Uruguay: The next big property hotspot?

A growing number of buyers are showing an interest in Uruguayan property, according to Engel & Völkers. The agency says that demand from overseas is increasing for second homes in Punta del Este in the south of the country. The rise is attributed to German and Italian investors in particular, bolstering existing foreign demand from Uruguay’s neighbours of Argentina, Brazil and the USA.

Punta del Este is already one of Uruguay’s most expensive markets, with prices of up to $4,000 per square metres for high-end villas on Playa Brava, while freehold apartments on the Atlantic coast can cost as much as $7,000 per square metre.

Demand is also strong for nearby resort José Ignacio as well as La Barra and the town of Rocha.

“The majority of buyers in Uruguay are looking for a superb property as a second home and a capital investment in the upper market segment in the holiday resorts on the Atlantic coast, or at the mouth of the Río de la Plata,” explains Sandra Sofio, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers in Punta del Este. “The increase in demand has seen prices for residential properties in these locations rise continuously over the last five years.”

Indeed, that average uplift of 35 per cent compared to the rest of Uruguay is helping to attract buyers looking for capital growth, adding the sense of financial security the country offers. In José Ignacio, rental income can also climb as high as $50,000 in the Christmas and New Year season.

“Another reason why international buyers hold Punta del Este in high regard is the fact that there are no restrictions imposed on land plot owners from abroad, as well as the fact that all high-end residential properties are listed in US dollars,” adds Sofio.