Are you concerned about real estate in Ecuador?
You have probably heard that the prices are going up. An article earlier this week in one of Cuenca’s papers agreed with that.
But it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
While some blogs have said that prices are going up by $100’s of dollars, this just isn’t the case – at least not in the general market anyway.
How Much Have Prices Increased in Cuenca?
The article said that rentals in the city have gone up. These are the annual increase in the monthly rates:
- City center: $15-20 per month
- Suburbs: $5-10 per month
A man living on avenida Diez de Agosto had his rent increase from $300 to $350. Because he couldn’t afford the higher rate, he had to move.
In the southern part of Cuenca, rents are less. Mini departments are renting for $150 and full apartments with 2 or 3 bedrooms, living room, bathroom and garage are renting for $280. Condos (in security buildings) are renting for up to $400 because of features like central gas and guards.
2 Reasons For Increasing Prices
- Increased Demand: Students and workers who come to Cuenca drive up prices because of increased demand. Contracts are usually renewed in January / February, often with a slightly higher rate.
- Foreigners: The article highlights the situation where classifieds are listing rentals only for foreign retirees. Because of this, even mini departments (studios) are renting for $500 and up.
Why do landlords want to rent to expats? While they sometimes say that it is because expats will take good care of the unit, their ads give away their real motive. Properties marketed to expats have prices anywhere from double to quadruple the normal price. I recently spoke to an expat who was subletting apartments in Cuenca. He would take a $250-300 apartment and market them to new expats for $800-900/month. While I’m sure that expats will take reasonable care of a unit, it is their gullibility that landlords value most.
What’s Included in a Standard Rental Contract?
The article highlights the following:
- When the rent is to be paid, and if by cash or check.
- When the garbage truck passes.
- If lights and water are included or if the renter pays these.
What Can You Do To Keep Rental Prices Down?
Obviously no one wants to pay too much. But sometimes it can be hard.
- Expats don’t know what a place is actually worth.
- Sometimes they can’t find what’s available.
- If they don’t speak Spanish this all gets even more complicated.
But with a little effort you will find a good deal on a rental in Cuenca. Do your best not to overpay for your rental. Stay in your hotel a little longer and search a little harder. There are beautiful, reasonably priced apartments available. You’ll pay less – and you’ll help keep prices at a stable level in Cuenca.