Last March, Clarin’s Nora Sanchez wrote an excellent article charting the rapid growth of residential square footage in Buenos Aires and the modest growth in population over the past decade. At the time, the Director of BA’s Center for Statistics and Census said one of the factors explaining the SF growth > population growth equation was the fact that the average size of residential units was getting smaller as the average family size in BA got smaller.
Fast forward to today and demand for smaller units in Buenos Aires continues to dominate the residential landscape. According to Clarin’s Pablo Novillo, the City of Buenos Aires approved twice as many square feet of new construction in 2011 (27.5 million) compared to 2010 (13.9 million), and 80% of the new units were either 1 or 2 room condominiums.
“The majority of the new projects are for small units in the most sought-after neighborhoods,” writes Novillo, “because it guarantees they will be sold or rented quickly.” In terms of barrio concentration, 37% of the new residential square footage granted in 2011 was for new condos in Palermo, Belgrano, Villa Urquiza, Caballito and San Nicolas, with Palermo accounting for 10% of the total. BA’s southern barrios (south of Rivadavia Avenue) are seeing the least new construction which is short-sighted on the part of local developers.
With the new Tech District in Parque Patricios, the Design District in Barracas and new Subte stations coming online, a forward-looking developer group could capitalize on the influx of new companies and talent, build large-scale mid-rise condos given the greater availability and affordability of land and still generate an excellent return on investment. (Full Story in Spanish)
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