The part of the Playa del Carmen real estate market that most people are exposed to consists of a couple of blocks downtown along the beachfront, or residential developments within a resort complex where they stayed. Yet, some of the area’s most exciting opportunities occur in less obvious areas. The following are some of those neighborhoods.
South End of Downtown
This is one neighborhood that visitors could easily find should they happen to wander off the main tourism strip (Fifth Avenue) only a couple of blocks. While the north half of downtown developed with the community’s booming expat community in mind, the south end was the original fishing town. While the small homes, thatched-roofed huts and local shops may be “quaint” they usually didn’t hold much appeal for visitors or expat real estate buyers. Yet, since the neighborhood is only a 5 minute walk from Fifth Avenue and the beach (if you rush!) it’s now seeing a transformation with upscale condos and nice boutique hotels.
This neighborhood is also in the south area of Playa del Carmen, right next to the city’s nicest shopping center, with a big-screen movie theater, a supermarket, several other large and small stores of all sorts, a food court and Playa del Carmen’s only bowling alley. The community itself is a master-planned development with several smaller developments within that offer large lots and plenty of greenery all around, while still being a short drive from all the main downtown activity.
The north end of central Playa del Carmen (about a mile north of the north half of downtown) is a story similar to the south end, but more extreme. Originally developed as a working-class, low-income neighborhood, its proximity to the beach (completely walkable!) and the recent appearance of new upscale hotel complexes along the beachfront area of the neighborhood are offering excellent signs of gentrification; what’s more, prices are still very low!
Heading another mile or two north, just out of town, there is a brand new gated community in the heart of the “Diamond Zone” which is defined by upscale resorts and world-class golf courses. El Cielo is a lesser-known secret where beautiful properties that enjoy all the benefits of the upscale area are available at very low prices.
related: Last Chance at Paradise: AWA
A buyer’s best bet is always to become familiar with less obvious opportunities which generally offer more for their money; this is certainly true in Playa del Carmen.