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Foreign Retirees Flock to Manta as City Emerges as Top Investment and Retirement Destination

Published on June 03, 2024

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According to several real estate agents, seven out of ten clients looking for apartments in Manta are foreign retirees. There are 16 real estate projects underway in the city, including buildings and developments, which consist of 1,250 housing units.

In mid-May, Manta showcased its tourist attractions and the benefits it offers as a city to a group of national and foreign journalists. The objective was to promote the city as a tourist and investment destination, especially for retirees from other countries.

But is Manta really becoming a destination for foreigners to live after retirement?

Ámbar Quijije, who is in charge of ‘Own in Ecuador,’ a real estate agency that sells houses and apartments in Manta, confirms that retired foreigners are indeed the most interested in purchasing apartments in the city.

“We could say that seven out of ten clients interested in purchasing properties in Manta are retirees from the United States or Europe. Many people want to live here, despite the difficult times the country is going through regarding security issues,” she points out.

Quijije also mentions that those acquiring apartments and houses are often Ecuadorians living abroad.

This year, this group has shown the most interest in investing in Manta, especially in homes that face the sea.

“These people are taking advantage of the current high supply of properties, buying either as an investment to rent or for vacations. People take advantage of these opportunities to buy properties, as the capital gains will continue to increase,” she explains.

The cost of a beachfront apartment in Manta ranges from $90,000 to $500,000.

Manta has at least 1,800 apartments in nearly 20 buildings located on the coastal edge, according to the Ecuadorian Real Estate Chamber. Added to these are 16 real estate projects, including urbanizations and buildings, scheduled for 2023-2024, which consist of approximately 1,250 housing units, according to the Municipal Cadastre Department. Some of these projects include Bella Colina, Porto Manta, Barú, Skorpio, Grand Bay, Puerto Banus, and Mawa.

Cruisers love Mnata

Another group of clients Manta has attracted are passengers who arrive on cruise ships at the international port. Roberto Salazar, president of Manta Port Terminal (TPM), notes that some of these tourists have fallen in love with the city and return to search for houses or apartments to live in.

“This cruise activity allows the city to position itself as a place for investment. On most of the cruises we receive, retired people arrive—people who are dedicated to traveling the world. Manta could be a retirement destination for many foreigners. This is achieved because when the cruise ships arrive and stay for hours or days, the tourists get to know the services of the city and receive real estate proposals. I know that some tourists have already purchased properties here,” he says.

Salazar emphasizes that this is very important for the economic reactivation that both Manta and Manabí need.

Retirees do 6 months on 6 moths off

Fritz Feijoo, Economic Development Coordinator of the Municipality of Manta, states that the administration aims to make Manta a residential and investment destination for retirees.

Generally, they live half the year in their home country and the other half in Manta, he adds. This is referred to as investment tourism, where the city is not just visited for a few days but is seen as a place where wealth can be generated.

“We want to promote Manta abroad with new airlines, new frequencies, and cruises. We are trying to make people fall in love with the city and come to build hotels, buildings, and live here,” he explains.

One of the facilities offered by the city is the simplification of procedures to invest. Investors do not necessarily have to be in Manta to deliver documents or have them reviewed. Currently, most procedures are carried out online through the citizen portal.

“In other cities, it takes one or two years to approve permits to build a building. Here, everything is ready in three months,” he comments.

There are currently at least five buildings under construction in Manta. One of these is the Grand Bay, from the Campana Group. On May 1st, in the Barbasquillo sector, the first stone for a third tower was laid. The total investment in the project is close to $120 million, financed by European investors, bank loans, and pre-sales of the apartments, which are priced around $135,000.


  1. Improvements in security are lagging badly in Manta and Manabi overall. If this doesn’t turn around quickly there are going to be a lot of empty apartments and half finished buildings that quickly will blight everything around them.

    • I don’t see a by-line for this article.
      It was probably commissioned by the Manta chamber of commerce.

  2. Manta needs to address basic services such as water and sewer. Currently, EPAM, the water and sewer company does not provide water to Manta 7X24X365. Most days you receive water from EPAM for some portion of the day but there are days when you don’t receive any water. And one has to wonder what the impact of all these new housing units will have on the sewer system.

  3. In the first 6 months of 2024, there have been 154 murders in Manta. The overall murder rate in Manabi Province has risen by 50% year over year. The city and province have become the battle ground in all of Ecuador for turf dominance between drug cartels. Enter at your own risk.

  4. This story doesn’t make sense after the story yesterday in Cuenca High Life regarding the blood bath between the gangs and a Mexican Cartel in Manta.

    This was on top of the additional recent murders /assassinations in the area that are the result of the new crack down in the prisons. This is causing the gangs and cartels to move their war to the streets, which will result in much more blood shed in the city, not in the prisons.


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