The recently improved exchange rate for the Colombian peso has made property in Medellín a real bargain. We recently competed a detailed survey of four neighborhoods in Medellín that are popular with foreigners and found that the average current price for existing properties in these four neighborhoods was 2.503 million Colombian pesos ($960 USD) per square meter for properties sized from 70 to 100 square meters.
Note we are using an exchange rate of 2,607 Colombian pesos to the U.S. dollar in this article.
We have seen several publications in the U.S. use the real estate costs in El Poblado to represent the overall market in Medellín, but this is not accurate as El Poblado is the most expensive neighborhood in Medellín. Many publications also quote prices only in U.S. dollars, which isn’t really appropriate due properties being priced in Colombian pesos. The exchange rate has changed dramatically over the past few months, which make prices in U.S. dollars quickly out-of-date. The exchange rate is up about 10% in the past month and up over 30% over the past year.
We surveyed 400 existing real estate properties sized from 70 to 100 square meters in Medellín located in El Poblado, Envigado, Laureles/Estadio and Belén. We surveyed 100 properties in each of the four neighborhoods. These four neighborhoods are the most popular neighborhoods in the city for foreigners.
We included both apartments and houses in our survey but the vast majority of properties sold in Medellín are apartments. For our survey, we only looked at neighborhoods where foreigners are likely to live. For example, we excluded estrato 1 or 2 neighborhoods. Residential properties in Colombia are ranked on a 1-6 socioeconomic scale (with 6 being the highest), which are known as estratos. We also only included properties with two or three bedrooms, we excluded properties from our survey if they had one bedroom or more than three bedrooms.
The following table summarizes our real estate prices in Medellín survey results:
Not surprisingly, El Poblado has the most expensive property, which averages 2.921 million pesos ($1,120 USD) per square meter for the 100 existing properties we surveyed, which were sized from 70 to 100 square meters. Envigado real estate properties on average were 9.4% cheaper. While properties in Laureles/Estadio were 31.2% cheaper on average and properties in Belén were 34.5% cheaper on average.
Also note the wide ranges of property prices per square meter. For example, in El Poblado, the exising properties we surveyed ranged in price from 1.9 million pesos to 4.333 million pesos per square meter. Properties priced at the lower end tend to be “fixer-uppers”, needing some work.
77% of the 400 properties we surveyed had three bedrooms and 23% had two bedrooms. For properties sized at 70 to 100 square meters in Medellín it is more common to have three bedrooms.
Most of the foreigners owning property in Medellín call the upscale neighborhood of El Poblado as home. The majority of the hotels and rental apartments in Medellín are also located in El Poblado, so this is where most visitors to the city stay.
In our survey of 100 existing properties in El Poblado we found it was the most expensive out of the four neighborhoods we looked at with an average cost of 2.921 million pesos ($1,120 USD) per square meter for properties sized from 70 to 100 square meters. New apartments in El Poblado are even more expensive and generally cost around 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 pesos ($1,534 to $1,918) per square meter.
El Poblado has a population of about 124,000, which makes it smaller than next-door Envigado and also smaller than Belén.
Most of the housing in El Poblado is found in high-rise apartments. Some of these high-rises can have spectacular views of the city. El Poblado does also have some streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes located in certain neighborhoods like Provenza.
El Poblado is popular with foreigners as it can be a very comfortable place to live with all the shopping malls, nightlife and restaurants nearby. It also has a strong police presence and the area is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Medellín.
With El Poblado being so popular with foreigners, a very active apartment rental market also exists. This is why a number of property purchases by foreigners in El Poblado are investment properties that are rented out. A rental apartment in a good location in El Poblado can achieve occupancies of 80% or higher.
The bottom line is that El Poblado is a wealthy neighborhood that offers a Western lifestyle, which is why it continues to be very popular with foreigners.
Some foreigners have discovered Envigado, which is located directly south of El Poblado, where real estate can be somewhat cheaper in comparison. In our survey of 100 existing properties in Envigado we found properties are 9.4% cheaper on average than in El Poblado with an average cost of 2.671 million pesos ($1,024 USD) per square meter for properties sized from 70 to 100 square meters.
Prices for new apartments in Envigado can range from about 1,300,000 pesos ($499) per square meter to over 4,000,000 pesos ($1,534). This is a pretty wide range that is driven by the estrato, quality and location/view of properties. The lowest priced new housing is typically located in poorer estrato 1 or 2 neighborhoods, where foreigners normally don’t feel confortable living. In Medellín most foreigners chose to live in estrato 3-6 neighborhoods.
While El Poblado is a neighborhood of Medellín, Envigado is a separately administered city within the Medellín metro area. Envigado is also larger than El Poblado with a population of nearly 200,000 – compared to a population of about 124,000 in El Poblado.
Envigado is primarily a residential community – you won’t yet find many hotels in Envigado like are found throughout El Poblado. In Envigado, you will find a few neighborhoods similar to El Poblado with many high-rise apartment buildings.
But throughout most of Envigado you will quiet streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes that are more difficult to find in El Poblado. Envigado also has height restrictions in place, which prohibit many of these low-rise buildings from being replaced with high-rises
Some foreigners have discovered Laureles, which is located north of Belén and west of the Medellín River, where existing real estate in our survey on average costs 2.226 million pesos ($854 USD) per square meter, which is 31.2% less than El Poblado. Laureles/Estadio is an older neighborhood without many new apartments being built. New apartments, when they can be found, are typically in the range of 2,800,000 to 4,000,000 pesos ($1,074 to $1,534) per square meter.
The city of Medellín groups Laureles with Estadio, which is comuna number 11. The Laureles/Estadio comuna has a population of about 121,000 – compared to a population of 124,000 in El Poblado.
Laureles/Estadio is primarily a residential community – you won’t find that many hotels in the area like are found throughout El Poblado. In Laureles/Estadio, you will find a few neighborhoods similar to El Poblado with high-rise apartment buildings. But throughout most of Laureles/Estadio you will quiet tree-lined streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes that are more difficult to find in El Poblado.
Belén Real Estate
Some foreigners have also discovered Belén, which is located west of the Medellín River, where existing real estate in our survey on average costs 2.172 million pesos ($833 USD) per square meter, which is 34.5% less than El Poblado. Belén in general is an older neighborhood but it does have one barrio, Loma de los Bernal, which has seen a recent building boom of new apartment buildings. New apartments, are typically in the range of 2,800,000 to 4,000,000 pesos ($1,074 to $1,534) per square meter.
Belén is comuna number 16 and has a population of over 194,000 – compared to a population of 124,000 in El Poblado. Belén is a working-class community and is one of the city’s oldest communities. You will find a few neighborhoods similar to El Poblado with high-rise apartment buildings. But throughout much of Belén you will quiet streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes that are more difficult to find in El Poblado. Some of the barrios most popular with foreigners in Belén include Fatima and Rosales, which are close to the Unicentro mall and Metroplus stations for easy transport, as well as Loma de los Bernal with its recent apartment construction boom.
The Bottom Line
While El Poblado is expected to remain the most popular neighborhood in Medellín for foreigners, Envigado, Laureles/Estadio and Belén should continue to be attractive alternatives with lower priced real estate on average. Based on our survey, it is possible to save over 30% in Laureles/Estadio and Belén compared to the average costs of real estate in El Poblado.
The current exchange rate makes real estate prices in Medellín a real bargain, perhaps even the best real estate deal on the planet. If you want to save over 30% on Medellín real estate compared to over a year ago, now is the opportunity!
Call Lifeafar at 305 393-8872 or 954 363-1169 or email [email protected] and the company will send you more information about the real estate opportunities in Medellín.
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