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Have you ever considered buying a property in Santiago? You're not alone!
Many people are fascinated by Santiago's vibrant culture and dream of owning a stylish apartment or a modern house in this city.
Would it be a smart investment, though? Are property prices increasing in Santiago? Is it expensive? Is it more profitable to buy in Providencia or Lastarria? Are there any secret taxes? Where can you get a yield above 7%?
We've solved it for you.
At TheLatinvestor, we've done our homework on this market. Actually, we've organized all our findings in a pack. Get it now.
In this article, we'll provide you with helpful information.
How's the real estate market in Santiago?
What's happening with the property market? Some say it's going up, others say it's going down. Our approach is distinct—we rely on fresh data and stats to reach the correct conclusions.
In Santiago, you can find various types of properties for sale, including apartments, houses, condominiums, townhouses, and vacant land.
Apartments are often located in multi-story buildings and offer different sizes and styles to suit various preferences. Houses provide standalone living spaces with varying numbers of bedrooms and outdoor areas. Condominiums offer a mix of private ownership and shared facilities, while townhouses are typically connected units with shared walls.
Vacant land allows buyers to build their own custom homes or developments.
Each type of property offers different features and options to cater to different needs and lifestyles.
Should you buy or rent?
(If you're keeping it for yourself and not renting it)
If Santiago, the vibrant capital of Chile, has caught your interest as a place to settle, you might be thinking about the pros and cons of buying versus renting a property.
Without a doubt, you should buy if you want to acquire equity and have more control over your living space.
Our advice? Use the property price-to-rent ratio as your decision-making compass. This number gives you an idea of how long it will take to break even on the property's purchase using rental income.
According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Santiago is around 24.16, which is around the world average.
To put it simply, it will take you an average of 24 years of rental payments to buy a property in Santiago. However, renting for a long time won't let you build ownership or save money for the property.")
Housing prices in Santiago
On average, according to the last reported data from Chilean Chamber of Construction, buying a property in Santiago will cost you around $4,800 per square meter.
Obviously, there are significant differences. The value of a square meter for an apartment in Las Condes might differ from a house in Providencia. We actually offer a more in-depth analysis in our pack for buying property in Santiago and in Chile.
To help you understand better, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in Manhattan, you can get 3 properties in Santiago.
However, housing prices in Santiago are higher (94%) than in Buenos Aires.
The most expensive neighbourhoods in Santiago are probably Las Condes, Vitacura and Providencia, while the cheapest are likely La Florida, San Ramon and La Pintana.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Chile offers, today, a lot of stability to investors. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 43.2.
This is important to remember when wondering if it's a good investment to buy a property in Santiago.
Also, according to the IMF’s forecasts, Chile's economy is expected to soar by 6.3% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.3%.
If you want to invest in real estate in Santiago it's a good thing because individuals are becoming wealthier, leading to a probable rise in housing prices.
Also, in Chile, the average GDP per capita has changed by 3.2% over the last 5 years. It's not much, but the growth is here.
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 Chile right now.
Buying property in Santiago
It is difficult to buy property in Santiago due to the lack of reliable and up-to-date information, which makes the buying process challenging. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Santiago and in Chile.
In our pack, we've explained the entire buying process in detail. We've provided clear information about prices and yields based on the area, guidance on negotiating the price, and options for securing a mortgage.
Now, we're offering you a simpler version, step-by-step, to make it easier for you to grasp.
This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Santiago:
- Define your budget and property requirements, considering factors like proximity to amenities and public transportation.
- Find a reputable real estate agent familiar with the Santiago market.
- Search for suitable properties and arrange viewings, focusing on neighborhoods like Las Condes or Providencia.
- Conduct due diligence, including reviewing the property's Escritura (title deed) and obtaining a Certificado de Hipotecas y Gravámenes (mortgage and encumbrances certificate).
- Negotiate the price and terms, considering factors like the Zona de Regulación or Ficha de Avalúo Fiscal (property assessment value).
- Hire a lawyer to draft or review the Contrato de Promesa de Compraventa (preliminary sales agreement).
- Obtain a Certificado de No Expropiación (certificate of non-expropriation) from the municipality.
- Secure financing or prepare funds for the purchase, considering the mortgage options available in Chile.
- Sign the purchase agreement and pay the initial deposit (usually 10% of the property price).
- Fulfill any contingencies as specified in the agreement, like obtaining a Tasación Comercial (commercial appraisal).
- Complete the final payment and transfer ownership at the notary public's office, accompanied by the seller and your lawyer.
- Register the property in your name at the Conservador de Bienes Raíces (Property Registry) and obtain a Rol Único Tributario (Unique Taxpayer's Registry) for property tax purposes.
Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Chile.
Make a profitable investment in Santiago
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Where to find a property
Check out these websites to find properties in Santiago, Chile:
- Engel & Volkers - A leading international real estate agency specializing in buying, selling, and renting residential and commercial properties in Chile.
- Property Partners - A real estate agency offering a wide range of residential and commercial properties for sale and rent in Chile.
- FazWaz - A real estate website for property buyers and sellers in Chile, offering a wide range of properties for sale and rent.
- Property Finder - A real estate platform that helps users find properties for sale and rent in Chile.
- Expat - Provides information and resources for expatriates in Chile, including housing listings, classifieds, job opportunities, and community forums.
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 Chile.
Which properties for which budget?
As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Santiago is $4,800. A one-bedroom property with 60 square meters would be priced at around $288,000, and a two-bedroom with 85 square meters would cost about $408,000.
However, the amount you pay for a property can be different based on its characteristics and where it's found.
Housing prices in Santiago's top areas are usually higher. Consider an apartment in Las Condes which could run you around $550,000, whereas an apartment in Providencia might come in at about $510,000.
On the other hand, some places are more affordable. You have the option to find a residence in Independencia for $480,000 or a residence in Recoleta that's priced at $300,000.
We give a more detailed pricing list in our full pack for buying property in Chile.
Here are the main pitfalls when buying a property in Santiago, Chile:
- Unresolved "rol" issues, causing delays in property transactions.
- Hidden damage from past earthquakes and insufficient seismic retrofitting.
- Stricter building height restrictions impacting potential views and sunlight.
- "Contribuciones" tax fluctuations affecting property costs over time.
- Limited availability of potable water due to the region's arid climate.
- "Derecho de llave" costs for acquiring businesses within the property.
- Complex regulations on buying rural properties for non-Chilean residents.
- Potential land instability in certain areas due to soil liquefaction risks.
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 Chile Property Pack
Living in Santiago
Living in Santiago is an exciting and vibrant experience, with plenty of opportunities to explore the city's culture, cuisine, and outdoor activities.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Santiago is generally lower than in other major cities in Latin America. However, prices can still be high depending on the neighborhood and type of goods and services.
Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Santiago:
- Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bellavista neighborhood: $900/month.
- Monthly public transportation card (Bip!): $40.
- "Completo" with "Pebre" at a street vendor: $3.
- "Pisco Sour" cocktail in Lastarria: $5.
- Groceries at La Vega Central market: $120/week for a family of four.
- Basic utilities for an 85m² apartment with Enel: $80/month.
- Ticket to a concert at Movistar Arena: $30.
- "Mote con huesillo" drink at a local summer festival: $3.
We want to show information in a way that is easy to understand and pleasant to read. So, we have made a summary table that lists the different areas in Santiago. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.
Providencia is a trendy and upscale neighborhood with a vibrant atmosphere, known for its excellent dining options and cultural activities.
Great restaurants and cultural scene
High cost of living
Lastarria is a bohemian neighborhood filled with art galleries, charming cafes, and historic architecture, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Artistic and cultural hub
Limited parking options
Bellas Artes is an artsy neighborhood located near the city center, known for its proximity to cultural venues and picturesque streets.
Close to cultural attractions
Noisy due to high foot traffic
Las Condes is an affluent neighborhood with modern infrastructure, home to upscale shopping centers and a variety of entertainment options.
Safe and well-maintained
Expensive real estate
La Florida is a residential neighborhood with a mix of houses and apartment complexes, offering a more affordable living option with good access to public transportation.
Limited dining and entertainment choices
Santiago Centro is the historic city center with many government buildings, museums, and landmarks, attracting both tourists and locals.
Rich historical and cultural sites
Nuñoa is a youthful and lively neighborhood known for its bohemian vibe, street art, and a variety of cafes and bars.
Some areas can be noisy
Vitacura is an exclusive residential area with upscale shopping centers, luxurious hotels, and beautiful parks.
High-end shopping and amenities
Lack of affordable housing options
Ñuñoa is a diverse and residential neighborhood with parks, schools, and a mix of commercial areas and quiet streets.
Some parts may lack public transportation
Life in Santiago
The economy of Santiago is largely driven by the service sector, which accounts for over 70% of the city's GDP. Additionally, the city is home to many large companies in the financial, retail, and manufacturing industries.
What expats usually like the most in Santiago is the vibrant culture, with its bustling nightlife and vibrant art scene, as well as the stunning natural beauty of the nearby Andes Mountains.
We'd love to tell you that Santiago if a safe city but it's simply not the case. The crime rate index is currently at 62. The most common crimes in Santiago are theft, robbery, and assault.
A good point for a property investor - Santiago has an extensive mass rapid transit system which includes several metro lines, two commuter rail lines, and an intercity rail line.
Access to healthcare in Santiago is very good, with a Healthcare Index of 65. A good healthcare system will always benefit the real estate market of a place.
Finally, it is worth noting that the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ranks among the top 500 universities in the world.
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Renting out in Santiago
If you're considering purchasing property solely for renting and earning income, you'll find valuable information in this section.
Tenant Profiles in Santiago
If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target young professionals, expats, and students who are looking for a convenient and affordable place to live in Santiago. Additionally, there is a growing market of luxury tenants who are interested in upscale accommodations.
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 Providencia
Central location, amenities
$600 - $1,200
House in Las Condes
Families, affluent individuals
Quiet neighborhood, spacious homes
$1,200 - $2,500
Studio in Bellavista
Students, young professionals
Lively area, cultural attractions
$400 - $800
Condo in Las Rejas
Young couples, commuters
Modern amenities, transportation
$500 - $1,000
3-Bedroom Apartment in Ñuñoa
Residential area, parks
$800 - $1,500
High-rise Apartment in La Florida
Urban dwellers, young professionals
City views, modern living
$600 - $1,200
1-Bedroom Apartment in Santiago Centro
Central location, convenience
$500 - $1,000
Nowadays, rental yields in Santiago are usually below 5%. It's not much. As you might know it already, a good rental yield generally falls within the range of 7% or more.
The best rental yields in Santiago can be found in the more affordable and centrally located neighborhoods due to strong demand for rental properties in these areas. These neighborhoods typically have access to public transportation, amenities, and services that appeal to the city's young professionals and students.
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 Santiago are taxed at 35%, which is relatively high.
You could also decide to rent short-term to students attending the University of Chile or to business travelers visiting the city for conferences and meetings. Tourists looking for a unique experience in Santiago could also be potential tenants.
If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Providencia and Las Condes neighborhoods, which offer plenty of amenities and are close to the city center. Additionally, Vitacura is a great option for those looking for luxury living.
There are approximately 850 active Airbnb listings in Santiago, reflecting a dynamic short-term rental market. The average daily rate stands around $98.
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 Santiago can make around $1100 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 70%.
Is it worth buying real estate in Santiago then?
Buying a property in Santiago can be a fantastic investment, but it's not for everyone. If you're planning to settle down in Santiago for the long haul and build equity over time, go ahead and buy a property. It's a smart move in a stable economic environment like Chile's, where positive forecasts for GDP growth and rising GDP per capita suggest that housing prices are likely to increase.
Plus, Santiago offers a range of property types, so you can find the perfect fit for your lifestyle, from apartments to houses and even vacant land.
However, if you're only planning a short-term stay or if you're not familiar with the local market, renting might be the better choice. Santiago's property market can be tricky to navigate, and it takes an average of 24 years of rental payments to break even on a property purchase.
Moreover, high taxation on rental income and potential property-specific issues like land instability and water scarcity should give you pause. So, buying in Santiago can be a great investment, but make sure it aligns with your long-term goals and that you're well-prepared to navigate the complexities of the local market. Otherwise, renting might be the simpler and more cost-effective choice.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Santiago
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Chile. 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.