Growth of Luxury Real Estate Market in Bogotá

Global Business

Since the 1970’s Bogota, Colombia has had a reputation for violence, kidnapping, and cocaine trafficking that has placed a negative image on the city which some say has deterred real estate investors.

Recently, Bogota’s historic downtown neighborhood of La Candelaria has seen a wave of real estate revitalization. According to the Colombian Ministry of Defense, the city has reduced the crime and the murder rate in Bogota is at a 27 year low which some local real estate agents say has had a positive impact on investment property and is attracting potential buyers to invest.

Erick Bautista Alamos is a foreigner in Colombia who says the country’s tourism motto couldn’t be more true. “the only risk is wanting to stay.”

The decision to stay wasn’t cheap. Erick says his native Mexico has a much more accessible cost of living. Apartments in the finest areas of Mexico’s capital are priced 3 thousand U.S. dollars per square meter. This is below the average 5 to 9 thousand dollars per square meter offered for luxury apartments in Bogota. But that doesn’t deter him.

Growth of Luxury Real Estate Market in Bogotá

Bogotá, Colombia, has been trying hard to shake off a decades-old reputation for violence, kidnapping and drug trafficking. The revitalization of the city's historic city center has played a huge role. Michelle Begue has the story.

The luxury living market in Bogotá represents only two percent of the housing market, but it continues to grow. And local real estate agents, say it is because of the prospering economy. Colombia is creating millionaires faster than in Mexico or Brazil, according to WealthInsight, a research company. Fourteen-thousand new millionaires were created over the past five years, putting Colombia’s total millionaire population at 35,900 at the end of 2012.

But there are those who warn that the luxury real estate is caught in a housing bubble. The Colombian National Administrative Department of Statistics said the cost of this type of housing went up more than 16 percent in the past year. Real estate agent Marianne Bonnet, says the rise in prices has to do with the scarcity of land in prime locations.

Luckily there is no demolishing in the 200 year old Candelaria neighborhood which was considered in the past a dangerous part of town. But with the drop in crime, the city has flourished.

For those who are looking, it may be possible to find the Bogotá of 30 years ago but at 21st century prices.