Home Searching in Argentina: A Historic Flat in Central Buenos Aires

While transactions fell sharply in 2020, not every sector was weakened. While the Buenos Aires lockdown restricted property viewing from March to November, it also shifted buyer interest from the city to more spacious homes in residential complexes in the northern suburbs, said Herman Faigenbaum, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield in Argentina.

“This market has exploded,” he said, adding that low construction costs have made it more attractive for families to buy land and build houses. (Mr. Faigenbaum estimated the average price for an apartment in Buenos Aires to be about $ 167 per square foot, based on data models used by Reporte Inmobiliario, the South American real estate portal.)

Within the city, buyers who remained active were drawn to both smaller, lower-density buildings and larger, mixed-use buildings with retail, office, commercial and amenities resembling “a little club in town,” said Faigenbaum. Feature-rich complexes that were popular years ago before they lost some of their luster are hot again, he said.

Ms Massa said the trio of chic waterfront neighborhoods – Belgrano, Recoleta and Palermo – are still in demand. And Mr. Faigenbaum added that Villa Crespo and Chacarita, which border these areas, saw an overflow interest. “The pandemic has really made these properties more valuable,” he said.

Overall, according to Ms. Massa, the sales volume in her agency declined in the past year and left “more rents than sales”. One reason is that buyers expect lower prices, but in many cases sellers are holding on, she said. Many properties are directly in Argentina or with small mortgages, which reduces pressure on high-end property sellers to unload for fear of onerous payments.

“When we’re in this premium market, the owners try to defend their prices even though the apartment may be empty,” she said.

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