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Tulum Real Estate - The Tale of 3 Cities

19 March, 2014

Locating a coming real estate boom can be tricky,especially when looking at internationally based properties. Although many real estate deals may appear attractive to the untrained eye,in most cases close scrutiny will reveal serious flaws to the experienced buyer. But every now and then an opportunity presents itself that is undeniable in its potential. When it comes to buying international real estate in paradise,such opportunities are generally backed by a strong location,multiple area attractions,a rich cultural history and low prices. Such an opportunity is happening now in Tulum on Mexico's Caribbean Coast.

Tulum lies just two hours south of Cancun,which has been a tourist hotspot since it was opened for business in the early 1970s. Previously uninhabited and unknown,Cancun quickly shot to worldwide fame by 1975 with nearly 1,770 hotel rooms available for visitors. Today,Cancun is home to more than 170 hotels and just under 40,000 rooms and has long held the designation of being Mexico's #1 tourist destination. On average,more than 3.6 million travelers currently visit Cancun's tropical beaches each year – a number that continues to grow as Cancun continues to mature as a vacation destination. In addition,the population of Cancun has exploded,from a mere 30,000 people in 1980,to more than 1 million today. In addition,the international airport here sees more than 200 flights daily,which is second only to the number of flights experienced in Mexico City. But perhaps most importantly,real estate in Cancun has experienced a 300% return on investment since the early 1990s alone!

In addition,Tulum is located just 40 miles south of Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Playa,as it is affectionately called by locals,was little more than a small fishing village with unpaved streets as recently as the early 1990s,but today this sleepy little seaside town has become a favorite luxury destination for travelers seeking a quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of Cancun. In addition,Playa del Carmen's population grew from 2,000 to more than 20,000 residents in less than seven years and has continued to experience an impressive annual growth rate of more than 30%,making it the fastest city in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006.


Today,Playa remains one of the most popular destinations for expats and retirees from around the world to buy a home and is still the fastest-growing city in all of Latin America and Mexico. It is home to more than 250,000 residents and more than 200 hotels with over 40,000 rooms,and investors in Playa real estate have experienced an outstanding 1,000% return on real estate that was purchased in 1990.

Tulum is poised to become the next big thing in the Mexican Caribbean. It is one of the oldest cities in Mexico and once hosted Mayan kings,serving as a setting for worship and community. It is home to ruins that are perched on a cliff overlooking the sea,making this a favorite destination for savvy travelers with a taste for history. The largest ruin,known as El Castillo was once used by the Mayans as a lighthouse to aid in the navigation of seafaring vessels,while a stone wall that measures seven meters thick and between three and five meters high surrounds the town on three of four sides and originally protected the ancient fortress from attack. All told,there are nearly 60 nicely preserved ruins to be explored at Tulum,many of which boast informational plaques so English-speaking visitors can learn about the history without having to carry along a guide book.  

The beaches of Tulum are pristine and lined with tropical foliage and untouched jungle. Corona commercials are filmed here often,making it no surprise that Condé Nast Traveler recognized the town as having some of “The Most Beautiful Beaches in the World” and Travel and Leisure called real estate here “A Gold Rush.” In addition,the New York Times called Tulum the next “Yoga Tourist Hotspot,” and the Wall Street Journal named it the “Hottest Section in Mexico.”

Despite these impressive accolades,real estate in and around Tulum is still in its initial growth period but is poised to quickly become some of the most sought-after property on the planet. In fact,Tulum is expected to mimic the explosive growth that was seen in Cancun during 1980 or Playa del Carmen in 1990,but with a much faster trajectory. When Mexican President Felipe Calderon spoke at a press conference in Tulum several months ago,he summed up the area's potential to grow when discussing plans for the new international airport that is slated to be built here in 2014. The new airport is expected to take this quiet seaside town from a mere 30,000 residents to more than 3 million visitors annually in a very short period of time,which will cause an unprecedented explosion in the area's real estate prices.

To give you an idea of what this will mean,consider the fact that Tulum currently has only one traffic light,one grocery store,two banks and around 3,500 hotel rooms. After the airport construction is completed in 2014,these numbers will have to increase dramatically in order to accommodate the huge influx of new tourists. As a result,investors in Tulum real estate are expected to realize returns from 500 to 1,000 percent over the next five to ten years,if the growth precedent that has been set by Cancun and Playa del Carmen are any indication of what we can expect.

Although real estate booms can often be tough to predict,an opportunity like the one currently offered in Tulum brings potential for gains that will be tough to beat in any type of investment vehicle. Schedule a visit today and come see what all the fuss is about – Tulum is waiting for you!

Topics: Tulum