Rio de Janeiro has long been a property investment hotspot in Brazil. The Marvelous City has attracted foreign investors and Brazilians since the begginning of the 20th century with the migrants from different parts of the world. It’s beautiful hills and beaches house some of the most famous and powerful people of Brazil and the world that live or go to Rio on vacation.
Even though Rio has always been an attraction to people from all over the world, there was a time when it wasn’t at all crazy to buy in Rio. Property in Rio was never cheap but it was at least affordable depending on where you were. Nowadays, the whole city is very expensive, led by the South Zone, the beautiful beach area where everybody wants to be.
The South Zone neighborhoods like Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana have always been the main areas. But there was a time that the back part of Copacabana wasn’t that attractive as it was close to the favelas and a lot of the buildings were comprised only of very small studios. These were the cheaper properties available. As you went further into the downtown, areas in Botafogo and Flamengo were also interesting.
Nowadays these areas are home to the most expensive properties in Rio per square meter.
A real estate agency in Rio de Janeiro conducted a survey to analyze the profile of the new home buyer in Brazil. The survey was conducted in Rio de Janeiro and analyzed, among other things, property attributes that respondents reside and their buying motivation.
Profile of the Brazilian buyer
It showed that the residence of the respondents was worth on average R$ 412,000. 39% of these houses had three bedrooms, while another 34% had 2 rooms. The floor area of their houses had an average of 109 m² and 1 parking spot. The majority of these buyers lived in a paid off property. The other 22% lived with parents or relatives, 11% in financed properties and finally 19% rented the place where they lived.
What would motivate those interested to buy would be investment (22%), security (19%), marriage (18%), largest floor area (16%), differentiated design (16%), green area / landscaping (15%) the wish to stop paying rent (15%) and being close to work (15%).
Profile of foreigners buying property in Rio de Janeiro
Among the foreigners who buy real estate in Rio are professionals established in their countries, taking advantage of their currency against the Brazilian Real. There are also those who have moved down here for work brought by multinationals, oil and gas companies, etc… and there is also the privileged wealthy who buy and sell real estate around the world like it was nothing. A property in Rio de Janeiro is not as expensive for these and certainly represent a good investment if they decide to sell in the future.
The profile of the most desirable “bairros” of Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema and Leblon
Today, the middle class of Leblon and Ipanema is of old residents who were born or inherited apartments there, or already live there for so long paying rent that it does not weigh anymore in their pockets. To infiltrate this restricted community, the Brazilian buyer needs to be successful and have a quite hefty bank account. At least be upper-middle class. In the first line of the beach properties are sold to foreigners and the same for properties farther away from the beach.
Until the mid-90s, Copacabana was still reference as a chic South Zone neighborhood. The instability of the economy and the outbreak of violence in the city decisively marked the transformation of the Princess of the Sea (Copacabana’s nickname) to a most popular neighborhood. A lot of families with money in that region was losing status and, consequently, their beautiful apartments in art deco buildings started decaying and getting out of fashion. Copacabana has lots of “Grandma’s house” buildings. In addition to the apartments in bad condition, we have the conjugados (studios) and other very small apartments that, in most cases, also need work. However, the Copacabana neighborhood is very practical and has it all nearby.
Botafogo was the typical passage neighborhood that gained notoriety in the last decade for having a large number of shopping malls, cinemas and good schools. Any idle land or property that existed in the old neighborhood was transformed into large modern buildings, those with playground, swimming pool, gym … The proximity to the center and the innumerable range of quality services favored the way of young newly employed there, many married and from other more expensive neighborhoods in the South Zone in search of better prices.
Centro – Downtown
Downtown is always downtown: busy by day and at night, God help us. Hardly anyone would choose to live in downtown Rio; but it started to change a little more recently, with the stabilization of Lapa as a tourist and bohemian attraction. The biggest advantage of Downtown, and even the reason for its increasing importance, is the already offered infrastructure and good location between the northern and southern zones. The region is poised for growth, especially with the recovery of Port Zone.
Cradle of the Rio middle class, Tijuca was one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Rio, since before the discovery of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, until a few decades ago. It was from the 80s that the neighborhood began to see its green hills turn very quickly, into slums and the violence made most wealthy families leave. But Tijuca has many good buildings and many bucolic streets and squares. With good infrastructure and great commerce, the neighborhood has 3 subway stations. These qualities and the location have incited the opposite effect to those who decided to leave the region in the past, due to the high cost of living in the south zone and the recovery of the quality of life in this part of the North Zone with the pacification of the surrounding favelas.
Barra da Tijuca and Recreio
Under the historical perspective, the city’s expansion plan was made from the Centre; soon, the South Zone was inhabited long before Barra. Even still within the South Zone, the affluent neighborhoods such as Ipanema and Leblon, were only villages after Copacabana which, in turn, were populated when the city’s tram system was developed.
Since the late 1960s, however, the saturation of the South Zone, the expansion of Rio – before stagnant – returned to active duty towards the West, specifically to Barra da Tijuca. Unlike the occupation in the south zone, this other area of the city, also bathed by gorgeous beaches, was presented with a more modern development of architecture, gaining a unique and peculiar planning, with some futuristic vision, reflected mainly in the widht of its streets and avenues. A neighborhood molded for car use. The commerce is mostly installed in mega malls along the Avenue of the Americas. At the time, to live in Barra proved to be cheaper than in the South Zone. For a lower price, one could buy a lot more spacious and luxurious properties and the best, near the beach.
Currently, Barra still has properties with better quality and variety than the South Zone. That does not mean that they are exactly cheaper.