Uruguay Real Estate: Property Boom Shows No Sign of Slowing

Uruguay is a place that people fall in love with. The extensive, untouched beaches, old-world…

Uruguay is a place that people fall in love with. The extensive, untouched beaches, old-world charm of capital Montevideo, and warm Uruguayan attitudes towards foreigners all play their part. In fact the most trouble tourists have in Uruguay is when trying to leave!

But there’s something else which is attracting alarming numbers of visitors. Uruguay real estate. To Europeans and Westerners Uruguay real estate is looking so attractive that it’s even getting the Uruguyans worried.

The problem is, Uruguay house prices refuse to fall. Why is it that when real estate has been dropping like a stone in the US, Uruguay has carried on as if the financial crisis had never happened?

Low base prices – Uruguay had its own fiscal crisis in 2002, the effects of which have knocked real estate values down to what others might consider ”unnaturally low” levels.

Low carrying costs – It’s very hard to get financing in Uruguay – but the lack of debt and low insurance (from low debt and infrequent incidence of natural disasters) keep house prices down.

Low Taxes – Uruguay taxes are comparatively low, and, best of all from an expat view, you only pay tax on income derived in Uruguay,

Liberal laws toward foreign ownership – this has made it a haven of sorts for Brazilians looking for a safe place to park cash and Argentines looking for anywhere to hide funds outside the clutches of a government that appears to be in trouble. In fact, the Uruguayan government even offers fast-track citizenship for foreigners that purchase real estate over a certain value.

All these factors mean that property prices continue to grow across the spectrum in Uruguay. From, campos (large traditional farms) to chacras (cottages with 10-15 acres of land) to city centre apartments, prices remain level or rising. Increasingly, foreigners are getting in while prices remain affordable. It’s still possible to get a city centre apartment (or even a small house) for around $30,000 dollars. You don’t have to pay with Uruguyan currency, in fact native Uruguyans use dollars far more frequently than pesos when buying property.

That said, investors looking to make millions should look elsewhere. The most meteoric growth has been seen in the coastal ”balnearios” and holiday towns like Piriapolis and Punta Del Este – growth fed by mostly by Uruguay’s neighbours. Argentinians combine both a holiday house and a ”safe” invesment when they buy into Uruguay real esate. But in the capital Montevideo, prices have risen more steadily than dramatically.

Compared to most developed countries, Uruguay is manna from heaven. For a stable property investment, in a country where friendliness and good weather come as standard, Uruguay’s hard to beat.