Today, Colombia's real estate market presents compelling opportunities for investors. Urbanization, a growing middle class, and a surge in tourism have driven demand for residential, commercial, and short-term rental properties, particularly in major cities like Bogotá and Medellín. Residential real estate is the market leader, with a projected market volume of USD 1.63 trillion in 2023. Moreover, Colombia's real estate market is expected to be worth USD 2.05 trillion by the end of 2023.
Foreign investors have been drawn to Colombia due to its relative political and economic stability and favorable legal framework for property ownership. In addition, the Colombian government has implemented policies to facilitate foreign investment. This makes it a desirable location for those seeking to diversify their real estate holdings.
Real Estate Market in Medellin
Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city, boasts a dynamic real estate market with several distinctive characteristics. The city's favorable climate, dubbed the "City of Eternal Spring," coupled with its improving security situation and robust infrastructure development, have contributed to its attractiveness for both local and foreign investors.
Medellín's residential real estate market is diverse, offering a wide range of options from luxury penthouses in upscale neighborhoods like El Poblado to more affordable housing in areas like Laureles and Envigado.
El Poblado has the most expensive real estate in Medellin, with prices per square meter to buy an apartment of COP 5,916,651.38 (USD 1,315). Due to the limited available space, apartments are the most popular type of property in El Poblado. A typical apartment would have two or three bedrooms, as well as modern amenities like a gym, a swimming pool, and a parking garage.
In general, apartments continue to be in high demand, especially in well-connected areas with easy access to amenities, schools, and public transportation. Additionally, there is a growing trend towards sustainable and modern housing solutions, with green spaces and eco-friendly features becoming increasingly sought after.
Furthermore, the city's thriving business environment drives the need for commercial real estate, including office spaces and retail properties. Medellín is home to a burgeoning tech scene, which has increased demand for co-working spaces and modern office facilities, particularly in the Laureles district, known as the city's financial and business center.
Investing in Medellin real estate can provide excellent returns on investment, whether in terms of lifestyle or return on investment (ROI). Medellín has rental yields ranging from 6.33% to 10.32%.
While El Poblado is the most expensive neighborhood, other areas such as Envigado, Laureles, and Sabaneta offer excellent investment opportunities and are gaining popularity among foreign investors and tourists. With the ranking of Medellin as the top city for remote work and the strength of the US dollar, a record sales year is anticipated. Now may be a great time to invest in the real estate market in Medellin.
Real Estate Market in Cali
Cali's real estate market has shown stability and steady growth in recent years. The city's expanding economy and a growing middle class have contributed to the demand for residential and commercial properties.
Cali has a diverse range of housing options, from apartments in high-rise buildings to traditional houses in residential neighborhoods. The city center and upscale neighborhoods like Granada, Ciudad Jardín, and Normandía are known for their higher-end properties. The price per square meter to buy an apartment there is COP 4,250,000.00 (USD 945). Affordable housing options can be found in areas like San Fernando and San Antonio.
The commercial real estate market in Cali includes office spaces, retail spaces, and industrial properties. In business districts like Ciudad Jardín and El Peón, there has been an increase in the number of people looking for modern office spaces.
Most locals advise tourists to travel to the south of Cali. It is far superior in terms of lifestyle, with more trees, more space, private compounds with security and gardens, relatively modern malls, better infrastructure, less traffic, and so on. Short-term rentals are fully booked by foreigners, whereas long-term rentals are completely uninteresting in Cali. In terms of rental yields, Cali showcases a range from 3.88% to 8.62%.
On top of that, infrastructure projects in Cali, such as road expansions and improvements to public transportation, have been in progress to accommodate the growing population and support economic development.
Real Estate Market in Bogota
Bogotá attracted foreign investors, particularly from countries like the United States, Canada, and Spain. The city's stability and potential for growth make it an attractive destination for real estate investment.
The residential sector was a significant focus, with a range of properties available, from affordable housing to luxury apartments. Areas like Chapinero, Usaquén, and Chico have traditionally been popular among homebuyers. The price per square meter to buy an apartment is COP 7,373,086.96 (USD 1,639).
Bogotá is also a hub for commercial real estate, with areas like El Chicó, Santa Barbara, and La Cabrera being prime locations for office spaces and commercial developments. There was a notable construction boom, with several new residential and commercial projects in the pipeline. Developers were increasingly focusing on mixed-use developments that combine residential, commercial, and retail spaces.
In August 2023, the median price of a home in Bogota was USD 535,000, which was 13.8% more than the same time last year. According to research conducted by the Global Property Guide in December 2022, gross rental yields in Bogota range from 4.76% to 8.15 %. Despite the fact that the cost of managing a property can typically be estimated at around 2% of the yield, property in Bogota is still reasonably priced and will yield a reasonable to good return for investors.
Benefits of Investing in Real Estate in Colombia
Investing in real estate in Colombia can provide numerous advantages and opportunities, including residency options. Here, we outline five crucial benefits:
High Return on Investment (ROI)
Colombia has experienced significant economic growth and stability in the past 5 years, leading to an increase in property values. Many investors have seen substantial ROI on their real estate investments, especially in major cities like Bogotá and Medellín. Colombia ranks fourth in the Heritage Foundation's 2022 index of economic freedom in South America, behind Chile, Uruguay, and Peru.
Colombia's growing tourism industry makes it a popular destination for travelers. This presents an excellent opportunity for real estate investors to generate rental income by leasing their properties to tourists. Cities like Cali and Medellín are particularly attractive for short-term rentals.
Overall, the market provides both short and long-term investment opportunities, with a net return on rentals of 10% expected.
Colombian tax laws provide certain benefits to real estate investors. For instance, new projects like hotels built in municipalities with 200,000 or more residents will benefit from a 9% fixed income tax for the first 10 years. If the project is implemented in municipalities with fewer than 200,000 people, the benefit will last for 20 years.
In addition, the Colombian government has implemented various initiatives to encourage foreign investment, including in real estate. Resolution SDH 650 establishes a 1% discount incentive on the real estate value if certain conditions are met. Capital gains on real estate may be subject to preferential tax rates, depending on the holding period. The general tax rate for capital gains in Colombia is 15%.
Visa and Residency Opportunities
Colombia has several visa options for investors, including the Investment Visa (M-10 Visa) through real estate purchase, which is designed for individuals who invest at least USD 90,222 in Colombian properties. This visa can lead to permanent residency after 5 years, providing a pathway for foreign investors to establish a long-term presence in the country. It is possible to obtain Colombian citizenship after 10 years of residency.
The real estate market's vitality is underpinned by a well-established legal framework that furnishes investors with unambiguous property rights and a suite of crucial legal safeguards. These protections cover a wide spectrum, from anti-discrimination legislation that ensures equitable access to property to measures safeguarding against arbitrary government actions such as eminent domain. Furthermore, bankruptcy and foreclosure laws provide a structured approach to handling distressed properties, minimizing market disruptions while safeguarding the rights of debtors and creditors. According to the International property rights index, Colombia stood at 4.64 in 2022.
Over the past decade, the Colombian peso has demonstrated notable fluctuations in its exchange rate against major world currencies. For instance, from 2010 to 2022, the peso experienced an average annual depreciation of around 4.5% against the US dollar. This trend has created a favorable environment for foreign investors seeking opportunities in the Colombian real estate market. With the peso weakening over time, foreign investors find it more cost-effective to purchase properties or receive rental income in Colombia, maximizing their returns on investment.
Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate in Colombia?
No, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of real estate in Colombia. Foreigners have the same property rights as Colombian citizens.
Is it better to buy property for investment or personal use in Colombia?
Both options can be viable in Colombia. It depends on your goals. If you are looking for rental income or capital appreciation, investing might be a better choice. If you plan to live in Colombia, buying a property for personal use can provide stability and potential long-term value.
What types of properties are available for purchase in Colombia?
In Colombia, you can find a wide range of properties, including apartments, houses, commercial spaces, and land. There are also options for new developments and resale properties.
What is the average price range for real estate in Colombia?
The price range for real estate in Colombia varies greatly depending on the location and type of property. For example, in major cities like Bogotá, you can find apartments ranging from USD 100,000 to several million dollars. Prices may be lower in smaller towns or rural areas.
What are the financing options available for purchasing real estate in Colombia?
Foreigners can obtain financing for real estate purchases in Colombia, but it may be more challenging compared to local residents. Banks and financial institutions offer mortgage options, and some developers offer financing for new projects.
Residence Permit Advantages
Fast application processing
Global mobility and freedom
no residence limits. In order to maintain residence status, it is necessary to spend six months per year in Colombia
expansion, entry into the Latin American market, and access to development projects in Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, and other cities
Global mobility and freedom
Option to purchase commercial and residential real estate with an annual return of up to 5%, and a return on initial investment in 5 years
The clear path to Colombian citizenship
residents can apply for Colombian citizenship if they have been in Colombia for 10 years
Global mobility and freedom
family members (spouse, financially dependent parents, and children) can apply for a residence permit together with the main applicant
Rights of a resident
a residence permit is issued with the rights to work, do business and study
Global mobility and freedom
Colombia has a favorable tax regime, with low taxes and generous incentives for foreign investors
Processing Time and Terms
Enter your estimated application start date for the Colombian Residence Permit and receive a clear timetable for each step
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Sign a service agreement with Golden Harbors, pay the initial service and due diligence fees, and fill out application forms
Prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency category
Open a bank account and make the investment
Apply for a visa at the Colombian Embassy or Consulate. The processing time will vary depending on the embassy or consulate handling your application
Visit Colombia and apply for a residence permit. Within two months, the Immigration Service will review the application and make a decision