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Interested in buying a nice property in Cartagena? You're not alone!
Many people are charmed by Cartagena's colonial architecture and dream of owning a stylish apartment or a historic house in this city.
Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in Cartagena? What is the price per sqm? Should you consider buying in the Walled City or Bocagrande? What are the property taxes? Can I get a very good rental yield? Where?
We know the answers.
At TheLatinvestor, we've done our homework and know this market well. As a matter of fact, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.
In the lines below, we'll provide you with helpful information.
How's the property market in Cartagena?
How is the property market faring? Let's gather and interpret the data to know for sure.
Types of properties
In Cartagena, you can find various types of properties available for sale, catering to different preferences and needs.
These include charming colonial-style homes with historic appeal, modern apartments with stunning ocean views, cozy beachfront condos perfect for vacation getaways, spacious townhouses offering a blend of comfort and convenience, and luxurious waterfront villas boasting elegance and relaxation.
Whether you're looking for a taste of history, contemporary living, or serene coastal escapes, Cartagena offers a diverse range of properties to suit your desires.
Should you buy or rent?
(If you're buying for yourself and not to rent out)
Whether you're considering settling in Cartagena or already living there, you might be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this historical Colombian city.
Usually, buying is better than renting in Cartagena due to its constantly increasing real estate value.
Nevertheless, if flexibility is your main concern, renting is the recommended choice.
Property prices in Cartagena
On average, according to the updated data from Dane, Colombia, buying a property in Cartagena would cost you around $1,350 per square meter.
Naturally, property prices are quite spread out. The value of a square meter for a property in Cartagena might differ from an apartment in Bocagrande. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Cartagena and in Colombia.
To put things in perspective, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in New York, you can get 10 properties in Cartagena.
Also, housing prices in Cartagena are 19% cheaper than in Bogotá.
The most expensive neighbourhoods in Cartagena are probably Bocagrande and Manga, while the cheapest neighbourhoods are likely Castillogrande and El Laguito.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Colombia is, today, a relatively stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 78.4.
It is something to have in mind when wondering whether it's a good investment to buy a property in Cartagena.
However, this modest figure is only temporary, as Colombia's economy is expected to soar by 10.5% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 2.1%.
If you want to invest in real estate in Cartagena it's a good thing because individuals are becoming wealthier, leading to a probable rise in housing prices.
Also, in Colombia, the average GDP per capita has changed by 8.5% over the last 5 years. It's a good number.
This data is a positive signal - housing prices in Cartagena might soar in 2024 and after that.
Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Colombia right now.
Buying property in Cartagena
Buying real estate in Cartagena can be difficult due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Cartagena and in Colombia.
In our pack, we've laid out all the steps involved in the buying process, including the required documents, taxes to be paid, and guidance on finding properties.
Now, we're giving you a more straightforward version to help you grasp the information more easily.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Cartagena:
- Research the local market and set a budget for buying real estate in Cartagena, Colombia.
- Engage a reputable real estate agent familiar with the city's regulations and property options.
- Review and negotiate the property price and terms with the seller or developer.
- Hire a specialized Colombian lawyer to conduct a thorough title search and verify legal compliance.
- Obtain a Colombian Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the DIAN (Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales).
- Sign a "Promise of Sale" agreement (Contrato de Promesa de Compraventa) and pay a deposit to secure the property.
- Depending on the property's location, verify if it's in a "Restricted Zone" (Zona de Reserva) for foreigners and obtain necessary permissions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Secure financing through a Colombian bank or transfer funds for the purchase from abroad.
- Conduct due diligence and inspections, including verifying the property's Registro Nacional Agrario (RNA) status for rural areas.
- Sign the official purchase agreement (Escritura de Compraventa) before a notary public and pay the remaining balance and applicable taxes.
- Register the property at the Cartagena Registry Office (Oficina de Registro de Instrumentos Públicos).
- Complete the property transfer process and receive the property title (Escritura Pública) as proof of ownership.
Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Colombia.
Make a profitable investment in Cartagena
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Where to find a property
Here is a list of websites where you can find properties in Cartagena.
- Home Inmobiliaria - A real estate company that aims to optimize the buying and selling process, satisfying customers' real estate needs.
- Property Finder - A real estate platform based in Medellín, Colombia, offering listings, investment opportunities, developments, and services for buying and selling properties.
- Realigro - A global real estate search engine that allows users to find homes for sale in Colombia and provides information on the country's real estate market.
- Expat - An online platform that provides housing listings and classifieds for buying, selling, and renting properties in Colombia.
- Point 2 - A real estate platform that provides listings of homes for sale, rentals, and commercial properties in Colombia.
Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Colombia.
What you can get
As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Cartagena is $1,350. If you're considering a one-bedroom property of 60 square meters, it would be around $81,000, while a two-bedroom with 85 square meters would be approximately $115,000.
However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.
Housing prices in Cartagena's prime areas are usually higher. A condo in Bocagrande might be around $150,000, and an apartment in El Laguito could be priced at $140,000.
Still, some spots are more wallet-friendly. You may find a house in Pasacaballos for $100,000, or a house in Tierra Baja priced only at $90,000.
We give a more detailed breakdown in our full pack for buying property in Colombia.
Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Cartagena, Colombia:
- Land rights issues: Verify "Baldíos" (public land) claims, as disputes may arise.
- Historical properties: Ensure heritage preservation restrictions align with your plans.
- Coastal erosion: Assess property proximity to the coast due to erosion risks.
- Informal settlements: Check nearby areas for potential encroachments or land invasions.
- Cultural heritage rules: Comply with regulations protecting historical sites and structures.
- "Corredores Turísticos": Restrictions may apply if the property is within tourist corridors.
- Infrastructure disparities: Investigate variations in utilities and amenities across neighborhoods.
- Land cartels: Beware of illegal land sellers; use reputable agents and conduct proper due diligence.
We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.
Everything you need to know is included in our Colombia Property Pack
Living in Cartagena
Cartagena is a vibrant Caribbean city with an abundance of culture, beautiful beaches, and a welcoming atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for those looking to purchase property.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Cartagena is generally lower than in other cities in Colombia, but is still higher than many other Latin American cities. The cost of housing and food is generally lower than in other cities, but transportation and entertainment can be more expensive.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Cartagena:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Getsemaní neighborhood: $700/month.
- Monthly public transportation card (Transcaribe card): $30.
- "Bandeja Paisa" lunch for two at a local restaurant: $30.
- "Aguardiente" bottle: $15.
- Groceries at Éxito or Olimpica supermarket: $90/week for a family of four.
- Basic utilities for an 85m² apartment with Gases de la Costa: $70/month.
- Ticket to a performance at Teatro Adolfo Mejía: $20.
- "Coco Loco" cocktail at a beach bar in Bocagrande: $5.
Bocagrande is a popular beachfront area with high-end hotels, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Beautiful beach views, lively atmosphere, and easy access to amenities.
Can get crowded, high tourist traffic, and higher cost of living.
Getsemaní is a bohemian neighborhood known for its colorful streets, street art, and a mix of locals and tourists.
Rich cultural scene, vibrant nightlife, and relatively affordable housing options.
Some areas may be less safe at night, noise from bars and clubs, limited green spaces.
El Centro is the historic heart of Cartagena, featuring colonial architecture, museums, and iconic landmarks.
Rich history and cultural heritage, proximity to tourist attractions.
Traffic congestion, limited parking, and potential for petty crime.
Castillogrande is an upscale residential area with luxury condos and a tranquil atmosphere near the beach.
Exclusive living, beautiful waterfront views, and well-maintained public spaces.
Higher cost of living, fewer shopping and dining options compared to other areas.
El Laguito is a peninsula known for its high-rise hotels, resorts, and beachfront condos.
Stunning views of the ocean, tourist-friendly, and water sports activities.
Limited green spaces, crowded during peak tourist seasons.
Manzanillo del Mar
Manzanillo del Mar is a peaceful neighborhood with a mix of residential areas and mangrove forests.
Natural surroundings, tranquility, and local charm.
Less developed infrastructure, limited public transportation options.
La Boquilla is a fishing village known for its beaches and water-based activities like canoeing and windsurfing.
Authentic local experience, water sports opportunities, and seafood restaurants.
Basic amenities, potential language barriers with locals.
El Bosque is a residential neighborhood with parks, shopping centers, and a mix of housing options.
Family-friendly, green spaces, and proximity to amenities.
Some areas may be noisy, limited historical charm.
El Cabrero is a residential area known for its colonial-style houses and proximity to the historic center.
Charming architecture, local vibe, and relatively quiet atmosphere.
Some streets may lack proper maintenance, limited modern amenities.
Marbella is a beachfront neighborhood known for its wide sandy beaches and laid-back ambiance.
Beautiful beaches, relaxed environment, and beachfront dining options.
Less developed compared to other beach areas, limited public facilities.
Life in Cartagena
The economic landscape in Cartagena is largely driven by tourism, with the city's colonial architecture and Caribbean beaches attracting millions of visitors each year. Additionally, the city is home to a growing tech industry, as well as a vibrant fishing and agricultural sector.
What expats usually like the most about Cartagena is its vibrant culture, with its colorful colonial architecture, beautiful Caribbean beaches, and lively nightlife. Additionally, they enjoy the city's relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals.
A good point for a property investor - Cartagena has a mass rapid transit system called the Cartagena Metro.
Access to healthcare in Cartagena is generally good, with a variety of public and private hospitals, clinics, and doctors available.
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Renting out in Cartagena
This section is for you if your goal is to buy a property and rent it out to generate income.
Tenant Profiles in Cartagena
If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target students, young professionals, and families looking for an affordable place to live. Cartagena is also a popular tourist destination, so you may consider renting out your property on a short-term basis to vacationers and business travelers.
Here is a little summary table we've made for you.
|Property type and area
|Profiles of potential tenants
|What they are looking for
|Expected monthly rent in $
Apartment in Bocagrande
Beachfront living, entertainment
$800 - $1,500
Villa in Manga
Residential area, spacious homes
$1,200 - $2,500
Studio in Getsemaní
Young professionals, artists
Cultural atmosphere, vibrant scene
$400 - $800
Condo in El Laguito
Short-term renters, tourists
Beach area, vacation rental
$500 - $1,000
2-Bedroom Apartment in Castillogrande
Quiet living, ocean view
$600 - $1,200
High-rise Apartment in Crespo
Urban dwellers, professionals
Modern living, proximity to city
$500 - $1,000
1-Bedroom Apartment in San Diego
Singles, young professionals
Historic area, local vibe
$300 - $600
Nowadays, Cartagena offers some opportunities in terms of rental yields. Actually, you can easily achieve 7 or 8%. For a "good" rental yield, you should aim for 7% or more.
Properties near the city center tend to have the highest rental yields in Cartagena due to the proximity to popular attractions and amenities. Additionally, beachfront properties are also in high demand, making them great investments for rental yields.
For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.
Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Cartagena are taxed at 26%, which is average.
You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists visiting Cartagena's historical sites and attractions, or to business travelers attending conferences or meetings in the city.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the historic Walled City, Getsemani, and Bocagrande, as these are the most popular areas for short-term rentals.
Currently, there are approximately 10,000 active Airbnb listings in Cartagena, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $91.
You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Cartagena can make around $1400 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 65%.
Is it worth buying real estate in Cartagena then?
Buying a property in Cartagena is a smart move for those seeking a promising investment with substantial growth potential. The city's stable economy and expected GDP growth signal rising property values in the coming years.
What's even more attractive is the affordability of Cartagena's real estate compared to international markets. You can get more bang for your buck here, making it an appealing choice for investors looking to diversify their portfolio or get started in the property market. The diverse property options, from historic colonial homes to modern beachfront condos, cater to various preferences and lifestyles.
Moreover, the opportunity for rental income in Cartagena is substantial, particularly in tourist-heavy areas like the Walled City and Bocagrande. With rental yields of 7% or more, owning a property can provide a steady income stream. The vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and welcoming atmosphere make Cartagena an attractive place to own property, whether for personal use, retirement, or as an investment.
However, if you're planning a short-term stay, lack local knowledge, or prefer a stable, low-risk investment, buying property in Cartagena might not be the best fit. It's also essential to consider the complexities of property management for short-term rentals and conduct thorough research to navigate the market's challenges effectively.
Ultimately, Cartagena's property market offers exciting opportunities for those willing to invest wisely and leverage the city's unique appeal.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Cartagena
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Colombia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.