Starting the (house) apartment hunt..

O.k. folks sorry no pictures right now but I will post some pictures of our weekend later. Liz and I have started our house apartment hunt. We are very much interested in buying. The strange thing for a European. The house prices are NOT published in the local currency CLP but in Unidad de Fomento (UF). As a buyer I HATE this. Why? Well the UF is changed on a daily basis. It should reflect the level of Inflation (if I understood correctly). We found some flats which are ready in June of next year. The Estate agent told us we could secure the price now and pay in June. Sounds good? Uhmm / not really / we can secure the price in UF / which means we sign the contract now for lets say 100,000,000 CLP but we probably need to add another 6% by the time of completion in June. There is a good website which lists the historical pricing of UF here.

In the past weeks we have seen about 14 to 16 apartments 80 % of them new with swimming pool. Liz is keeping track in an Excel spreadsheet. The Estate agents are offering us discounts (without even being asked) ranging from 6 % to 20 % (!!!!) We are not ready to buy yet as we are expecting prices to come down. Why? UM* / The amount of newly built empty properties we found was astonishing. Liz developed a good set of questions and the one that I liked most was: “What is the percentage of sold versus unsold?” The answer clearly favours the buyers. One of the really nice Buildings was completed about a month ago and they have only sold 1/3 of the apartments (!?!?!) As far as I know in Austria the projects are only started if about 1/3 has been sold off plan. So you can see that they will be a little desperate in about 6 months. The apartments we have seen were in the Las Condes area and priced between (I will use real money now) CLP 60,000,000 to 120,000,000 in EUR in USD in GBP and in MXN  The apartments we saw ranged between 60 m2 to 130 m2 (for the English folks 2 bedrooms to 3 bedrooms although in England you would call it 3 to 4 as the Chileans dont count the small room for the house keeper which also has a bed and a toilet) We are still to look at the second hand market.

Disclaimer: Even though I called the house price crash in the UK (I started reporting in November 2006, April 2007 and April 2008) I do not know a lot about the Chilean Market and anything stated above is personal believe! Prices may go up or down or move sideways 😉

4 thoughts on “Starting the (house) apartment hunt..

  1. How ironic is this. I was looking through old posts and comments and found yours once upon a time. It was a post about marriage…at that time you were single!
    Looks like you are doing well for yourself one year later!

  2. Just stumbled upon this post. In my experiences apartment-hunting, I wouldn’t buy a new place. They are far more expensive than apartments that are only a few years older, in some cases almost twice the price for a similar apartment in a similar neighborhood, and many of the newer older buildings (5-10 years old) have similar amenities. Most of the new buildings here are also being built with really poor quality – they look great but don’t stand up to normal use. If you buy something older you’re already seeing how it’s holding up, no surprises. The apartment we rented here was brand new, we treated it nicely, and after our year it was just starting to show its poor quality in things like the silicon around the sink and the “terminaciones” of the piso flotante coming off. At the very least find someone who knows about construction to evaluate anywhere you’re seriously looking at buying!

    Also you’re right to wait, especially if you decide to go with a new apartment after all. They’re not selling at all well, and in a year they should be offering some serious discounts. Good luck finding the perfect place!

  3. Thanks for the great advice Emily. We have slowed the searching down now but will hopefully get something in a year or so… You are right that you see more about the quality if you look at the 5 to 10 year old buildings..

  4. Pingback: The Chilean Economy « Andre in Chile

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