This article is based on an interview by Lucinda Elliot to Rodolfo Victorica, manager of Caldeyro Victorica Bienes Raíces. The interview was published June 13 in the prestigious English journal Financial Times.
After a decade in which Punta del Este dominated the real estate scenary in Uruguay, it seems the capital is having its turn. Montevideo is seeing new construction projects and an influx of foreign businesses.
Montevideo in the spotlight
Montevideo, where half of the uruguayan population lives, is transforming quickly. The city, which stood in the shadow of its neighbor, Buenos Aires, is today one of th most vibrant capital cities of Latin America. The one who used to be a tranquil city, is gaining rythm by the new galleries, coffee shops, cultural spaces, boutique hotels, condos and buildings, which are part of the building boom.
Real estate market in Montevideo
The Uruguayan market is also chosen by foreign investors, for it being a safer environment compared to Argentina. A new interest for Montevideo is emerging, so much so that this year the city beat Buenos Aires in the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings for South America. What separates Montevideo from other capital cities is the beautiful Promenade, which is today full of outdoor gymnasiums, squares, European style buildings, cycling ways, and more.
One of the most popular áreas in the Promenade is Carrasco, 25 minutes away from the historic center. The neighbourhood used to be a summer residence place for artisocrats, seduced by the beaches and the first luxury hotel to be built in Montevideo in 1921, Sofitel.
Most of the properties surrounding the renewd hotel, an área known as Old Carrasco, are two storeys detached houses. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of rents in the capital city increased 5%. The prices for 4 bedrooms houses fell 17% last year. It didn’t happen likewise with the apartment prices.
The buyers profile in Montevideo is changing. The houses owners used to have big families and the security was not an issue. However, in 2011, 24% of the properties were occupied by one person. Many buyers seek for full time surveillance, though it is costly. Each time more families turn to buy buildings, due to the costs and more security.
Certain áreas in Montevideo, specially the most wealthy, are more vulnerable to crime (although the general security level of the city is good compared to the región). As a solution to the matter of security, new modern building of 5 or 6 storeys have sprung up in the Eastern región of Carrsco, which doesn’t have so rigid construction laws, and besides has piqturesque environments with forests or lakes.
Placed just 10 minutes away from Zonamerica offices and from the airport, it is popular among retirees and companies managers. You can buy a serviced 3 bedroom apartment, with rooftop and comunal pool, with 450m2, for 1.05m through Caldeyro Victorica Bienes Raíces.
Carrasco’s old sector, on the other hand, is adapting to compete for potential buyers. As expressed by Rodolfo Victorica, “the traditional mansions are being turned into offices, or revamped into separate mansionettes”.