New Nicaraguan coastal law: A crossroads for the housing market

The legislation will either propel Nicaragua forward as a property investment hotspot, or have negative repercussions on the real estate market for many years to come.

Monday, June 23, 2008

At the moment, there is little indication over how coastline property developments will be affected. Currently, building is restricted to within 30 metres of the shoreline, but the bill is expected to extend this restricted zone. As a temporary measure until the new laws come in, property titles within 805 metres of the water have been suspended.

The new laws could be critical to the housing market in Nicaragua – if the new laws do see investors ending up with a lot of useless real estate, it is believed that many of these people will simply pack up their bags and return home and not invest any money into the Nicaraguan property market. However if the legislation does allow them to build on their land, many will be looking to expand their portfolio and therefore bolster the local housing economy.

More on this topic

Implications of Nicaragua's New Coastal Law

January 2010

Passed in June 2009, the Law for Regulating Coastal Areas establishes clear rules for investors.

"The law states that oceanfront land within 50 meters of the high-tide line is public domain, as is land within five meters of lakes and lagoons. Rivers are exempt".

In comparison, in Costa Rica the law states 200 meters of the high-tide line, whereas in Mexico foreigners cannot own land less than 50 kilometers from the ocean.

Nicaragua: Coastal Law Takes Effect Today

June 2009

The Act provides a 50 meter area for public use beginning at the high tide zone and it guarantees respect for acquired private property.

Although it does not repeal Article Two of the Agrarian Law, which private enterprise has called confiscatory, it does establish the autonomy of the Coastal Zone Law in Article 63 and legally acquired private property is respected in this manner.

Nicaragua: Mayoralties to Grant Permits and Concessions

May 2009

With the new Coastal Law, local governments would be responsible for granting concessions and permits for tourism development in coastal areas.

The approval of 71 of the 73 articles of the Coastal Law being discussed in Parliament would leave the granting of concessions for tourism development, service delivery, recreational uses and beach use regulations in the hands of local and regional governments.

Nicaragua: Coastal Law soon to be approved

February 2009

The Law of Coastal Zones that will regulate the use and access to the coasts of seas, rivers, and lakes would be enacted before Easter Week.

The President of the Commission of Population, Development and Municipalities and Deputy Augustine Jarquín Anaya, informed "At the maximum of two months out, it should be approved at the plenary, because it is estimated that it is a law that enjoys consensus after years of public and private consultation with different sectors, plus some coastal native communities."

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