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Real Estate Prices in Buenos Aires have bottomed out at a historical low

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Buenos Aires average real estate prices have fallen 10% in one year and over 20% since 2012 in some of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods. The situation mirrors average price declines across the river in Montevideo.

The new average price data compiled by Reporte Inmobiliario shows the average cost of existing residential real estate in Buenos Aires is now US$1,694 per square meter(US$157 per square foot), a 10.3% decline compared to US$1,888 per square meter(US$175) in May 2013.

The decade-long heat-up in Buenos Aires real estate price began to cool in 2011 with the government’s implementation of US dollar currency controls. While average prices citywide peaked in 2013, average prices in high-end neighborhoods like BelgranoPalermo andRecoleta actually began to pull back in mid-2012.

Now, two years later, bargain hunters are buying properties in these neighborhoods at 20% discounts to the mid-2012 peak. The average price in Palermo is now US$2,045 per square meter (US$190), a 27% drop from US$2,795 in 2012. The average real estate price in Belgrano is now US$2,100a 19% decline compared to US$2,595 in 2012.

The data also suggest that Buenos Aires real estate price declines are slowing and may have found a floor. While average Buenos Aires real estate prices fell 4.1% in the first quarter of 2014, average prices are down only 0.4% this quarter reflecting increased buying activity and renewed optimism about Argentina in general.

Recent relaxation of the currency controls, ongoing Vaca Muerta exploration, a final end in sight to the current Kirchner administration, the successful Paris Club negotiation and new foreign investment announcements are all painting a positive backdrop in a land where hard assets are cheap and bricks are still king.

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