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Property Prices Comparison between US and Costa Rica

Property Prices Comparison: A Comprehensive Analysis

Located in Central America to the south of Nicaragua, and north of Panama, modest Costa Rica is a destination worth exploring. It is famous for its stunning beaches, lush woods, and kind, welcoming locals. Because of these factors, it’s recently experienced a boom in visitor numbers and relocators. Despite its modest size, the country has a wide selection of homes at various price points. While real estate here may be less expensive than in North America, it’s important to keep in mind that living expenses can be significantly cheaper as well.

This article will dive deep into the property price comparison in different regions of the country and provide valuable insights for those looking to buy or sell a home.


Regional Differences in Property Prices

Comparing real estate costs in the United States with Costa Rica, it’s clear that regional differences exist. For instance, the average home in San Francisco costs much more than a comparable home in Cleveland.  The more expensive areas in Costa Rica’s Central Valley would be Escazu or Santa Ana compared to Heredia or Alajuela. In the same manner as a home on a famous tourist beach in Costa Rica rather than a quieter, more rural one.


To give a more detailed picture, let’s take a look at some specific examples:

  • The median home price in the San Francisco Bay Area is currently around $1.4 million. This is driven by the high demand for housing in the area and the high cost of living and doing business in the region.
  • In contrast, the median home price in Cleveland is around $150,000. This is much more affordable but also reflects the lower cost of living and slower economic growth in the area.
  • In New York City, the median home price is around $800,000, slightly lower than San Francisco but still significantly higher than Cleveland. This is due to the city’s high housing demand and the high cost of living.

Note: These are just rough averages.


Factors Affecting Property Prices

So what drives the differences in property prices across different regions? There are many factors at play, including:

  • Economic conditions: Stronger job markets and higher salaries drive up property prices, while weaker economies can lead to lower prices.
  • Supply and demand: In areas with more buyers than sellers, prices tend to be higher. Conversely, prices will tend to be lower in areas with more sellers than buyers.
  • Local regulations: Some areas have stricter zoning and building regulations, which can make it more difficult and expensive to build new homes. This can lead to higher prices for existing homes.
  • Amenities: Homes in areas with desirable amenities, such as good schools, parks, and public transportation, will tend to be more expensive than homes without those amenities.


Here is the Property Price Average Comparison Between the United States and Costa Rica:

Rent Per Month
USACosta Rica 


Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre1,552.43 $   465.92 $    -69.99 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre1,236.58 $   326.91 $    -73.56 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 2,735.89 $    808.16 $    -70.46 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,156.50 $    590.85 $    -72.60 %
Buy Apartment Price
Price per m² to Buy Apartment in City Centre4,523.99 $    1,593.70 $     -64.77 %
Price per m² to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre2,124.87 $    1,250.49 $     -41.15 %
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax)3,627.08 $   710.61 $     -80.41 %
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly5.40   9.47     +75.38 %
Last update June, 2022May, 2022

The information above regarding Property Prices Comparison is from the good folks at Numbeo (the world’s most significant cost-of-living database. Numbeo is also a crowd-sourced global database of quality of life data: housing indicators, perceived crime rates, healthcare quality, transport quality, and other


Disclaimer: prices vary depending on the location.


Are there any restrictions for foreigners owning property in Costa Rica?

There is no restriction on property ownership by foreigners in Costa Rica. Properties are transferred between entities by executing a transfer or conveyance deed (escritura de traspaso) through a notary public. In Costa Rica, all public notaries must be attorneys and are responsible for preparing, supervising the execution, and recording of all publicly registered documents. The National Registry of Costa Rica registers the property in the new owner’s name.



Evidently, real estate costs vary widely according to location and community. To gain a clearer idea of costs, it is essential to do localized research and consider the many variables that determine them.


-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of Grupo Gap)

+506 8500-2085


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