I spent 2 years in Medellin the “Everlasting Spring Paradise” Colombia’s second largest city. I got to know the Real Estate Market and I personally invested in a few projects.
My husband is from Medellin so moving there was easy for us. We decided Medellin because it is a City that has shown a lot of progress. Medellin won the award from most innovative city in 2013. It is the only City in Colombia with “metro” (sub-way). The weather is just perfect; no wonder why is called the “everlasting Spring Paradise”. The high altitude at about 6,000+ feet keeps it cool, but it rarely gets cold. It’s constantly warm, but seldom hot.
Combined with the dark volcanic soil, the agricultural diversity is substantial with the added benefit of a 365-day growing season. The primary agricultural products of Colombia are coffee (fourth-largest producer of coffee in the world), cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables, fique, sugar cane (Panela), forest products; cattle, and shrimp.
If you come to visit you can buy a lunch from $3.50 and up. You can buy Leather shoes for $40 and up. You can have a mani and pedi for $5.00. You can have the services of a cleaning lady that will cook for you as well for $20.00 per day, and with the Colombia peso being so undervalued you can afford many more luxuries.
I noticed that Medellin in particular had a lot of expats, and foreign visiting or looking for opportunities. There are a lot of investors coming this way. The following is an extract of a newsletter from Simon Black, Founder of Sovereign man and also investor in Colombia. You can take a look at his insight about this beautiful Country:
Why Invest in Colombia?
There are a few reasons for this.
1. The currency; the US-CAD dollar is extremely overvalued right now at a time when the Colombian peso is undervalued. This creates significant opportunity.
2. The ‘Colombia stigma’. It still exists. And, at least for now, it’s keeping mainstream investment away. I expect, however, that this will change rather abruptly and the rest of the world will get very excited about Colombia.
3. This is primarily a cash market.
Central bankers don’t manipulate home prices in Medellin like they do in the United States because it’s less common for buyers to borrow extensively.
People pay cash for homes, so that keeps the property market from becoming a bubble... which means that pricing is based on real supply and demand.
I fully expect demand to increase as more and more people discover this place.
Supply, on the other hand, is fixed. And getting tighter. Medellin’s mountainous geography constrains growth, and this is likely going to heavily influence prices over the long term.
Colombia is a vast country of more than 50 million inhabitants. Yet its “highway system” consists of zigzagging single-lane roads where you’re lucky to average 20 or 30 miles per hour.
It’s scarcely 300 kilometers from Medellin to the capital city of Bogota. The journey should take under three hours. Instead it takes eight.
This is the case with most of the infrastructure in Colombia.
There used to be a fantastic train network crossing all of Colombia’s major cities and economic zones. But it’s been entirely abandoned.
Mobile and Internet connectivity is basic.
Overall the country is very underdeveloped. And there’s good reason for it: Colombia has been at war for decades.
There was a bloody, ten-year civil war starting in 1948. Then there’s been a long, drawn-out conflict with Marxist guerillas since the 1960s.
Plus an incredibly violent fight with drug cartels that lasted for more than 25 years.
They’ve had mafia. Paramilitaries. It just never stopped.
With so much chaos and violence in the country, investors ran away as quickly as they could.
And any major public works project was effectively dead in the water. They knew that if they built a new road, some paramilitary or guerilla group would blow it up.
So there has been very little investment in infrastructure as a result.
But that’s all changing now. Colombia has changed.
Crime is down dramatically. The drug conflicts have subsided. The FARC’s strength is down more than 80%, and they negotiated a final peace treaty to end the war.
So the country is doubling down on massive infrastructure projects.
The new proposed roads have been dubbed ‘prosperity highways’, and construction has already begun.
There will be a vast network of modern highways crisscrossing the country, running from Colombia’s Pacific coast to its Caribbean coast, through all major towns and cities.
(There’s one highway that will cut the journey time between Medellin and the area where I spent the weekend down to just one hour...)
All of this investment is going to have a major benefit to the Colombian economy.
In addition to the domestic impact of tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending, the speed of business and logistics is going to improve dramatically.
And there will be so much more.
With peace comes more development. More hydroelectric projects (many of which are already underway) to improve the electrical grid.
More mining and oil exploration. More tourism. Entirely new industries.
Peace has a funny way of showering a country with prosperity.
And it’s going to make Colombia one of the most interesting places to be in the world in the coming years.
Links to his newsletter