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Thinking of buying real estate in Medellín? You're not alone!
Many people, captivated by the lush greenery, temperate climate, and the warm hospitality of Medellin, dream of owning a charming hacienda or a cozy apartment with stunning views in this picturesque Colombian city.
Is it worth investing there, though? Are property prices increasing in Medellín? Is it expensive? Is it better to invest in El Poblado or Laureles? Are there any hidden fees? Where are the best yields?
In this article, everything is sorted out for you.
At TheLatinvestor, we've really dug into this market. As a matter of fact, we've put all our findings together in a pack. Get it now.
In the lines below, we will share some of this knowledge.
How is the property market in Medellín?
Are property values increasing or decreasing? Let's check the latest data and statistics.
In Medellín, you can find various types of properties for sale to suit different preferences and needs.
These include apartments in modern high-rise buildings or traditional neighborhoods, houses with gardens or terraces, and even charming countryside fincas (country estates).
Additionally, there are options for commercial properties like shops and offices, as well as investment opportunities such as vacant land or renovated properties.
Whether you're looking for urban convenience, suburban tranquility, or business ventures, Medellín offers a diverse range of properties to choose from.
Buy or rent?
(If you're keeping it for yourself and not renting it)
If Medellín has caught your heart as your city of choice, you might be considering whether it's better to buy a property or opt for renting in this dynamic Colombian city.
Without a doubt, it's better to buy if you want to build long-term wealth and benefit from appreciation in the property's value.
One data can help us make a decision - the price-to-rent ratio. This helps you understand the connection between rental income and the property's current price in terms of years.
According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Medellín is around 16.49, which is below the world average.
In simple terms, it would typically require 16 years of rental payments, on average, to buy a property in Medellín. If you plan to stay that much (or even less, since you can re-sell), it's better to buy.
Property prices in Medellín
On average, according to the last data from Dane, Colombia, buying a property in Medellín will cost you around $1,290 per square meter.
Naturally, property prices are quite spread out. A penthouse in El Poblado may have a higher price per square meter than a house in Laureles. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Medellín and in Colombia.
To give you a sense of scale, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in New York, you can get 10 properties in Medellín.
Also, housing prices in Medellín are 22% cheaper than in Bogotá.
The most expensive neighbourhoods in Medellín are probably El Poblado and Envigado, while the cheapest are usually located in the outskirts of the city.
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.
Keep this in view when pondering the viability of buying a property in in Medellín.
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 Medellín it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.
Also, in Colombia, the average GDP per capita has changed by 8.5% over the last 5 years. It's a good number.
This is a strong positive signal: housing prices in Medellín might become more expensive in 2024 and later on.
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 Medellín
It can be difficult to buy property in Medellín due to the lack of reliable and updated information on the market. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Medellín and in Colombia.
Within our pack, we have outlined the complete buying process. This includes the necessary documents, the applicable taxes, as well as information about where to locate properties, and more.
Here, we are providing you with a simpler version to assist you in better comprehending the information.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Medellín:
- Research the market and set a budget.
- Hire a local real estate agent familiar with Medellín's neighborhoods and regulations.
- Choose a property and negotiate the price.
- Sign a "Promesa de Compraventa" (Promise of Sale) and pay a deposit.
- Conduct due diligence, including checking the "Certificado de Tradición y Libertad" (property title certificate) and "Certificado de Tradición con Matrícula Inmobiliaria" (property registration certificate).
- Obtain a "Registro Único Tributario" (RUT), a taxpayer identification number required for property transactions.
- Hire a lawyer to draft the "Contrato de Compraventa" (Purchase Contract) and review all legal aspects.
- Sign the final purchase contract with the seller, including details on the property and payment terms.
- Pay the remaining balance and applicable taxes, including "Impuesto de Registro" (Registration Tax) and "Impuesto de Notaría" (Notary Tax).
- Register the property with the "Registro de Instrumentos Públicos" (Public Deed Registry) to transfer ownership officially.
- Pay the notary and registration fees, usually based on the property's value.
- Obtain the "Escritura" (Deed), a legal document confirming your ownership, and receive possession of the property.
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 Medellín
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Where to find a property
Find your dream property in Medellín using these websites.
- 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 Medellín is $1,290. A one-bedroom property covering 60 square meters would be priced at around $77,000, and a two-bedroom with 85 square meters would cost approximately $110,000.
Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.
Some locations are less expensive. You may find a house in Robledo for $100,000, or a house in San Javier priced only at $80,000.
We give a more detailed pricing list in our full pack for buying property in Colombia.
Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Medellín, Colombia:
- Overlooking "stratum" classification can affect property taxes and neighborhood amenities.
- Failure to understand "unidad cerrada" regulations may limit property use and modifications.
- Not considering "pico y placa" restrictions can impact commuting convenience.
- Ignoring seismic zone classifications may lead to vulnerability to earthquakes.
- Disregarding "predial" tax debts can result in unexpected financial liabilities.
- Not verifying "certificado de tradición" could lead to ownership disputes or hidden debts.
- Underestimating the impact of "ruido" (noise) from nearby nightlife or transportation.
- Neglecting the importance of proximity to public transport, "Metro" access can affect property value and accessibility.
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 Medellín
Living in Medellín is an amazing experience, offering a vibrant culture, beautiful scenery, and a high quality of life, making it an ideal place to buy property.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Medellín is quite affordable compared to other cities in Colombia. It is possible to live comfortably in Medellín for a fraction of the cost of living in cities like Bogotá or Cali.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Medellín:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Laureles neighborhood: $600/month.
- Monthly public transportation card (Civica card): $25.
- "Bandeja Paisa" lunch for two at a traditional restaurant: $30.
- "Aguardiente" bottle: $15.
- Groceries at Exito or Carulla supermarket: $90/week for a family of four.
- Basic utilities for an 85m² apartment with EPM: $80/month.
El Poblado is an upscale neighborhood known for its modern infrastructure and vibrant nightlife.
Safe, trendy, and has excellent dining and entertainment options.
Can be expensive, and traffic congestion is a common issue.
Laureles offers a mix of residential and commercial areas, with a laid-back atmosphere and beautiful parks.
Well-connected, affordable housing, and a strong sense of community.
Some parts may lack safety, and nightlife options are not as varied.
Envigado is a peaceful neighborhood with a charming town-like vibe and picturesque streets.
Tranquil environment, close-knit community, and plenty of green spaces.
May lack some modern amenities found in other neighborhoods.
Belén is a diverse neighborhood with both urban and suburban areas, featuring a mix of residential and commercial zones.
Relatively affordable, good public transport connections, and a variety of shopping options.
Some areas can be noisy and crowded, and certain parts may have safety concerns.
El Centro is the historical center of Medellín, known for its cultural heritage and colonial architecture.
Rich history, cultural attractions, and proximity to public services and government offices.
Higher crime rates in some areas and limited parking options.
Robledo is a large neighborhood with a mix of residential and industrial zones, offering a more affordable cost of living.
Affordable housing, good public transport, and access to industrial areas for job opportunities.
Some parts may be less safe, and traffic can be congested during peak hours.
Itagüí is a neighboring municipality with a growing urban center and a thriving commercial sector.
Developing infrastructure, commercial opportunities, and relatively affordable housing.
Some areas may lack recreational spaces, and the neighborhood can get crowded.
Sabaneta is a smaller municipality with a mix of residential and commercial areas, known for its family-friendly environment.
Family-friendly, close-knit community, and relatively safe.
May have limited job opportunities, and some parts may lack public amenities.
Life in Medellín
Medellín is one of the most economically prosperous cities in Colombia, with a strong industrial base and a rapidly growing service sector. The city has seen a steady rise in foreign investment, and its GDP per capita is one of the highest in the country.
What expats usually like the most in Medellín is the city's beautiful mountain views and its vibrant nightlife. They also appreciate the city's great climate, affordable cost of living, and its friendly locals.
A good point for a property investor - Medellín has a Metro rapid transit system, consisting of almost 70 stations.
Medellín has excellent access to healthcare, with a wide range of public and private hospitals and clinics offering quality services.
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Renting out in Medellín
If you're interested in buying property not to live in, but to rent out and generate income, this section is for you.
Tenant Profiles in Medellín
If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, students, and families looking for affordable housing in the city center. Alternatively, you can rent to short-term tenants such as tourists and business travelers who are looking for a convenient and comfortable place to stay.
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 El Poblado
Upscale living, amenities
$600 - $1,200
House in Laureles
Residential area, green spaces
$800 - $1,500
Studio in Envigado
Young professionals, singles
Suburban living, affordability
$400 - $800
Condo in Belén
Good schools, transportation
$500 - $1,000
2-Bedroom Apartment in Robledo
Families, young professionals
Quiet living, local vibe
$300 - $600
High-rise Apartment in Buenos Aires
Urban dwellers, professionals
City views, modern living
$400 - $900
1-Bedroom Apartment in San Javier
Singles, young professionals
Affordable living, local atmosphere
$200 - $400
Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Medellín are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. For a "good" rental yield, you should aim for 7% or more.
Rental yields in Medellín are typically highest for properties near public transportation and in the less affluent areas of the city. This is because these locations have higher demand for rental properties due to their proximity to amenities and lower costs of living.
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 Medellín are taxed at 26%, which is average.
You could also decide to rent short-term to digital nomads, expats, and business travelers who are looking to explore the city. Tourists and students on holiday are also potential tenants for short-term rental in Medellín.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in El Poblado, Laureles, and Envigado as these are the most popular areas for short-term tenants. Additionally, the neighborhoods of Belen, Sabaneta, and La Candelaria are also great options.
You will have some competition though - there are around 11,000 Airbnb listings in Medellín. The average daily rate stands around $57.
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 Medellín can make around $800 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 68%.
Is it worth buying real estate in Medellín then?
Buying property in Medellín is a smart move for those with a long-term vision and a desire for financial stability. Medellín offers an attractive price-to-rent ratio, making it financially advantageous to buy if you plan to stay for a while.
With property prices that are significantly lower than many international cities, you can secure your own piece of this picturesque Colombian city without breaking the bank. Plus, Colombia's stable economy and expected GDP growth mean that housing costs are likely to rise in the future, making real estate a promising investment.
If you're looking for a high quality of life, Medellín delivers with its vibrant culture, beautiful surroundings, and affordable living costs. Owning a property in this city not only provides a sense of stability but also offers long-term savings compared to renting.
For those aiming to generate rental income, targeting long-term tenants can provide steady returns, with rental yields ranging from 5% to 7%. On the flip side, if you're planning a short-term stay in Medellín, renting may be a more cost-effective choice due to the expenses associated with buying and selling property.
Property speculation in Medellín can be unpredictable, so if you're seeking quick profits, this might not be the right market for you. Additionally, navigating the city's real estate market can be complex, with specific regulations, taxes, and legal processes. If you're unfamiliar with these aspects, it's crucial to hire local experts to guide you.
Finally, property management requires time and effort, so if you're not prepared for these responsibilities, you may want to explore alternative investment options. In summary, buying property in Medellín is a strategic choice for long-term investors, offering affordability, potential for rental income, and future appreciation. However, it's essential to match your investment strategy with your goals, financial situation, and willingness to navigate the intricacies of the local real estate market. Conduct thorough research, seek expert advice, and consider your personal circumstances before making a decision.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Medellín
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.