Buenos Aires real estate prices are among the cheapest in South America, according to a new report of middle and upper-class neighborhoods in major metros.

Buenos Aires Has The Cheapest Properties In South America is the headline of Alfredo Sainz’ analysis in today’s La Nacion which reveals “existing apartments in Buenos Aires are 10 to 25% cheaper than in the capital cities of neighboring countries, while the gap with Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo is considerably wider. Today the average price of properties in large Brazilian cities is double and triple the prices in Buenos Aires.”

The analysis prepared by the BA Real Estate College’s Young Professionals Commission focused on the average price of existing properties in one middle-class and one upper-class neighborhood in seven of South America’s most sought-after cities: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Sao Paulo. Of the seven, only Lima ranked more affordable than Buenos Aires.

The average price per square meter of existing properties in the chosen middle-class neighborhood of each city were as follows: #1. Rio de Janeiro (Zona Centro, US$3,600), #2. Sao Paulo (Centro, US$2,900), #3. Bogota (Santa Ana, US$2,400), #4. Montevideo (Tres Cruces, US$2,100), #5. Santiago (Centro, US$2,020), #6. Buenos Aires (Almagro, US$1,950), and #7. Lima (Jesus Maria, US$1,530).

The average price per square meter of existing properties in the chosen upper-class neighborhood of each city were as follows: #1. Sao Paulo (Jardins, US$7,900), #2. Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema, US$7,700), #3. Santiago (Las Condes, US$3,400), #4. Bogota (La Cabrera, US$3,200), #5. Montevideo (Punta Carretas, US$3,100), #6. Buenos Aires (Recoleta, US$2,700), and #7. Lima (San Isidro, US$2,570).

And while there is no overlooking BA’s short-term negatives (ongoing USD currency controls, record-low closing activity, potential sellers understandably unwilling to accept pesos), the long-term outlook is for an average price rebound, says the Real Estate College’s Luciano Damico: “The real estate market is going to recover, and when it does values are going to rise almost immediately, because properties in Buenos Aires are cheap in comparison with other regions.”

Finally, the author describes Buenos Aires as a “mercado achatado” meaning the stagnation of real estate prices in Buenos Aires is being more severely felt in the more expensive neighborhoods meaning the traditional gap between average prices in BA’s upper and middle-class neighborhoods has narrowed considerably. This trend is evident in the report where the gap between Almagro and Recoleta is only US$750 per square meter or 38% compared to US$5,000 (172%) in Sao Paulo and US$4,100 (113%) in Rio de Janeiro. (Full Story in Spanish)

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