South America – ‘Biggest ever’ freehold land block up for sale
An area of Argentina bigger than the US state of Rhode Island, or the UK county of Kent, has been put up for sale in what is billed as the potentially the largest freehold block of land ever to hit the open market.
An unnamed “Group”, which has owned the Estancia Punta del Agua in north-west Argentina since the 1980s, has put the 989,000-acre (375,640 ha more or less) site up for sale in what is billed as offering potential for “added value way beyond the cost of the scheme”.
Whilst the estancia withered as a farming estate in from the 1950s, thanks to its lack of infrastructure, the building through the block of National Route 150, which connects Argentine and Chilean coasts, and an electricity network, has greatly improved the site’s prospects, agents handling the sale said the agents, Argentina-based Gateway to South America – Argentina.
“The estancia offers tremendous potential for modern agricultural production and high-value irrigated crops including sugar beet, alfalfa, olives, vines and sunflowers,” said the agents.
The estancia has “appeal to a number of potential purchasers”, given the scale of interest in farmland from international buyers in the past.
Indeed, the dash for farmland by investors seeking to exploit higher crop prices has raised concerns in a number of countries, including in neighbouring Brazil, which has tightened curbs on foreign purchases of land.
In Argentina sales of large blocks of land have been blocked by measures to restrict foreign ownership.
Argentina’s presidential elections last November has provided a catalyst for an acceleration in foreign investment in the country, and a resolution to the oft-strained relations between farmers and the previous government.
‘How do you value Kent?’
The purchase price of the estancia is relatively small, by European or North American standards, at a low eight-figure sum, in dollar terms.
“It is a difficult question. How do you value Kent?” but somewhere about $10 an acre is being used as a starting point.
However, the estate would need sizeable follow-up investment to fulfill its agricultural potential as a site with “vast areas” of silt soils, mainly to the north of the site, and sitting on a large aquifer, besides having three rivers, of which one offers round-the-year water, running through the site.
GTSA brokers say the estancia needs an investor who understands agriculture and has the capital to invest after the purchase in a scheme of works to bring the land into line with 21st century farming techniques.”
Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and disposal.