With just over a year to go before Brazil welcomes the next Olympic Games, the host city Rio de Janeiro continues to dominate the Brazilian property market rankings. Not only is Rio the most expensive city in Brazil to buy a property, it also tops the rental rate lists.
Property in Rio de Janeiro has always been expensive, but the increases experienced over the last few years have sent the square metre price soaring. The tide could be turning slightly – May saw a 0.11 per cent drop in prices, the first since 2008 – but despite this miniscule decrease, Rio continues to offer the priciest property in Brazil. At R$10,642 per square metre, Rio de Janeiro stands well ahead of its nearest competitor Sao Paulo whose square metre price comes in at R$8,545.
Frontline beach most expensive
However, this average price for property in Rio de Janeiro masks big variations and those in the city’s five most expensive neighbourhoods stretch beyond double this amount. In some, the price tags for small properties (for example, 50 square metres) can easily exceed R$1 million. As in most cities, it’s all about location.
The district of Leblon certainly has a very desirable location and its beachfront and lakeside situation mean it ranks as the most expensive place to buy property in Rio de Janeiro. In this high-end residential area, famous for its luxury shopping facilities and long sandy beach, average square metre prices come in at R$23,365, well over double the city average. In Leblon, the price tag for a 50 square metre property reads at least R$1.2 million.
Next-door Ipanema takes second place in Rio’s most expensive homes list. Property in Ipanema, probably the most iconic beach resort in Brazil, averages R$20,357 per square metre. Expect to spend at least R$2.1 million on an apartment measuring 100 square metres here but even at this price, a beach view isn’t a given.
Highly-desirable residential areas
Waterfront property is highly sought-after in Rio de Janeiro and those who cannot afford a beach location tend to consider Lagoa district, situated on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. Here, the square metre price tag averages R$18,278, considerably less than those in Ipanema and Leblon, but still well ahead of the city average.
Fourth and fifth on the list of the most expensive property in Rio de Janeiro are Gávea and Jardim Botanico. Both are located to the north of Leblon and Ipanema, and enjoy green locations on the periphery of the city. Square metre prices stand at R$18,216 in Gávea and at a slightly cheaper R$17,111 in Jardim Botanico.
Holiday letting potential
It’s not only expensive to buy in Rio de Janeiro; rentals here also top the list of the most expensive in Brazil. The May rental property index by FipeZap for nine Brazilian cities finds that renting in Rio costs R$40.87 per square metre, considerably more than the next two most expensive – Sao Paulo at R$37.53 and the capital, Brasilia at R$30.70.
The forthcoming Olympic Games will undoubtedly provide big business for holiday lets in Rio de Janeiro and the city is already experiencing massive interest in rentals. According to Reuters, Rio currently ranks as one of Airbnb’s fastest growing markets and the number of rentals available in the city has grown from just 800 in 2011 to over 20,000. This brings Rio to fourth position in Airbnb listings behind just Paris, New York and London.
Sources: Exame, FipeZap, Reuters