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Colombia – Buying Property

Legal Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Property in Colombia

In Colombia, foreign nationals are able to purchase property without restrictions, as long as they provide proof of income and identification. However, it is important to seek legal advice and conduct due diligence before making a purchase. 

Average Property Prices in Colombia

The average property price in Colombia varies depending on location and type of property. According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), the average price of a property in 2020 was around $2,600,000 COP ($706 USD) per square meter. However, prices can range from around $1,000,000 COP ($267 USD) to $6,000,000 COP ($1,600 USD) per square meter, depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. 

Popular Locations to Buy Property in Colombia

Currently, some of the most popular cities to buy property in Colombia include Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena. These cities offer a wide range of properties, from affordable apartments to luxury homes, and have strong economic growth and job opportunities. 

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Upcoming Areas for Property Investment

Some upcoming areas that are becoming attractive options for property buyers include: 

  • Santa Marta: A city located in the Caribbean region of Colombia, known for its beaches and growing tourism industry.
  • Barranquilla: A city located in the Caribbean region of Colombia, known for its low cost of living and growing economy.
  • Cali: A city located in the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia, known for its low cost of living and growing economy.

New Trends in the Colombian Property Market

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for sustainable and energy-efficient homes. Additionally, more people are looking for properties with outdoor spaces, as well as homes that are suitable for working from home. 

Is Buying Property a Good Investment in Colombia?

Buying property can be a good investment in Colombia, but it’s important to do your research and consider the specific market conditions in the area where you’re considering purchasing property. Generally speaking, property values tend to appreciate over time, and owning property can provide a steady income stream through rental income. However, it’s also important to consider the costs associated with owning property, such as property taxes, maintenance and repair costs, and mortgage payments. 

Common Property Types in Colombia

The most common types of properties in Colombia include: 

  • Detached houses
  • Semi-detached houses
  • Townhouses
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Rural properties
  • Land only

It’s worth noting that Colombia is a large country, so the variety of properties on offer is diverse. There are many options available, from affordable apartments to luxury homes and beachfront properties.

Typical House Buying Procedure in Colombia

Step 1: Surveys and Inspections:
Before making an offer on a property, it is important to have a survey and inspection carried out by a professional. This will ensure that the property is in good condition and that there are no hidden issues. Surveys typically include an evaluation of the property’s structural integrity, electrical and plumbing systems, and any potential environmental hazards.

Step 2: Making an Offer:
Once you have found a property that you are interested in, you can make an offer to the seller. This is typically done through a real estate agent. The offer should include the purchase price, any contingencies, and the closing date.

Step 3: Notary and Contracts:
A notary is required to complete the transaction and the contracts are signed in his presence. The notary will check that the property is legally available for sale, that the title is clear, and that all of the necessary taxes and fees have been paid. The notary will also ensure that the contract is legally binding.

Step 4: Exchange of Contracts:
After the contracts have been signed and all necessary checks have been completed, the sale will be completed with the exchange of contracts. This is the point at which the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The buyer will typically pay a deposit, and the balance will be paid at the closing.

Finding a Reputable Lawyer

When buying a property in Colombia, it is important to have a reputable lawyer to help you navigate the process. Lawyers can be found through real estate agents, online directories, or by asking for recommendations from other expats. They typically charge a percentage of the purchase price, but it’s always important to ask for a quote in advance. It is also important to check if they are a member of any professional organization, such as the Colombian Association of Notaries and Public Registrars (ACNR), The Colombian Association of Real Estate Professionals (ACOBIR) or the Colombian Bar Association (CBA).

Pitfalls and Problems

There are several potential problems expats may encounter when buying property in Colombia. One of the most common is dealing with corrupt officials or real estate agents. It is important to work with reputable professionals and to do your due diligence on the property and the people involved in the transaction. Additionally, the legal process can be slow and bureaucratic, so it is important to be patient and to have a good lawyer to guide you through the process.

Property Purchase Through a Company

It is possible to purchase property through a company in Colombia, but it may not be desirable. This is because a company must be registered in Colombia, and it is subject to Colombian taxes and regulations. Additionally, buying property through a company can be more complex and may involve additional fees and paperwork.

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