Housing Affordability in South America

How expensive is it to buy a home in South America compared to local salaries?


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Map of the home purchase affordability in South America.

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How expensive is it to buy real estate around South America? I could give you the average price of an average home in each South American city, but that wouldn’t be totally fair. Salaries are not the same throughout South America. Numbeo’s Property Price Index, gives you a much more realistic view of the affordability of real estate in each city. The index looks at how many annual median family salaries (1.5 full-time salary) it takes to purchase a median sized apartment. So, if you live in Bogotá and you are able to save 100% of your disposable income (which of course is rarely the case as we still need to pay the rent, pay for food etc.) it would take you 23.5 years until you have saved enough to buy a median sized apartment without a mortgage. Of course, almost no one does that, as it is much better to just take a mortgage, but you get the point. The Price to Income Ratio of the Property Price Index shows us how expensive real estate in a city is, measured in years of a local family salary.

The most expensive city for buying real estate is Buenos Aires, where it would take 32.9 annual family salaries to buy a home. The second most expensive city, is Bogotá, where it’ll take you 23.5 annual family salaries to afford a home. Santiago is in third place, where it takes 19.3 local family salaries to buy a home.

The more affordable real estate can be found in Bolivia and Suriname. The most affordable city on this map is La Paz, where a median sized apartment costs 9 median annual family salaries. In second place is Paramaribo (9.8). Brazil’s capital Brasilia is in 3rd place (10.5).

Curious about the home purchase affordability in other parts of the world? Check out these previous maps of Asia, Europe and the US and Canada.

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