Brazil’s luxury real estate sees boom during pandemic
Globally, affluent professionals are adopting a work-from-home lifestyle and affecting a mini-coronavirus exodus from dense urban centers. Brazil has the second-highest number of COVID-19 fatalities after the U.S., while the luxury real estate market is experiencing an unexpected boom.
In Rio de Janeiro's exclusive neighborhood of Joa, real estate buyers are clamoring for the spectacular views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Buyers’ agents are now busy scouring homes on the outskirts of the city and rock-bottom property prices are experiencing an uptick, in one example, a home is the equivalent of $3 million.
The founder of the listing agency, WhereInRio, says he has not seen the real estate market this hot since Brazil’s worst-ever recession in 2016.
"So we do a lot of transactions. My company in Rio, we do like two transactions per week which is a very huge number, and it is been a long time that we’ve seen that," said Frederic Cockenpot, the CEO of WhereInRio.
Buyer's agent Amanda Veiga said driver of the trend are affluent professionals who have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and saving on vacations and other expenses.
"People are looking for quality of life, not moving so much. Commuting has slowed down dramatically so what they want is more space, an office in the home and time to enjoy their family," Veiga said.
This is not happening only in Rio de Janeiro but all across Brazil, where the wealthy are shifting their property assets away from the city.
According to a recent study, the market for luxury homes in Brazil started to pick up in the third quarter.
Leonardo Schneider, Vice-President of Rio’s Realtors Association, says that came as a pleasant surprise.
"It increased 40 percent compared to the number of transactions and it was the best August since 2016, so in the last four years, it was the best August, and not only August but September and October," he said.
Low interest rates are also contributing factors to this pandemic-fueled boom.
For a privileged few, seizing the chance to buy larger homes away from crowded cities could be a strong indication that staying isolated is here for the long-term.