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Old May 31st, 2006, 06:52 AM   #21
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Oh.... very impressive..

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Old May 31st, 2006, 12:02 PM   #22
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Very nice transformation
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Old May 31st, 2006, 04:49 PM   #23
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Excellent comparison!
Great thread MZN ...as always!
Los monopolios no surgen por una tendencia innata del mercado, sino por la intromisión del Estado en contra del mercado libre.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 01:04 AM   #24
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awsome! but, seriusly, the skyline needs +200mts to be considered world class
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:57 PM   #25
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I don't think so.. just wait and see.. it's gonna be mega-impressive
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 08:29 PM   #26
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By the way.. voila.. some interesting articles on BA's boom

Real Estate in Buenos Aires - from bust to boom in three years!
By David Cummings
This article was published in the January 2006 issue of the Offshore Real Estate Magazine for EscapeArtist.com © Copyright 1996-June 03, 2006 EscapeArtist Inc. All Rights Reserved

. If you had come to Buenos Aires like I did three years ago you would have found a country on its knees, a country that had just become the biggest debt defaulter ever. A country that not only couldn’t pay its debts to the IMF but couldn’t even pay its own municipal workers. The country was in chaos and the people were demotivated - it was in short a truly miserable time for Argentina.
The banks had put steel shutters up on their ground floors and moved upstairs for the safety of the first or even second floors. They did this to escape the protesters who were (quite rightly in many people opinions) forcefully demanding their money back which they maintained had been stolen due to the devaluation (known here as Pesification).

The protests in these times were legendary entering the Guinness Book of records for noise. The “saucepan protests “as they were known (thousands of people would stand outside banks and bang saucepans for hours on end) were without doubt the noisiest demonstration ever heard on earth, they were a terrifying strain on the ears! And why not make a big noise many would say because for every one peso these people had put in the bank they were now being told it was worth two thirds less overnight – it certainly seems a kind of robbery. But then certainly Argentina needed to do something drastic to get itself out of trouble bought on by the Menem government – and it seems to have worked because Argentina is now making a different type of noise – the noise of success.

When I first walked the streets here in BA in April 2003, being a property person, I naturally looked in estates agents windows and what I saw I couldn’t believe. The prices were so low as to make you think “whats the catch”. The truth was there was no catch. People were just desperate to sell their property and salvage what money they could. Before the crises one peso was equal to one dollar. After the currency was overnight devalued (Jan 2003) those that had their mortgages in dollars now had to pay 3 pesos for every dollar borrowed. On top of that their savings were now worth two thirds less – it was indeed a crisis.
As you can imagine the housing market went into free fall. People just wanted out. It was a blood bath – no one wanted to buy and many had to sell or go bankrupt. Prices tumbled as people lowered their prices to find a buyer so they could get into cash. At the same time there was a run on the banks of Uruguay (a refuge for many Argentineans money) which forced the Uruguayan Government to seek help from the IMF and America to bail it out – even Brazil got in on the act and devalued. It looked like there would be no good times for decades for these countries.

Fast forward three years and what a difference 36 months has made to Argentina. Property prices are up by as much as 34% in some areas. In some locations prices are higher than they were before the crisis! Construction is nearly at an all time high and property transactions have set a new record in November 2005. The economy is growing by 8% a year and tourism is booming and so is the property market. If you were lucky and purchased property here last year you almost certainly will be sitting down patting yourself on the back and counting your profits.

What’s the prediction for 2006?

All the signs are that the market is set for another good year particularly in the top tourist areas such as Recoleta, Barrio Norte, Palermo and St Telmo. Whilst highs of 30% plus are not to be excepted a report by Report Inmobiliario.com says and I quote “investing in real estate in BA continues to be a valid investment option”. With tourism expected to grow to 10 million (its 3 million at present) by 2010 the demand for hotels, one and two bedroom apartments and hostels will no doubt continue to make buying and renting property in this city a great investment. Americans are coming in their droves and so moving the market in particular areas. They are coming to buy one and two bed flats as investment and bolt holes to escape amongst other things the Hurricane season. They have been spurred on by articles such as that in the New York Times in November 2005 which lists BA as one of the top hot spots in which to buy property.

There is no doubt that BA offers a great place to invest in property. Rental yields are still great although it could be that since property prices having risen so quickly that they will need a little breathing space to catch up on last years yields. Certainly you can still expect to buy an apartment here and get 7-8% but it may be a little harder to achieve the 10% that was being realised last year if you are new buyer. However all the signs are those rentals yields will increase again due to shortage of supply as the tourist market grows as experts are predicting.
There are of course other reasons to buy here aside from the rental yields. As the report quoted mentions capital appreciation is almost certain and it is worth remembering that there is no capital gains tax here when you decide to sell. Also apart from being a city to make money in BA is without doubt in many peoples opinion one of best kept secrets in the world. The Washington Post said in an article last week (Dec 2005) “forget about Europe go instead to beautiful Buenos Aires – it is the city with everything but without the high costs of European cities”. It is advice worth following. After having lived here for nearly there years (I come from London) I can say with some authority that it is indeed the city with everything. Culture, great restaurants, green parks, friendly people and lovely hot summers and for those with dollars, pounds or euros it’s incredibly cheap. A good meal out for two with the best steak in the world and a bottle of Malbec wine will set you back about 20$US . A maid will cost you 2$US per hour and a visit to the cinema will set you back 4$US. With prices like these no wonder many foreigners are choosing to relocate here. So although rental yields and capital gains are important when it comes to buying property you may just decide to own a property here because, like me, you fall in love with the place and have a life style unobtainable in many other countries. Because no matter how much someone tells me that Bulgaria is a great place to invest in I am pretty sure that it can’t offer what Argentina can offer me and I would never fall in love with the place like I have here. And where in the world can you buy a one bed apartment in a beautiful capital city like BA (in the Mayfair of BA) for 60000$US.
If rental yields are your driving force for buying property and particularly if you are looking to relocate and start a new business it may be worth considering the back packer market here. There is a dramatic shortage of what can be termed as “house shares”. The culture here is to stay at home until you marry and then maybe buy or rent a property with your new wife. It’s unlike say England where at the tender age of nineteen plus kids are starting to look to buy a property and therefore flatmates to help pay the mortgage. Here it is difficult to find rooms to rent because they almost don’t exist and therefore there is a pent up demand for flat share type rental properties such as large houses or hostels. As an example I own a four roomed house in trendy Palermo and Nigel (an Aussie who works for Tierra Estates) said he would rent it from me. We struck a deal and he went about renting the rooms out to foreign back packers – he has never had an empty room and he’s gradually putting his rents up. I purchased the property for 85000 US$ and the return is about 1200US$ per month a 14% return and rents in this sector are rising fast. Buy in the right areas such as the university areas (Faculdad), St Telmo (popular with the gay market) and Palermo and you could easily be getting 20% return on your money – add to that that you will almost certainly get a capital gain and you are looking at a great investment for a low outlay. Certainly there are some foreigners who are catching on to this vastly under catered for market. They have got on a plane come out here and started to buy up old hotels and large houses with a view to renting them out room by room to the back packer market. On the profits they earn they can live exceptionally well here in a country far away from hurricanes, terrorism and snow storms. Finding renters is easy. There are a number of university web site sand back packers sites where you can advertise for free. Response is guaranteed and you can be as choosy as you wish because the demand is so high.

Buying property here is easy. No need to form a company or have an Argentinean partner. Once you have found property you like the paper work is checked that the title is ok and you will be asked to pay 30% and then at an agreed date you will sign the escritoire and that’s it - the property is yours.


Luxury apartments lead building boom in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) – Luxury apartment towers are sprouting up across the Buenos Aires skyline, leading what developers hope will be a wider building boom four years after Argentina’s economic collapse.

The market for high-end properties is attracting both wealthy Ar-gentines and foreign investors, helping to spur more than $850 million in new projects concentrated in Buenos Aires’ wealthiest corridors.
Brokers say this property market has attracted Argentines in search of a financial safe haven.
Most buyers, they say, have few intentions of actually living in their newly purchased apartments.
Argentina’s economy is rebounding from its 2001-2002 financial crisis with the third straight year of growth of about 9 percent a year - one of the highest in the world.
But many Argentines remain leery of keeping money in banks after their savings were frozen for months and dollars were forcibly converted to devalued pesos with a 70 percent loss.
As a result, many have turned to real estate where property values are priced in dollars and prices have rebounded to pre-crisis levels.
Construction activity soared 18 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same period a year earlier, the government statistics agency reported last month, adding the sector accounted for 60 percent of all investment.
But a look at where the construction is concentrated has raised questions about the benefit of the pell-mell growth.
“The real estate sector is a reflection of the polarization of Argentine society,” said Germán Gómez Picasso, director of the Web site www.reporteinmobiliario.com, which tracks the real estate market.
For a majority of Argentines, these properties remain far out of reach – apartment and home prices often start at around $175,000 in a country where the per capita in-come averages around $230 a month.
“We build for the wealthy because it’s the only demand that’s out there,” said Eduardo Gutiérrez, president of Vizora, an alliance of the Argentine housing developer Farallon and banking group Macro-Bansud.
Raúl Saenz Valiente, general manager of Ceaurban, which has invested $50 million in developing luxury properties, said these buyers don’t mess with mortgages and rather pay in cash.
According to private estimates, foreign investors accounted for some 15 to 50 percent of property sales.

Luxurious Puerto Madero
The epicenter of Argentina’s high-end property boom is the neighborhood of Puerto Madero, where a stretch of red-brick docklands and grain silos built in the late 1800s now house gleaming apartments, restaurants and offices.
Construction cranes have filled the area in recent months as new apartment towers have sprung up.
Prices per square meter in Puerto Madero average $2600; brokers say apartments are being sold even before they are built.
Recently announced housing complexes include a $220 million project by real estate developer Vizora. Another group, Faena Properties, plans to build a $170 million high-end apartment complex, a year after opening a $120 million five-star hotel.

Boom or ‘mini-boom’?
The construction boom has in part helped fuel Argentina’s economic recovery. The government says the sector accounts for about about one-ninth of the gross domestic product.
President Néstor Kirchner has also launched a public works program, hoping to lower the country’s 12.1 percent jobless rate.
Vizora’s Gutiérrez said he hopes the growth in luxury properties proves a starting point for more real estate projects aimed at ordinary Argentines.
Credit remains limited for a majority of Argentines, who saw their purchasing power shrink dramatically after the country’s bruising 2002 devaluation.
Even with what many in the in-dustry are calling a “mini-boom,” statistics show the sector remains far off its heady days during the 1980s when mass projects went up aimed at middle-class Argentines.
“The concentration of sales in exclusive areas and the fact that most are cash transactions show that today’s market remains re-duced,” said Construya, an association of construction firms, in a report released last month.
Only 6 percent of recent sales were done using bank financing, according to private estimates.
Government projects seek to build 120,000 homes in 2005 and 300,000 in 2006 targeting lower and middle-income families.
But analysts say more projects are needed.
“There are only a few, but nothing on a grand scale,” said José Rozades, also the Reporte Inmobiliario site.
The government recently an-nounced it is studying plans to offer a subsidy for mortgage seekers that could bring rates down from 11 percent to between 5 and 6 percent.
Saenz Valiente said he welcomed the initiative but wondered what properties people might buy.
“There is nothing to sell to them,” he said. “We’d have to start laying concrete right now because there isn’t anything new built. Now that would be a construction boom.”

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Old June 3rd, 2006, 08:41 PM   #27
conoces el ZOO de BA ?
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woww !! que render el de 2010 ,, quien es DANITO?
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Old June 4th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #28
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There is something about Buenos Aires
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:44 AM   #29
De Lomas de Zamora
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Imprsive MZN!!I'd like to know who Danito is.I love that Render.
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Argentina en google earth
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Old June 4th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #30
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Another futurist vision.

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Argentina en google earth
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #31
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Old June 4th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #32
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Old June 19th, 2006, 04:14 AM   #33
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Definitely the amount of activity is impressive in Buenos Aires but it can't compare to some of the other cities mentioned. Expect more and more foreign investment in the city. I purchased one of the entire floors in one of the photos you have.

Buenos Aires is a wonderful city prime for foreign investors. I was one of the largest buyers of residential real estate the last two years. Expect more projects to come on board across the city.

Good luck all.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 04:18 AM   #34
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More real estate articles on Buenos Aires

Here are a few other good and interesting articles on real estate and Buenos Aires for those interested:

Does Argentina offer more than Paris?

World-class restaurants, museums and health-care services are luring overseas buyers to Buenos Aires

By James Scott

Buenos Aires Herald

May 24, 2006

Chicago residents Mark Warden and his wife Mary Beth found a steal on the ideal second home, offering a retreat from the bitter Illinois winters, great culture and stunning architecture. The only catch is it takes an overnight flight to Buenos Aires to get there.

The couple paid about US$150,000 last year for a 90-square-meter, one-bedroom apartment on Rodriguez Peña in Recoleta. The experience went so smoothly that the Warden’s are now closing on another place – in a century-old building – that cost just US$60,000.

“I was surprised at the sophistication of the city,” said Mark Warden, a retired president of an Illinois community college. “This could be any place in Spain or Italy.”

The Warden’s aren’t the only ones who’ve opted to move farther south than Florida in their search for a second home, trading in the comforts of a US lifestyle for the rich cultural experience Buenos Aires offers.

With real estate prices soaring across much of the United States, Canada and Europe, investors increasingly are buying up everything from apartments in downtown Buenos Aires to farms in the countryside and even wineries that dot the basins of the Andes Mountain.

The rush is fueled in part by the 2002 devaluation of the peso – once pegged one-to-one with the dollar – that has meant that an apartment in the heart of the city can go for not much more than what a luxury car might cost back home.

Cheap prices aren’t all that is fueling the trend. Buenos Aires offers world-class restaurants, museums boasting European masters and modern health care services that have landed the city on the covers of many world travel magazines.

“It offers pretty much everything for everybody,” said María Reynolds, who along with her husband, Paul, runs Reynolds Propiedades, an agency that assists foreign buyers. “If you like tango, there’s tango. There is also polo, lots of golf courses and the weather and food are fantastic.”

Bargain prices

The obvious draw for many is price. In Paris, the costs are about US$8,000 to US$9,000 per square meter. In New York’s Manhattan, the average cost per square meter is US$10,000 to US$12,000 and in some parts of London the numbers can exceed US$18,000 per square meter.

In contrast, Puerto Madero – Buenos Aires’ hippest, not to mention most expensive, new neighborhood that lines the water – the cost is about US$3,000 a square meter.

Homes in the more established Recoleta, with a feel of New York’s Upper East Side, range from about US$1,400 to US$2,600 per square meter. Barrio Norte is an even better deal with at US$1,100 to US$1,300 per square meter.

While costs have been climbing in recent years, many believe the market will continue to rebound, pushed in part by the now soaring tourism industry. The number of visitors is growing roughly 10 percent per year with more than four million tourists expected to visit this year.

Chicago-born businessman Michael Koh helps international investors and second-home seekers buy real estate through his company Apartmentsba.com.

Koh, who bought his first house here in 2003, said he now buys an average of two to three properties a week. His team of 35 employees helps handle everything for clients from showing properties and writing sales offers to overseeing the closings, renovations and decorations.

His business has boomed. What started as buying apartments for individual investors has morphed into working for investment funds, buying land and building new homes and now undertaking the acquisition of dated buildings to transform them into high-end hotels.

“You can buy cheap real estate and make money anywhere in the world,” Koh said. “The good thing about Buenos Aires is it is real estate you will actually use.”

María Reynolds said her family’s business has experienced a similar increase since the devaluation. Prior to the devaluation, the company focused on temporary rentals, handling only a few sales each year

The company, which now sees more than 100 sales a year, offers seminars twice a year for prospective buyers looking to navigate the bureaucracy.

To facilitate overseas buyers, Reynolds has developed a property management arm of the business as well as provides interior decorating services for clients looking for a hassle-free investment.

“We see quite a stable demand. It has not gone down,” Reynolds said. “On the contrary, there is more international promotion. We see more foreigners becoming aware of this possibility.”

How it works

Buying real estate in Argentina can be daunting for overseas investors. Mortgages are nearly nonexistent, meaning transactions are done in cash. Also, sellers rarely will want to register the actual sales price hoping to avoid taxes.

Unlike other countries, however, overseas buyers here can purchase a home in their name and are guaranteed the same protections as local buyers.

Yearly expenses include property taxes and a 0.75 percent wealth tax that is based on the value of the property. Property owners that rent also need to withhold 21 percent of the income to pay rental taxes.

Prior to selling a property, the government may do a check of the utility records to see if the property was occupied. If a owner hasn’t paid the rental taxes, then the government will assess what it believes is owed in taxes.

For those looking for a stress-free move, businesses have sprung up that will handle most everything. Cliff Williamson runs Transpack Argentina, a relocation firm that will pack your house up anywhere in the world and import it to Argentina.

Williamson also runs Latin American Homecoming, a subsidiary that handles everything from picking clients up at the airport to providing profiles of neighborhoods and schools. His business even offers a 24-hour hotline for late night emergencies.

“We’re moving in a lot of people,” said Williamson, who averages about 400 moves into Latin America a year, many involving corporate relocations. “One of the things that makes Argentina very attractive is that the rest of the world is so turbulent. Argentina doesn’t look so bad.”

Chicago-based flight attendant Anne Elizabeth fell in love with Buenos Aires 30 years ago, but didn’t have the resources then to make an investment.

A year and a half ago, she came back to visit, rekindled her love with the city and ended up buying a one-bedroom apartment in a century old building just a few blocks from the Recoleta Cemetery. Designed by a French architect, she said, the building has a sister in Paris.

Elizabeth spent US$93,000 to buy the unit then spent another US$40,000 renovating it, including a complete overhaul of the kitchen and bathrooms with granite, appliances and cabinets. Her taxes, regime and utilities, she said, never exceed US$250 a month.

For her, Buenos Aires was less about the deal and more about the lifestyle. “I love walking across the street to get my fruit and vegetables from a local vendor,” said Elizabeth, who spends one week a month here. “Everybody in the neighborhood knows my name. I love that part of it.”

Property Investor News Magazine - United Kingdom

By: Mark Hempshell

April 2006

Argentina was sparsely populated until Europeans arrived in 1502 and the country was colonised by Spain - from whom independence was declared in 1816. Over the next 160 years centralist and federalist, conservative and radical, and civil and military administrations traded power. In 1983 after decades of political turmoil, plagued by terrorism and oppression under which countless numbers of opponents 'disappeared', the last military dictatorship was ousted and democracy was restored. In the 1980's and 1990's the Government introduced measures to take civilian control of the armed forces and permanently establish the country as a democracy.

Despite, at times, having suffered from political and economic turmoil República Argentina is still the most developed country in South America, and to all intents and purposes a 'first world' nation, not a 'third world' one. It has the highest GDP per capita, the highest levels of university education and an infrastructure comparable with industrialized nations.

The Economy

Foreign investment and immigration from Europe shaped Argentina into an advanced economy during the 19th century. From 1880-1930 the country was one of the ten wealthiest nations in the world. But years of political problems contributed to economic decline, leading to massive public debts and severe hyperinflation by the late 1970's. In 1991, under President Carlos Menem, the Government embarked on a programme of trade liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation with the aim of rejuvenating the economy. Most significant of these, as we will see later, was the 'Convertibility Law', which pegged the value of the currency, the peso, to the US dollar on a one-for-one basis.

Initially the economy improved but falling exports, growing imports, unemployment and the impact of the Asian economic crisis eventually took their toll. By 2001 GDP had plummeted, inflation exceeded 1,000% and unemployment reached 25%. The peso-dollar tie was ended in 2002 and the currency lost 70% of its value. Argentina defaulted on its international debts, public employees went unpaid and bank accounts (an extremely unpopular measure known as corralito) were frozen, leading to street rioting.

In 2003 strict fiscal measures including revaluing the currency, import substitution policies and increasing exports contributed to a sudden surge in GDP. Internal consumption increased, foreign investment returned and the so-called 'Tango Revival' began. The economy grew 8.8% in 2003, 9% in 2004, and 9.1% in 2005 by which time unemployment had fallen to 10%. The Government completed restructuring of the national debt in February 2005, which now stands at 69% of GDP and is slowly decreasing. According to INDEC, the National Institute of Statistics and Census, GDP expansion for 2006 could be 7%.

State Of The Property Market

As in other developed nations property here was always considered a rock-solid investment. But the economic collapse of 2001-2002 shook that belief to its foundations. During this time people lost the majority of their savings and their pensions. The breaking of the peso-dollar tie caused the currency to lose 70% of its value against the dollar by December 2002 - making previously-attractive dollar mortgages cripplingly expensive. People were desperate to sell their property to salvage something and, burdened by many sellers and few buyers, the property market collapsed. The rental market was also severely affected : According to 'Reporte Inmobiliario', which reports on trends in the market, average residential rents dropped by 74% from US$29 to US$7 per m² during 2001 alone.

But with the economic revival the market began to move again. By the end of 2003 residential property had, on average, recovered to 67% of its pre-crash value. By January 2006 prices in many areas have recovered to their pre-crash levels, and in some have increased by as much as 34% in a year. Property transactions, together with new build completions, reached a new record in November 2005. Some outside observers wonder how, given recent events, confidence has returned to the market so quickly. One key reason is that, after the corralito, many Argentineans do not trust the banks and still regard land and property as a more secure investment.

Another factor which bodes well for the property market is that buying property here is straightforward. Foreign investors may buy without permission. Once you have found property the title is checked, the escritoire is signed and the purchase is registered. There is no capital gains tax.

Buenos Aires

Argentina is divided into 23 provinces and one autonomous city - Buenos Aires, widely known as capital federal. The city itself has a population of 2.7 million and the city plus the greater metropolitan area 11.5 million, making it one of the largest conurbations in the world.

Buenos Aires has a modern high-rise centre with thriving commercial districts, yet is notable for its quality of life with extensive green spaces, good public amenities and transport and - as the name suggests - a pleasant climate. It is gradually becoming recognized as something of an undiscovered gem compared to most overcrowded international cities. In a recent article 'The Washington Post' proclaimed 'Forget about Europe, go instead to beautiful Buenos Aires - the city with everything but without the high costs of European cities.' Living costs are indeed low for any city, although rising : A good meal for two with wine costs US$20, a cinema visit US$4 and domestic staff can be hired for US$2 an hour. Not unsurprisingly, therefore, it is proving a major draw to expatriates, migrant workers, entrepreneurs, retirees and students from Argentina, the rest of South America and, increasingly, the USA.

Property prices here have been rising briskly since 2003, but are still extremely low by capital city standards. It is still possible to buy a studio apartment in a good central area for US$50,000, although these are becoming rarer. Across the city generally new build property tends to be more expensive than old, and floor area tends to be more generous than in most European cities.

Recoleta, north of the centre, is regarded as the most desirable and fashionable residential district and is also popular with tourists. It is very much the 'Fifth Avenue' or 'Mayfair' of the capital, home to deluxe hotels, fine restaurants and designer shops. Current apartment prices range between US$1,500-US$3,000 per m², with one bedroom apartments typically selling for US$90,000 and two bedroom apartments starting at US$135,000. Prices were already high by Argentinean standards so showed a relatively modest 15% price rise in 2005.

Palermo is another good quality residential area, with a reputation as a 'trendy' district. Current prices in Palermo range between US$1,300-US$2,800 per m². Puerto Madero is a newly developed area, similar to the London Docklands. Prices are already at a premium here, at around US$2,200-$3,000 per m² and only a few sites are left for new development.

Of course, as elsewhere, the greatest price appreciation is often found in the up-and-coming districts. San Telmo to the northwest of the centre is a bohemian area of pavement cafes, bistros and antique shops, still showing signs of its working class roots. A regeneration programme to improve security and enhance the street scene is currently underway. Also up-and-coming is La Boca on the southern edge of Buenos Aires at the mouth of the River Riachuelo. These districts are home to the city's famous Tango clubs. Prices are currently in the region of US$800 to US$1,200 per m² and these areas are tipped by many commentators for growth.

Michael Koh, President of ApartmentsBA.com, has made extensive real estate investments on behalf of his own company and as a consultant to investors, and firmly believes in Recoleta despite its relatively high prices. He says 'Recoleta will always be Recoleta. The best investment is buying in a good area like Recoleta but not on a posh street like Avenida Alvear where prices have already gone over US$3,000 per m². You can go just a few blocks away in a very nice part of Recoleta and pay US$1,500 per m².' He points out 'Many investors are buying for short-term rentals (serviced apartments). So it doesn't make sense to pay US$3,000 per m² when you can pay half of that in a good part of Recoleta. The average tourist that comes down and books an apartment won't know the difference of 5 or 6 blocks.'

Michael is also very confident about the Palermo Soho/Viejo/Hollywood areas which he believes will be transformed, particularly as tourism increases. He tells us 'I predict these areas will explode with growth within the next 3-5 years' and he has started to purchase up plots of land in this area in anticipation of building luxury houses and boutique hotels.

Tourism, Agriculture And Land Investments

An important issue to factor in is the part tourism could play in the property market. Tourists dwindled to almost nothing when the peso-dollar tie made it prohibitively expensive to visit. But today's bargain living costs saw visitors rocket to 3 million last year. Tourism Secretary Carlos Enrique Meyer recently predicted 4.1 million tourists and US$3.5 billion of tourist income for 2006, with 10 million visitors projected by 2010. A number of airlines are restarting or launching new routes.

Major draws for tourists are Buenos Aires, the Iguazú Falls and Patagonia. There are several good quality ski resorts in the Andes (the season is June-September) such as Bariloche, Las Leñas and Villa Angostura. Hotels in these areas are frequently fully booked, fuelling the demand for short-term house and apartment rentals. Investors are also active in buying land with future residential development potential in tourist areas.

Argentina has always been a major and well developed agricultural country. As well as being self-sufficient in food it is the world's fifth largest agricultural exporter, and agriculture accounts for 60% of all exports. Agricultural land is very cheap by international standards and there has already been notable foreign investment in agricultural land. International investors such as George Soros, Kerry Packer, the Sultan of Brunei and Ted Turner are already believed to have bought up large tracts of land, particularly in Patagonia. Analysts agree that, should the USA and EU eventually agree to remove or reduce subsidies for their own agricultural sectors countries like Argentina could benefit considerably.

Future Prospects

So what are the prospects for prices in 2006 and of course rental yields? Michael Koh reports 'Prices have drastically risen all over the city in good areas like Recoleta, Barrio Norte, Palermo, Palermo Soho/Viejo/Hollywood, Puerto Madero. Areas outside of those areas were not as drastic. Property prices went up by as much as 25%-30% last year in some areas of the city. However, much depends on the kind of apartment, building and location.'

On rental yields he says 'The rental market has exploded. There are a lot of apartment rentals on the market for tourists. Hundreds if not over a thousand. The typical average rental probably yields about 6-8% per year on the total investment.' However, he advises that high quality, well equipped properties can yield much more. I offer luxurious furniture, high-tech electronics, local cellphones, USA phone lines, high-speed Internet and many other features. Most locals aren't willing to make this investment. However, it enables us to make a much higher rate of return. Many of my clients have yielded as high as 11% - 16% a year on the rental income alone.'

Michael is extremely confident about prospects for the market, stating 'I've always said that real estate here in Argentina is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. I still maintain that property rates can easily double in good areas from today's prices.'
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Old June 19th, 2006, 06:52 AM   #35
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I feel happy for the recovering of Argentina after the 2001 collapse of their economy. I have a question though, is P. Madero part of Buenos Aires or is it a new city being developed?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:08 AM   #36
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is part of Buenos Aires
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Old June 19th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #37
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Grt resurgence.....wow!
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:28 PM   #38
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I Heart DF,

As mentioned, Puerto Madero is part of Buenos Aires. It is a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The land is completely purchased in the area with many highrises going up and several planning to go up. It's impressive the growth in that area.

Yes, the economy is recovering quite nicely and unemployment has gone down significantly as well. The only concern is inflation.....
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Old June 19th, 2006, 08:45 PM   #39
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It will look great in the future. The skyline is... well... a skyline now. And in the future will be set to rival some of the most familiar ones.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #40
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Buenos Aires is an really amazing Towen, hope they'll build some towers with 200m or more
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