In The Spotlight July 2022: Ana Castañeda, Founder and Lead Architect at HAC Arquitectura
Updated: Mar 8
We receive a lot of praise for our designs and quality work, which are essential pillars of our overall vision as a forward-thinking boutique-style architecture studio. Seeing that we have such an incredible team, we want to share some of their wealth of insight, hence why we are introducing "In The Spotlight". A quick selection of relevant questions that should provide helpful information about our work, who we are, and what we are seeing in the market. In the spotlight today, we have Ana Castañeda, Founder and Lead Architect at HAC Arquitectura. Seeing that Ana is also a founding member of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Baja Real Estate as a real estate agent, we thought it would be interesting to pick her brains about what she is seeing in Cabo's luxury housing market.
What current trends are you seeing regarding architecture and real estate in Los Cabos?
Cabo's home designs are becoming more straightforward. Outdoor spaces are about establishing your private haven, and indoor-outdoor living is a cornerstone of an effective strategy. Light, contemporary design is taking the place of colonial architecture while maintaining Mexico's fantastic color, texture, and design details. Along with Mexican avant-garde art and design, native woods, and raw stones, ceramic tile is making a comeback.
Regarding Real Estate in Cabo, There is no indication that it will slow down soon. It is booming like never before.
Over the past few decades, real estate development has been abundant in Cabo. Sales have generally been strong throughout the years, but since the pandemic started, they have surged. Los Cabos is a popular vacation property option for purchasers from California and Texas.
Although there are several luxury real estate residential areas in Cabo, there isn't as much inventory as you might assume because there has been such high demand. The market is constantly getting more robust, and bidding wars are frequent.
In terms of high-end architecture, which five residential areas in Los Cabos are your favorites and why?
First, Cabo Del Sol - The Cove Club. It is only a few miles north of Cabo San Lucas. Four Seasons has rebranded this private golf and beach community as The Cove Club. Changing the golf course layout could free up hundreds of acres of prime beachfront land for the new Four Seasons Resort and Residences. The project includes a swimmable beach club, an iconic golf experience, mountain hiking, biking trails, and the world-class concierge services for which Four Seasons is known. Resort condos, residences, and custom home sites are available. Phase one is completely sold out, and they are working hard preparing for phase two.
Only 2 miles up the coast, we find Twin Dolphin. This development is another impressive option for those looking for the absolute pinnacle of ultra-luxurious living. The Ohana team developed The Montage Resort, which has three distinctive residential options. Both Maravilla and Montage Residences feature a golf course and beach club.
The Montage Los Cabos Resort is located directly on the world-famous Santa Maria Bay. These magnificent suites are only a few steps away from this snorkeling beach with its protected half-moon bay. The Montage Residences are adjacent to the resort and feature elevated condominiums with spectacular views and access to all of the resort's world-class amenities. Maravilla Los Cabos is their high-end golf and spa resort with the most impressive custom homes. Their private Fred Couples golf course is an incredible experience, with excellent practice facilities and a clubhouse.
Chileno Bay Golf & Beach Club is another mind-blowing ultra-exclusive club that combines private golf, beach, spa, restaurants, and top-tier concierge services. The goal of this project is to perfect the Baja lifestyle. Discover Chileno Bay, a Discovery Land Company Community, with its tranquil bays, secluded reefs, and fascinating culture. The winning combination of Tom Fazio's golf course and two world-class beach clubs in a setting where artisanal culture meets natural beauty. The Chileno Bay Resort and Residences phase one has sold out. They were also working on phase two.
Palmilla, a gated neighborhood in San Jose del Cabo, combines contemporary comforts with rustic Mexican style in indoor-outdoor spaces. They have a swimmable beach, a tennis club, excellent dining, strolling paths, and a 27-hole Nicklaus trademark course. Ocean views are included in addition to open floor designs, chef's kitchens, high beam ceilings, private pools, and hot tubs.
Querencia is a gated community with Million-dollar homes with views of San Jose del Cabo Bay. Your dream vision can translate into a custom design home with a perfect mix of classic Mexican architecture and contemporary design benefits.
Golfweek Magazine ranked the Tom Fazio signature golf course No. 1 in Mexico. You can also enjoy the beautiful spa at the clubhouse, the fitness center, the yoga pavilion, and their famous tennis courts. The beach club is under construction.
And last but not least, Cerro Colorado residents can access two beaches in the desert mountains above the Sea of Cortez: Palmilla and Punta Bella/Bahia Santa Rita.
These houses are located along the San Jose Corridor, and their owners expect nothing less than the best. Private pools on wrap-around terraces with views of the ocean and desert, home gyms, catering kitchens, three-car garages, water features, and detached staff quarters are among the most notable features of the most impressive homes.
Since you have the perspective as an established architect and a founding member of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Baja Real Estate, as a real estate agent. Tell us about your highlights this year and what you look forward to seeing during the second half of this year?
We had a fantastic start to the year and confirmed several significant projects in Los Cabos, and we continue seeing much activity in Guadalajara. Los Cabos has quickly become such an important area for our whole operation. It welcomed approximately 2.8 million visitors, completing its recovery of tourism activity. Cabo received nearly 325,000 tourist arrivals in March 2022, an increase of 18% over 2019.
At every price point, the market saw a sharp decline in dollar volumes; much of the current state of the market is due to persistently low physical inventory. Demand remains strong, with "Days on the Market" continuing to fall. Real estate prices are not decreasing. This year's prices have little room to decline due to high inflation and low inventory. Buyers looking for a good deal will likely have to wait a while.
This situation provides ample opportunity for small, medium, and large investors as the high demand for housing continues to grow despite inflation and high construction material costs. Consider that the year's most meaningful events, such as the ATP Tennis Open and the Bisbee fishing tournament, take place in the year's second half. For someone like myself who focuses on luxury homes, it simply means more opportunities to network with potential clients or investors.
We are looking at a busy second half of 2022, as we are starting the construction of at least three of the projects in Los Cabos and delivering Casa B in Chileno Bay Club. I am also working on finding more investors who share my vision of taking luxury architecture beyond what we see today in Los Cabos to meet the market's current demand.