Investing in Real Estate | Uruguay
I have been studying the Uruguay real estate investment market now for over a year. And I have spent quite a bit of time exploring the property investment market in Uruguay. Finally, I am planning on an extended trip there to fully immerse myself in the real estate market in Uruguay.
UruguayNow's mix of travel and tourist information on Uruguay, hotel reviews for Montevideo and Punta del Este (coming soon for Colonia), restaurant reviews and tips on excursions, sightseeing and lifestyle in Uruguay has been featured in El Pais, La Republica, MercoPress and on Uruguay's Channel 5 TV and other news media in the country. Internationally, we have had kind mentions in the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph.
But these figures are for Uruguay as a whole and conceal local variations
According to Antonella De Carlo Cabrera, a real estate agent specialising in finding homes for foreigners relocating to Uruguay, high-end property values in the city's upmarket beach suburbs and in Montevideo's Old Town - which is in the process of regeneration - outperformed many other districts. The increase was around 8% in 2008 before levelling off in 2009.
Rental law in Uruguay is generally seen as being pro-landlord. Rental agreements are concluded for fixed periods and owners routinely include a clause that allows for a 5% annual rent increase. Unsurprisingly, a number of overseas investors are interesting in buying to let, despite a new tax code that came into force in July 2007 that ushered in a 12% levy on rental income (rental values in Montevideo's large uncontrolled sector increased by a similar amount in the months following the introduction of the new tax).
La Paloma is a wonderfull town
Ten minutes drive away, the seaside resort of La Paloma - with a working lighthouse and massive whale skeleton gracing the middle of its main drag - is busy with holidaymakers. But it doesn't feel packed: there is plenty of room to park and no need to wait in line for a table at the town's restaurants. At the Siete Candelas the waitress is happy to be back from a stint working in London. Certainly, neither the air nor the cod could be fresher.
La Cite Real estate, when purchased at its real value as opposed to an inflated, easy-money value, is an excellent hedge.
People will always need somewhere to live, and - even more to the point - people will always need food. Food requires agricultural land. As farm subsidies in major economies, like Europe and the USA, are necessarily pruned back, more agricultural production will move to emerging economies. South America, for example, is very well positioned to capitalize on this. Myself and a few clients are putting funds right now into a Hong Kong-based private fund investing in agricultural land in the Southern Cone of South America: Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina in particular.
There are also great bargains to be had investing in international residential real estate at the moment.
Some prime properties in Europe, for example, are going at ten percent of their former asking prices. Even assuming they were wildly overvalued before, this now represents a fantastic buying opportunity. Rather than watching the value of your dollars being eroded daily, you can hold real estate that is virtually guaranteed to increase in value over the long term. Smart real estate investors know they can also flip these properties quickly if they have bought well.
Too many retirees end up paying through the noose for lots that have barely been marked out on the ground and have very little infrastructure. They make the mistake of trusting a developer who speaks their language, or who has been recommended by nominally independent third parties or internet promoters who are in reality getting large kickbacks. They don't talk to locals and see how much a lot the same size a few hundred meters down the road would cost - if they did, they might be in for a shock!
Planned Retirement or touristic community Investing in Real Estate | Punta del Este Uruguay
When buying in a planned retirement or touristic community, you must also consider that you will realistically be unable to resell before the developer has sold off the entire project - something that could take years in the current environment. The safest investment deals in international real estate right now are undoubtedly in existing properties - those that have already been built and are in established, popular locations.
The smartest real estate investors, when going into a market they don't know, will actually rent a home and spend time there on the ground before they even consider buying. It may takes weeks or months and the patience to listen to all kinds of conflicting opinions, but gradually they will build up an intricate ‘insider' knowledge of how the chosen market functions. Remember: this ‘on the ground' form of due diligence is best.
Living in Uruguay
There are two key things that are required for residence and citizenship. The first is proof of income. While there isn't a minimum, you do have to prove that you have income enough to support your lifestyle, such as a pension, retirement fund, work contract in Uruguay or abroad, or dividends or income from investments. Uruguay also requires that you spend time in the country. It isn't looking to sell their citizenship like some other countries. It wants people who actually want to be in Uruguay. For the first year, applicants are required to spend at least eight months in the country.
The country has four distinct season
The weather in Uruguay is perfect for enjoying the outdoor life. The country has four distinct seasons; winter is short and rarely cold enough to leave frost on the ground and in the summer the temperature on the beaches rarely exceeds 30 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall and sunshine patterns are relatively constant throughout the year. Thanks to its excellent climate Uruguay is increasingly seen as an ideal destination for tourism and retirement.
Rights in purchasing land for foreign investors
Foreign investors have the same rights as locals in purchasing land and properties and there are no restrictions or taxes on moving money in and out of the country. Real estate transactions are almost exclusively carried out in US dollars or Euros. Although land prices and property prices have increased over the last 10 years they are still below world average prices and given its neighbour Brazil has emerged as one of the world's economic powers it will continue to be pulled along in its big neighbour's wake and is set to become an increasingly attractive place to live and invest in.
Uruguay real estate markets are stabilized by the fact that Uruguay is traditionally a cash society and most Uruguayan real estate is owned free and clear. When local banks do make real estate loans, they are very conservative and require a high rate of collateral. Because of this, it is rare for a home to be put on the market due to mortgage pressure. Uruguay has a trustworthy and secure property registry system. Holding title to property in Uruguay gives you full ownership rights. Secured interests in real property and mortgages are actively enforced by law.
The internet and comunication in Uruguay
Internet speed and accessibility in Uruguay is as good as if not better than in some parts of Europe and the U.S. due to optical fibre connections which have recently be laid to all houses, schools and industries in the centre of Uruguayan towns and cities. Internet services are provided at low cost thanks to the highly efficient and modern state owned telecoms business ANTEL. You wouldn't be the first to offshore your e-commerce business to Uruguay and take advantage of a highly educated work force which has an excellent track record in software production for export to international markets including the U.S.
Land in Uruguay is fertile, gently undulating open prairie.
Mainly used for cattle and dairy farming but increasingly for soybean, maize, rice, barley, wheat, alfalfa, olive, citrus production and forestry In Uruguay it takes a eucalyptus tree just 8 years to mature for paper production compared with over 25 years for pine trees in Scandinavia, which is just one reason why foreign investors have installed two large paper mills in Uruguay in the last 5 years.
La Cite is located at 28th Street and Gorlero of Punta del Este, Uruguay Maldonado province. You may be contacted by telephone at: (598 42) 445368/69 or (598 42) 770978.
You can also visit the website of La Cite directory where all services are detailed and it is also possible to search for Properties: http: //www.laciteuruguay.com