know that it’s difficult to guess the bottom of the market,” continues Diliberto. “However, an auction, which aligns the most motivated sellers with the most qualified buyers, is a barometer of the time to buy.”
The penthouse at auction is in the Grand Venetian Bay View Grand, which is on a private beach astride the Bahai de Banderas and which is also one of the tallest new developments in the hotel district. In the 5,670-square-foot, four-bath penthouse, the balcony sports a hot tub that offers a private view of the ocean (but alas, no time machine). Also, the penthouse balcony wraps around the corner of the building, affording the titular “bay view” but also an eastern exposure overlooking the hotel district.