Puerto Vallarta, a “Zoom Town”

There’s no doubt that 2020 has seen an enormous shift in housing markets across North America. I just read an interesting article from NPR which used the term “Zoom Town”. Zoom Towns are cities that were just once loved for their outdoor appeal and small town charm. They always made nice vacation destinations, but weren’t viewed as full time residency options due to the lack of job markets. That has all changed as many people realize the potential to work remotely, freeing them from city centers.

Here’s an excerpt from NPR’s article, “Zoom Town and the New Housing Market for the 2 Americas”

“….the housing boom is fed by low interest rates, millennials reaching home-buying age and a demand for more space. Many Americans — especially 30-somethings who remain employed — are ditching their tiny rental apartments in hip districts of expensive cities and moving to buy houses in more affordable cities or the burbs for a life of shopping at Home Depot and spending their Friday nights eating mozzarella sticks at Applebee’s.

“If you look at basically any metropolitan area, you see the most price competition on the outskirts of that area and the least in the city center,” Fairweather says. Spacious, single-family homes are particularly in demand. We’re not witnessing the death of cities — in fact, most cities are seeing a boom in home prices too — but with remote work freeing many people from daily commutes, people are increasingly deciding that it’s OK to live farther away from what used to be the office. You can see it in Redfin’s data, which show more searches and higher price increases in suburban and rural housing markets.

The boom gets slightly less rosy, though, when you consider why national home prices are surging. It’s in large part because there’s not a lot of new construction and because existing homeowners don’t want to sell. “There’s a tremendous shortage of homes on the market,” says Jeff Tucker, an economist at Zillow. “We see about 29% fewer homes that are actively listed compared to this time last year.”

Part of the imbalance between home buying and selling, Tucker says, may be that sellers tend to be older — and with a pandemic still raging, many may not be eager to move and risk their health. Meanwhile, a large number of them are taking advantage of COVID-19 mortgage forbearance policies, which free them to not pay their mortgage during the crisis. “Still over 7% of active mortgages are in forbearance,” Tucker says.

So that’s the market for buying and selling homes. The sort of happy story, considering it’s 2020 and everything is horrible. Where it gets more depressing is when you look at the other America. The one that rents.

Do you think Puerto Vallarta qualifies as a “Zoom Town”? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! -Christina

Looking to make your move to Puerto Vallarta? Visit www.vallartaluxurylifestyles.com for more information and complete listings.

Touring Properties in 2020

When the Covid-19 contingency began in mid-March, none of us really knew what this would mean for Puerto Vallarta’s real estate market. Over the last few months we have continued to close pending deals, as well as receive new offers on properties. Some of our current clients are residents that have rented over the years, and are now ready to make this their permanent home base. Other buyers are out of country, but have decided that they are ready to take the plunge and move to PV once this is all over with. As we continue to work throughout this time when public health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, I just wanted to share a few updated tips for buying, and specifically touring properties in 2020.

At a time when many countries still have travel restrictions, and people in general are hesitant to jump back on airplanes, we have begun to get creative when it comes to touring properties. Zoom, the teleconferencing app that has taken the world by storm, is now proving to be a valuable tool in the real estate market. Live, virtual tours with your agent are as easy as a digital sign-in away. Just because you can’t travel, doesn’t mean you can’t get an up close and personal look at your favorite properties on the MLS.

For those buyers that are in town, we are indeed still touring, with some added safety measures for everyone’s well being. Safe-touring basics include wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer after touching doors and countertops.

Always insist that your agent wear a mask, and be sure to wear your own mask as well. Come prepared with your own hand-sanitizer. Riding with your agent is much less risky than taking a cab or Uber to a listing to view.

Lastly, please don’t view property unless you are really ready to buy NOW. It is not worth the risk of exposure to different properties if you are six months or a year from being ready to invest. Take it from the experts and STAY ON THE BEACH. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by touring prematurely, just to have your dream property be scooped up by someone else before you are able to truly commit.

This post was inspired by an article written a few years ago on buyer preparedness. While still valid and noteworthy tips, I thought it would be great to add a few timely additions for Touring Properties in 2020.


Do you have an MLS Portal? If not, let me know in the comments and I will get you set up with your own personal search of all listings in Puerto Vallarta.

Buyer demographic shifting in Puerto Vallarta home market

Who is buying in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta has long been a perfect destination for retirement, vacation and every-day living. From the idyllic weather, pristine beaches and great market culture, Puerto Vallarta is an easy choice for many people. More and more however the buyer demographic is changing from the traditional people approaching retirement-age.

Puerto Vallarta home buying for investment

Increasingly, young professionals invest in Puerto Vallarta with the goal to earn rental income, for a few years before retirement. What impact does this have on the market? First, there has been a boom in high-density condo development in the popular areas of the city. Second, the availability of properties for our more traditional “golden age” demographics may be scarce. Rental- investors look at attractive “rental qualities” overlapping dramatically with retirement age “hit-list.”

Puerto Vallarta Investment for rentals

Optimal qualities for rental properties

What are the keys for attractive rental selection? Well, when in doubt about rentals, check Air bnb. Now the largest “hotel brand” in the world according to an article by Forbes, 2017! On the first page 70% of the rentals mention or depict a VIEW and 50% have a lovely pool in the lead image. These aspects are even more important than location. We see this in the trend to purchase some of the new developments in Old Town Vallarta such as Loft 268, Pavilion, and Nayri, many units sacrificing view for the prime walkability of the location.


Puerto Vallarta for Retirement

While a younger demographic is moving into the home purchase market in Retiring in Puerto VallartaPuerto Vallarta, we are experiencing the usual investment around retirement age. The difference here is that there has been no slow in the market, even as the heat (and humidity) of summer have crept up. The market has remained busy and all signs bode well for a fantastic close to 2017!


Will 2017 be the year that you seize your little slice of Paradise? Contact the Swanson-Larson team to make your dream a reality! Contact us, and we will be happy to set up a tour, answer any questions about the buying process or send listings tailored to your desires. Let us know how to help you own in Puerto Vallarta!