Colombian house prices are on a rising upswing – the y-o-y price rise to Q3 2010 was 8.30%, after a 6.60% y-o-y price rise to Q2, and 5.45% price rises in 2009.
- Prices of new apartments rose 9.57% (6.69% in real terms) over the year 2010, according to Departamento Administrativo&Nacional de Estadística (DANE).
- Prices of new houses rose 5.69% (3.17% in real terms).
Colombia’s economy grew by 4.3% in 2010, up from 2009’s 1.5% GDP growth. The latest quarter’s GDP growth, at 5.1% annually, was particularly strong.
As a result of Colombia’s surging economy, there was a 3.2% rise in CPI in Q1 2011, but this was still within the central bank’s 2% to 4% target.
In August 2010 Juan Manuel Santos succeeded former President Álvaro Uribe. Santos, previously minister of defense, defeated his close competitor Antanas Mockus, after a second electoral round in June 2010. High unemployment and mending Colombia’s relations with Venezuela and Ecuador are main concerns for Santos’ government.
Analysis of Colombia Residential Property Market »
Across the Bogota districts that we cover, gross rental yields range from 6.5% to 9.6%, with most yields being around 7% to 8%.
Capital Gains: The capital gains tax for nonresidents is at a flat rate of 33%.
Inheritance: Inheritance is taxed at 33% for non-residents.
Residents: Residents are taxed on their worldwide income at progressive rates, from 19% to 33%.
Rent Control: The most pro-tenant aspect of the law is that monthly rents cannot exceed 1% of the property value, giving the landlord a 12% maximum yield. But in reality, if the tenant does not complain, the landlord can get more.
Tenant Security: The rules for renewal and termination tend to favor landlords. If the tenant owes rent, the landlord can seize his properties. And even if eviction proceedings are long, the tenant is required to pay the rent for the duration of the proceeding.
• 11.1% contribution from the mining sector,
• 6% contribution from restaurants, hotels and trade sector
• 4.9% increase in manufacturing sector
• 4.8% increase in the transport, storage and communication sector
• Increase in consumption
• Low interest rates
Yet unemployment remains high in January 2011 at 13.2%, down only 0.2 percentage points on the previous year. According to Fabio Sanchez, an analyst from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia’s high unemployment is neither due to economic deceleration nor the financial crisis.
"The fact of having Latin America's highest minimum wage relative to its GDP per capita, and the fact that labor costs are also the highest in Latin America, result in a situation where it is impossible to create formal employment," says Sanchez.
So despite Uribe’s and Santos’ efforts, much remains to be done.
Colombia’s central bank, the Banco de la Republica Colombia, raised its key rate by 25 basis points to 3.5% in March this year, to keep up with inflation. The first increase was in February, when the rate rose to 3.25%, from the 3% which had prevailed since April 2010.
Colombia’s prime lending rate also rose in February to 10.26%, up from the previous month’s 10.02%.
Both increases were responses to rising Inflation, which rose to 3.17% y-o-y in February 2011, still within the central bank’s 2% to 4% inflation target.