If ever there was someone who knew when it was the right time to invest in Cabo, it was Manuel Diaz Rivera. Back in 1974, the Mexico City architect made what is certainly one of the savviest real estate deals of all time, although it took years for anyone else to realize it. Cabo San Lucas in the early 1970s still had less than 1,000 inhabitants, after all, and the 360 acres of barren hillside land he purchased wasn’t sought after by any other buyers.
But Manuel Diaz Rivera had a vision, one that would eventually be realized as Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas … or just Pedregal. Yes, the place that became the most exclusive hillside enclave in Cabo San Lucas, and a haven for the secondary homes of superstar athletes and A-list movie stars. The place where a private tunnel was built to accommodate what is now the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. The place The New York Times refers to as the “Beverly Hills of Los Cabos.”
In the nearly 50 years since, no real estate deal has come close to this one … until now.
Why Now is the Time to Invest in Cabo San Lucas
Manuel Diaz Rivera’s vision was to see not just what Cabo San Lucas was at the time of his first visit in 1973 – a small cannery town with a handful of hotels, and less than 1,000 inhabitants – but what it could be. He understood that although tourism in the region was in its infancy, the region’s outstanding natural advantages would allow for massive growth.
He was right, but even a visionary couldn’t have predicted the degree to which Cabo San Lucas would grow.
The Changing Nature of Cabo San Lucas
Any conversation about Los Cabos as a destination, or Cabo San Lucas in particular, has to begin with an acknowledgement and appreciation of the massive growth that has occurred in the area during the past 50 years. This growth has overwhelmingly been driven by tourism. In the early 1970s, Cabo San Lucas had three hotels. Now it has close to 100.
The population has likewise exploded, particularly in Cabo San Lucas. The Land’s End community had only 300 residents in the mid-1950s, but by 1990 that figure had grown to 16,059, thanks to the opening of the transpeninsular highway, and the building of the Cabo San Lucas marina. By 1995, that number had jumped to 28,483, and by 2010 it had more than doubled to 68,464.
In the last decade, the population in Cabo San Lucas has nearly tripled. Yes, you read that right. By 2020, the population of Cabo San Lucas was just over 200,000.
Are you starting to see why it’s a good idea to invest in Cabo? The population has skyrocketed over the past 50 years … and Cabo San Lucas is still growing.
The Changing Nature of Cabo San Lucas Real Estate
Great growth brings great opportunities. Since Hurricane Odile in 2014, Los Cabos has been in the midst of the greatest building boom in the region’s history. You might think, given the population numbers quoted, that the greatest opportunities to “invest in Cabo” and realize enormous profits are now in the past. You would be wrong.
Over the past decade, Los Cabos as a tourist destination that welcomes some three million visitors annually has consciously rebranded itself as a luxury destination. Contemporaneous to this decision were the opening of resorts by luxury brands such as Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons, Hyatt, and JW Marriott. The quaint fly-in fishing resorts of the 1950s are long gone.
Of course they are. Cabo San Lucas isn’t merely a tourist destination anymore. In the course of the past decade, it has become a thriving city … 800 miles from the U.S., but only a few hours away by plane. Luxury residential developments in the area – aside from Manuel Diaz Rivera’s pioneering effort – began in the early 1990s, and have always included two key aspects: ocean views, and accompanying world-class golf courses from big-name players and designers like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
That’s still the formula, and residential real estate is still the best investment in the area, both for the developers themselves, and for home buyers, who pay far less for oceanfront property than they would in the U.S., while also enjoying far lower property taxes, and a much lower cost of living. They will also have abundant opportunities to sell their home for a healthy profit, given the high numbers of new residents – primarily from the U.S. – who have continued to flock to the area, and are seeking their own piece of paradise.
The formula works because Baja California Sur has far more coastline than any other state in México. Los Cabos alone, for example, has over 100-miles of gorgeous beachfront and ocean view real estate. It’s true that developers are now moving into previously less developed areas – like the East Cape, for example, or north of Cabo San Lucas – to find new stretches of coastal land to accommodate more luxury residential communities, but the area remains ripe for continued investment.
While Los Cabos has plenty of beachfront and ocean view properties, the one thing that has always been in short supply is exclusive hillside properties with commanding views – not only of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortés – but of downtown Cabo San Lucas and its marina. These hillside enclaves, with their luxury villas and mansions, have always been the preferred residences of the wealthiest people in Cabo San Lucas.
But until now, those who desire and can afford such properties have been limited in their options to Pedregal, the exclusive community Manuel Diaz Rivera staked out back in the early 1970s.
Until now …
A Once in a Generation Property is Now on the Market
For decades, local hikers have called its centerpiece Cerro de la Zeta (Hill Z), not just because it’s the be all and end all in terms of views in the area – although it is, with the highest and most majestic vantages in Cabo San Lucas – but because it’s also the last remaining undeveloped hillside area in the exclusive section overlooking downtown Cabo San Lucas and its marina. Not since Manuel Diaz Rivera himself has there been a Cabo investment opportunity like this.
And yes, this once-in-a-generation property is finally on the market.
Where do governments put satellite observation towers? On the highest places they can find. When you look at this 12-hectare (or 30-acre) parcel, you’ll notice the satellite observation tower … But probably not until you’ve already noticed the extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Cortés, downtown Cabo San Lucas, and indeed the city in its entirety. Its vantages are higher, and better placed even than those in Manuel Diaz Rivera’s neighboring Pedregal. This is the top of Cabo San Lucas, in every way imaginable.
We mentioned the rarity of hillside land in Cabo San Lucas relative to beachfront land in Los Cabos and neighboring areas. This property, while only 1/12 the size of Manuel Diaz Rivera’s Pedregal parcel, is the most centrally situated piece of hillside property ever to be offered in Cabo San Lucas. It’s also, as mentioned, the last parcel of this exclusive hillside area that’s still undeveloped.
Of course, property values have gone up significantly in the 50 years since Manuel Diaz Rivera bought his Pedregal parcel. But so too has the price for residential or mixed-use properties with central locations and the best views in the hottest real estate destination in México. Meaning, this is a developer’s dream.
See? We told you it was a good time to invest in Cabo San Lucas.
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