Sabine A. Mertes, owner of Select Caribbean Properties, takes great pride in delivering outstanding service to each and every client while offering guidance to those who wish to pursue the luxury Caribbean lifestyle, invest in real estate or rent a vacation villa. With one office serving the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, as well as Jarabacoa and Punta Cana, Select Caribbean Properties has been at the forefront of the area’s real estate game for 22 years. Here, Mertes discusses the current state of the market—and why the area is attracting buyers from around the world.
Please describe your current housing market.
Sabine A. Mertes: In looking at the specific markets on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic that we serve, we’re currently in the midst of a buyer’s market. While prices in the area are stagnant, our average home price ranges anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000.
Tell us about the types of properties in your market and which are most popular.
SM: We primarily focus on condos, family homes, luxury villas, farms and commercial properties. In addition, clients show great interest in beachfront condos and affordable homes with private pools that are located in gated communities. As far as what’s most popular among our clients, condos and family homes top the list.
What types of buyers do you work with? Are they predominantly local, or mixed from other countries?
SM: While buyers come from all over the world, we work with a lot of Americans, Canadians and Europeans, which leads to the rich international community on the island. What I find very interesting is the fact that many of the people who already own property here are getting even more involved in real estate by investing in an additional property. That being said, locals from Santiago and Santo Domingo love their beaches and buy beachfront condos on the North Coast in areas such as Cabarete, Sosúa, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana.
What are your biggest challenges/opportunities for growth?
SM: One of the biggest challenges associated with doing real estate in the Dominican Republic is the fact that we don’t have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so the industry isn’t as well organized as it is in other countries such as the United States. However, the government is showing a positive attitude toward North Coast development.
What do you like most about the region in which you work?
SM: What I love most about working on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic is the weather, the abundance of nature and the diverse clientele that I get to work with on a daily basis. On any given day, my clients range from surfers, kiteboarders and artists to entrepreneurs and CEOs. I also enjoy the variety of nationalities who come to the area looking for their own piece of paradise.
Where do you see the market heading as we make our way through 2019?
SM: All the indicators for real estate development along the North Coast are positive. Not only are there new tourism projects, such as cruise-ship ports, on the table, but also new residential developments. Additionally, an extensive renovation of Puerto Plata is on the horizon.
How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) help advance your business?
SM: As we continue to work with LeadingRE and the network of members from across the globe, we are well positioned to assist people from all over the world interested in real estate opportunities in the Dominican Republic.
For more information, please visit www.selectcaribbean.com.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.