Victoria Pratt, real estate agent and director of the North Shore division of Timothy Real Estate Group, has been linked to Bucerías for more than 20 years, first as a resident and also as a professional with various firms, factors that have made her one of the most expert voices on the development of this famous coastal town north of Puerto Vallarta.
Pratt’s link with Vallarta · Nayarit began with her first family trip in 1979. “My family and I visited Puerto Vallarta every year. We were in love with the destination,” she recalls. Around 1997 Victoria and her parents decided to jointly acquire a property. “My parents explored areas like Sayulita, but they decided on Bucerías because it reminded them of the old, peaceful Vallarta of 30 years ago.”
Growing to the Rhythm of Our Destination
Originally from Canada, in 1999 Pratt decided to take a sabbatical year and settle in Bucerías. The real estate agent already had a broad background in hospitality and tourism, having served as an advertiser and director of hotels in her native country, so it was not difficult to find work in our destination.
“When I arrived, I met John Youden, who was developing Hoteles Boutique de México. I worked with him for five years, helping to develop the company and directing both the marketing and public relations of the project.”
During this stage, Pratt had a front-row seat to the area’s early development. “One day, while walking on the beach, I saw how a large piece of land began to show activity. It was the beginning of what would be Punta Esmeralda of Grupo Real del Mar.” Aware of the potential, Pratt eventually would end up working for that firm. “Even if it was not an independent agency, the products they offered were extremely varied, from mid-range developments to luxury properties.” Thus, she worked with this company from 2004 to 2008, one of Bucerías’ fastest growth periods.
With the real estate crisis, the agent decided to make a change and joined the Pacific Boutique Properties team. “It was the opportune moment. The crisis was hitting very hard and working in an independent agency gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and start as a sales agent.”
In 2014, Pratt joined Timothy Real Estate Group. Thanks to her knowledge of the northern area, she was in charge of opening the first office there, to represent the identity and interests of the company. “It was a natural move for me, because it is one of the largest companies in Vallarta · Nayarit and reflects my work ethic.”
Bucerías: Dancing to the Canadian Rhythm
“Through the years, many changes have been seen. I witnessed the growth of Bucerías and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, with developers executing projects such as the aforementioned Punta Esmeralda, Azul and Punta Arena. The crisis came in 2008, and although it did not affect us as much as Puerto Vallarta, because our customer base was Canadian and Mexican, the market did suffer.”
The Canadian market is one of the keys to the future of Bucerías. “It is funny, because toward 2012 things became very promising. While Vallarta was still awaiting the recovery of the US market, we had Canadians, who, although cautious, continued to invest in real estate. Conversely, when the US dollar strengthened and the Mexican and Canadian currencies fell in 2014, Bucerías began to decline, worsening in 2015 and 2016 and coinciding with the beginning of the recovery of the US market in Puerto Vallarta,” she recalls. “In addition to the crisis, one of the reasons Canadians did not venture to invest here was the size and high price of the inventory—large properties with many bedrooms, as was the trend in good times—compared to the new one- or two-bedroom condominiums at more affordable prices, something that was not available in the area because nothing new had been built during the crisis.”
Curiously, the recovery of the Puerto Vallarta market had a domino effect and Americans began coming to Bucerías, supporting the early recovery of this area.
The Present and the Promising Future
Since 2017, the Bucerías real estate market has returned to its previous peak. “We are even short of inventory. It is funny, because for some years those properties were stagnant and we thought there were too many. But on the contrary, since nothing new was built, there is now a shortage. This will change soon, as there are several projects under development that we will launch soon.”
Pratt sees a promising future for the place she considers her home. “People keep coming because it is a colorful town with an authentic flavor and it has one of the best beaches in the bay, something that is attracting new generations of water sports enthusiasts. In addition, there is a symbiotic mix of foreign and local residents, and in recent times the North Shore has progressed magnificently in terms of infrastructure and services, with a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment, as well as excellent commercial and health facilities,” she concludes.