If you have properties for sale in Argentina, you would probably be excited by the changes seen in the country this year. Very few people wanted to buy properties in Argentina when the Kirchner family ruled the country.
But now, with the election of Mauricio Macri, the former mayor of Buenos Aires to the position of President, things have changed substantially. Macri is known to be pro-business and pro-foreign investment, unlike Néstor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernández, who have ruled the country for the past decade.
Today, foreign investors are taking a second look at properties in Argentina. Property prices in Buenos Aires are suddenly booming and investors who purchased homes and apartments here and are now looking to sell real estate in Argentina quick are making a killing.
This is much different from the past ten years when property transactions in the country had become such a headache for investors. President Macri has since made a number of changes. He has lifted the strict exchange controls and devalued the Argentine currency. This has made it easier for people to buy property in the country.
He has resolved Argentina’s long standing dispute with the United States over sovereign debt, which had affected the nation’s access to international capital markets. Argentine companies can now borrow again from foreign banks.
Indeed, the foreign investors who had fled the country because of the worsening of the business environment over the last decade are coming back. How bad were the last 13 years under the Kirchners?
Well, pretty bad. Buenos Aires, the pride of Argentina, fell 10 places in the Mercer Quality of Living survey. Power shutdowns were common, as were food shortages. Inflation was at a high. Dollars were scarce.
It was impossible for homeowners to sell their luxury properties to foreigners. Now, high end real estate agents claim a major increase in interest in luxury properties in the country.
Iuri Izrastzoff, of Izrastzoff Agentes Inmobiliarios said “It’s the first time in six years that buyers and sellers can transfer money from an Argentine bank account abroad, and vice versa.”
Alejandra Bugna, a property lawyer at Baker & McKenzie added, “For the first time in years, homeowners want to exchange properties instead of sitting on their assets.” But she explains that Buenos Aires is still a local property market and there are still not too many foreign buyers here.
Because of new changes made by the government, there are no restrictions on who can own land or property in Argentina. Foreign investors have the same property right as locals as long as the land is less than 1,000 hectares. Home buyers are required to pay 8 to 10 per cent of the sale price in the form of taxes and legal fees.
Argentina is yet to become an overseas property destination. Knight Frank ranks Buenos Aires rather low on its prime international residential real estate index, in the 99th position. Still, things are looking up and there is today a lot of interest in Argentina from international property hunters.