Within the GAM (Gran Area Metropolitana), since 2010 Alajuela has been top area in terms of square meters processed, say statistics from the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA). That would explain the very interesting property prices in this canton.
The capital, San Jose, is second in the ranking of square meters processed, followed by Heredia, Cartago and La Union, in that order.
The current dynamism of the construction sector is based on commercial projects and office centers. What stands out is the idea that the latter are being developed taking into account the availability of labor and attention to quality of life, an important factor to consider with the current difficulties for vehicular traffic in the GAM, where moving even short distances becomes a challenge.
The Association of Engineers and Architects said that "last year, 38% of the projects handled corresponded to residential developments, while 21% were offices, 14% in the urban sector and 10% industrial."
More on this topic
The proportion of this type of housing out of the total square meters authorized for construction in the country went from 19% in 2010 to 23% in 2013.
A total of 1.6 million square meters have been occupied by condominiums in the last two years, 85% more than in the previous biennium.
The number of building permits issued in the first quarter in Costa Rica was 11 percent up on the same period of last year, as a construction boom gains strength.
The tendency in Costa Rica is in stark contrast with the doubts being expressed over the future of the US economy, and construction industry executives say no end is in sight to growth in the sector.
Despite the increased availability of office space, 14 new office centers are projected to be added to the 15 currently under construction.
Data from Colliers International shows that in Costa Rica, the availability of spaces has doubled from 7% in 2011 to 13% last year. Meanwhile the Association of Engineers and Architects in Costa Rica, reported an increase of 33% on the amount of square meters dedicated to new offices last year.
The Costa Rican construction industry faces a shortage of skilled manpower. The shortage, which is particularly acute on the coasts, is being blamed for overruns on contracts.
The boom in the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas took local labor markets by surprise.
Companies in many cases have been forced to take on workers without the requisite skills, leading to fears that quality might be compromised.