Fortaleza (and the beach towns to the east and west of the city) is where Brazilians like to vacation. More of them vacation here than in any other place in Brazil.
The city is built on 12 miles of deep, white-sand beaches and a shimmering ocean that maintains a year-round temperature of 80 degrees.
On either side of the city—hundreds of miles of beach, dotted with little fishing villages where colorful flowers crawl on the walls of village homes.
Locals spend their days on the beach…playing soccer, volleyball or racing and repairing their sail boats. At meal times the fresh fish comes straight off the boat and into the chef’s kitchen.
This is a great place to visit and to spend time. But if you are a real estate investor, don’t get distracted. Serious business is afoot. The economy in Fortaleza is strong. Stronger than even the rest of Brazil which is set to grow by as much as 8% this year. Today, I see four pockets of opportunity in the Fortaleza area.
1. In the city, the Iracema area is getting a major facelift. This is where Fortaleza’s boardwalk is being extended…turning a drab and dingy area into Fortaleza’s next chic promenade. This will be the location for South America’s largest aquarium…among other tourism focused amenities. The investment here is part of a $5.8 billion investment in infrastructure in the lead up to the 2014 Soccer World Cup.
2. A new metro system is also part of this investment. The first two of the routes (south and west) are already operational. The contract was recently awarded for the east line. This will be the only fully underground line. It will run under leafy residential and commercial areas (like Aldeota) as far as the new convention center.
Today, you can buy a condo, perfect for rental here with as little as $1,500 down.
3. Just 30 minutes east of the city you will find Beach Park, Latin America’s largest waterpark. White-sand beaches stretch out to the east. The land slopes gently to the beach.
The big Brazilian developers have been land banking here for the last three years. Plans call for major resort development including golf courses. Three of these projects have just received their approvals. The projects are set to be launched any day now. There has been no project release here for two and a half years. I see huge pent-up demand.
4. To the west (only 30 minutes…and you can see the city’s skyline from the beach) of Fortaleza in the pretty beach town of Cumbuco the new five-star Vila Gale (major Portuguese group) resort has opened.
With cobbled streets, beachfront restaurants, charming boutiques and bars, Cumbuco is popular with European (Norwegian in particular) retirees and holiday makers. This is one of the world’s highest rated kite surfing areas. Major development is slated as part of, and surrounding, the Vila Gale Resort.
It’s all happening in Fortaleza and it’s all happening now. That’s why I strongly urge you to visit first-hand and see for yourself. This is a place you should breathe in, kick the dirt, feel the sand between your toes and meet well connected locals. You’ll feel the energy, vibrancy and progress. Brazil is on the up and Fortaleza is doing particularly well.
Editor’s note: Ronan McMahon is the Executive Director of Pathfinder (International Living’s preferred real estate advertising partner), which focuses on opportunity for gains in strategic pockets around the world-before most folks have even heard of them. He writes for Pathfinder’s real estate investment service, the Real Estate Trend Alert. Ronan is organizing a scouting trip to Fortaleza for members of Real Estate Trend Alert. If you want to visit now before this window of opportunity closes, doing so as a RETA member is your best bet. You’ll find full details about Real Estate Trend Alert here.