The Allure of Mexico’s Golf Homes
On either sides of the country, Los Cabos and Riviera Maya are attracting golfers seeking communities with quality courses at a range of prices
Mexico has long attracted both vacationers and second-home buyers looking for a sun-filled escape. More recently, the country has become just as popular as a golfing destination and has a solid lineup of properties on both the west and east coasts for buyers seeking a golf home.
“Golf in Mexico is huge and shows no signs of slowing down,” said Josh Sens, a writer for Golf magazine. “It’s a very international market that brings in Americans, Canadians and even Europeans.”
Greg Norman, the retired professional golfer and course architect who has designed seven courses in Mexico and has three more in the works, agreed, adding that prospective buyers may be interested in owning property in the country because it offers enjoyable activities beyond golf. “You can get in great rounds but also have fun with amazing snorkeling and diving, gorgeous beaches, hiking and mountain biking,” he said.
In the time of a pandemic, spurred by the promise of outdoorsy living and open spaces, buyers seem to be more interested in Mexico in the last year than they have been in the past. Home sales in developments where golf is a primary attraction have increased — in some cases significantly — since the onset of the pandemic in Mexico’s two most notable golf home markets: Los Cabos, on the west coast, and Riviera Maya, on the east.
Here is a look at the real estate landscape in the two regions.
Located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos offers coastline, desert and mountains. It is also home to at least 18 golf courses, with more on the way.
“Cabo is the epicenter of golf in Mexico and the most established market,” Mr. Sens said. “The game is booming there with fantastic courses in swish developments.”
One of the newest communities in the area, Rancho San Lucas, debuted 32 contemporary hacienda-style luxury homes in 2019 that cost from $3.7 million to around $7 million and 120 villas priced from $425,000 to $1.5 million. Greg Reisdorf, the property’s project director, said that 15 of these properties were sold from November 2020 to February of this year — the busiest period since sales began in January 2019. Rancho San Lucas, which sprawls across 834 acres, has the trappings of a resort: a course designed by Greg Norman; 15 miles of jogging and bike trails; three pools; and a spa with outdoor treatment rooms.
Set on the Caribbean Sea on Mexico’s east coast, Riviera Maya is a region on the Yucatán Peninsula to the south of Cancún that stretches to Tulum and beyond. Visitors come to enjoy the scenic coastline and Mayan ruins like the pre-Columbian city of Chichén Itzá.
Compared with Cabo, Mr. Norman said that the Riviera’s golf culture is still developing. “Golf in Riviera Maya is a byproduct of the success of Cancún, which has little room to expand much more and even less room to accommodate sprawling golf courses,” he said.
Jay Fletcher, the owner of Riviera Maya Real Estate Brokers (he also owned a real estate company in Cabo), said that the area had at least six courses with 18 holes. “All the courses are in residential communities and are becoming a reason why international buyers invest in homes here,” he said.
Examples of those communities include Mayakoba, home to El Camaleón, an 18-hole PGA Tour golf course designed by Mr. Norman, and a golf school from the renowned instructor Jim McLean; Bahia Principe, where the showpiece is an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II set amid jungles, lakes and cenotes; and Corasol, a gated beachfront residential complex with three different communities and a golf course designed by the Zimbabwean golfer Nick Price.
This article appears courtesy of Shivani Vora and the New York Times.