If you’re planning on purchasing or renting a property in Colombia as a foreigner, you probably have a lot of questions about the state of the local real estate market and want to find out as much as possible about all the aspects that can impact your decision. After all, it’s not every day that you make such an important investment.
However, as you begin your research on the real estate sector in Colombia, you’ll come to realize things can get pretty tricky. It can be hard to find trustworthy sources where you can get all the data and information you require in any other language than Spanish. Also, a lot of real estate agents don’t speak English, making communication rather difficult.
So, if you need a bit of support to navigate the current real estate market in Colombia and learn important details about it, this article is exactly what you need.
Trends in the Colombian housing market
The housing market in Colombia has always been characterized by a certain degree of stability, which led to an increase in consumer confidence. And it is consumers’ trust that has fueled the growth of the local housing market among other factors.
This phenomenon can be seen in other sectors as well. Similarly, since the online gambling environment became fully regulated and players developed a sense of trust in reputable operators like Colbet casino online, the casino industry increased its revenues.
However, due to current uncertainties, real estate prices have dropped, so at the moment Colombia is a buyer’s market, meaning that the housing supply exceeds the demand. With the number of buyers being so low, potential buyers have the opportunity to purchase properties at relatively low prices.
The most sought-after locations for foreign buyers
As it is expected, most residential real estate buyers in Colombia are local and the pool of foreign buyers is relatively small compared to other countries. For example, Bogota, Colombia’s capital and largest city, doesn’t attract as many foreign investors as one might expect. That’s why a lot of real estate agents don’t have much experience in working with foreigners.
However, there are certain locations where the percentage of foreign buyers is noticeably higher. According to statistics, Medellin and Cartagena are the most sought-after cities for foreign buyers. Cartagena especially attracts a significant number of real estate investors from abroad. The colonial city boasts a port, a fortress, and several monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Since Cartagena’s historic center underwent extensive restoration, the property prices went up significantly. Many of the restored buildings were transformed into hotels, restaurants, boutiques and other commercial venues by foreign investors.
Who buys in Bogota?
Although not as appealing as Medellin or Cartagena, Bogota does attract buyers from across the borders who consider purchasing properties here as a good investment opportunity. Most buyers come from countries like Spain, United States, Canada or Venezuela.
The expat community in Bogota grew in the last few years, as there are many people, especially from the US, who can work from anywhere and choose to settle in Bogota with their families. International buyers usually purchase properties in popular neighborhoods like Chapinero or Santa Bárbara. But many of them also buy homes on the outskirts of Bogotá, in areas like Chía or La Calera, searching for a more peaceful and tranquil life.
The effect of tourism on the real estate market
Tourism in Colombia has flourished in recent years. There are many factors that led to the renaissance of the tourism sector. Lower crime rates, the prospect of political stability and the country’s economic growth have all contributed to it. Also, the growth of the gambling sector in Colombia played its part.
As tourists’ numbers increased, so did foreigners’ interest in investing in Colombian properties. People come to marvel at the breathtaking natural scenery, explore the outstanding colonial cities and enjoy the vibrant nightlife or the popular casino games such as tragamonedas. Some of them notice the investment opportunities in the local real estate market and decided to take advantage of it.
Selling can take longer than buying
If you’re looking to buy a property in Colombia, you can expect a fairly quick process. It doesn’t take too long for buyers to find a property that suits their needs and once they’ve found it, the procedures can be completed in just a few weeks. That’s great news for those who want to move into a new house or apartment in a tight time frame.
Selling a property, on the other hand, is a completely different story. It can take years for a property to find a buyer from the moment it’s been listed. The average waiting time for selling a new house or apartment in Colombia is 8 months, so sellers should arm themselves with a lot of patience.
Exclusive listings are rare
Exclusive listings are nothing special in countries like the US. Many sellers choose to sign exclusive listing agreements with a real estate agency as they believe they have better chances at securing great deals. Things are a bit different in Colombia where exclusive listings are not as popular.
Colombian sellers generally rely on open listings to find potential buyers for their properties. They’ll usually work with two or even three real estate agents to sell a property and the same goes for renting houses or apartments.
Colombia doesn’t have an MLS
Unlike the United States, Colombia doesn’t have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). What does that mean for buyers or people who are looking to rent a place? It’s going to be a lot harder to view all the available properties on the market and find one that suits their requirements.
This makes things more complicated for real estate agents since they have to put in more effort to stay up to date and find a good property for their clients. Comparing properties and analyzing prices on the market is also a lot harder without an MLS.