With the reelection of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Brazil’s Lula da Silva and the victories of Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Evo Morales in Bolivia, Latin America has moved firmly to the left.

Other leftist presidents include Michelle Bachelet (Chile), Alan Garcia (Peru), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Nestor Kirchner (Argentina), Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay).

Some of these leaders openly admire the extremist rhetoric and gestures of Hugo Chavez, who has promised to transform Venezuela from a capitalist to a socialist state. Chavez’ government openly tolerated violation of property rights to address a housing crisis he has partially created.

In a new report out this week, the Global Property Guide notes that property markets in many Latin American countries are nevertheless doing well, despite the sweeping gains by the left. Except in Venezuela the newly elected socialist governments seem relatively benign, and unlikely to pose much of a threat to property investors.

Some of the markets are even seeing real estate booms and recoveries. Nicaragua, Argentina and Uruguay are offering high yields and good location at significantly lower prices.

The real issues which deter foreign investment and property market growth are civil wars, high crime rates, and social unrest. As Latin America increasingly obtains access to US markets, and as the circle of countries in which US retirees are willing to settle widens, the outlook for residential property in Latin America remains positive.