Montevideo has the River Plate bordering it on its Western side, so there are various neighborhoods that have a fantastic view on to the water. There are over 10 beautiful beaches within the city, and these get very crowded between November and end of March, since Montevideans enjoy them fully. Although technically the River Plate continues a few miles towards the East, Montevideans address the River Plate as the Ocean, since many days the water is salty and more blue than brown.
The Old Town:
Starting from the port area, the first neighborhood one finds is the Old Town. The majority of the buildings are colonial or French style, with very few modern buildings. The government is working hard towards the promotion of this area, since after many years of splendor, it turn mostly into an office centre, with little or no life after 8pm. The edges of the Old Town were densely populated and a bit dangerous, and many buildings were used to provide questionable services to the sailors that dock nearby.
Nowadays, some streets have been turned into pedestrian areas, and in the last 3-5 years, many restaurants have established themselves, together with the Port Market, and this started the revaluation of properties. At the same time, some professionals, mostly from the arts and design background, chose to establish themselves, not only to work, but also to live, so one sees very active refurbishing and improving of the old buildings. The main areas, close to Plaza Zabala and Plaza Matriz, and the pedestrian streets, such as Sarandi, are already very attractive both for living and dining.
We believe this area of Montevideo has the best potencial for capital appreciation. Prices range between 50 and 80 US$/sqft, although, one may go up to 100 US$/sqft if the property has already been totally refurbished. Some listings worth mentioning were:
• A 850 sqft, 2 bedroom, 1 full bathroom apartment, overlooking Plaza Zabala, with incredible views. The French style building is totally refurbished from the outside, and the apartment only needs some paint. Asking price: 75000 US$
• A 400 sqft, 2 small bedroom, 1 full bathroom apartment in 25 de Mayo corner with Perez Castellanos. The inner court, where one takes the stairs to go to the first floor, is charming, with lots of plants. The apartment is very bright, and located 3 blocks away from the Port Market. Asking price: 29,500 US$. Needs some painting.
One note of caution: Bringing back the old splendor to a French Style or Colonial property can be a bit pricey, so beware of properties that are totally falling apart!
Rental returns in this area are only now starting to increase, (about 5%/annum) since Uruguayans do not regard Ciudad Vieja as the best place to live, but this is quickly changing as more an more young professionals choose to live close to where they work, and enjoy the various restaurants, cafes and arts stores.
Next neighborhoods moving through the Rambla (coastal road) towards Punta del Este in Eastern direction):
Next to Ciudad Vieja you will find the Downtown area (Zona Centro). There is a mixture of styles here, and one can find very attractive Colonial and French Style buildings next to a very unattractive apartment building. This is the reason one should actually see the property because the surrounding buildings may greatly decrease the value of the property. Values in the downtown area range between 40 and 70 US$/sqft. Not many Ocean view properties mentioning in these two areas.
Moving along the Rambla, one starts getting into the more affluent areas in Montevideo. The first such area would be Punta Carretas, where the Golf Club is located, and properties here, on the Rambla, with fantastic Ocean view go for between 130 and 170 US$/sqft. One can even find the most modern buildings asking as much as 300 US$/sqft.
Following Punta Carretas, you will arrive in Pocitos.. Pocitos average property values range 130-150 US$/sqft for Ocean view properties, and about 30% less for properties a couple of blocks away from the beach and the Ocean.
Buceo follows, and has a very attractive port, so properties here overlooking the ocean have a very nice view. Prices are similar to Pocitos.
Pocitos, Punta Carretas and Buceo are in high demand by Montevideans, both for younger crowds, professionals, and people that do not want to go out to the suburbs.
After Buceo, you will arrive in Malvín, where prices drop to about 100-120 US$/sqft for ocean view properties.
After these neighborhoods one arrives to Punta Gorda and Carrasco.
Carrasco is the highest end area, with lots of trees, and open spaces, and here one definitely is in the suburbs. The Carrasco downtown centre is an attractive cluster of old English houses transformed into commercial property. The rest of Carrasco shows very few properties of 4 storeys, some newer 2 storey buildings (the building code changed about 10 years ago and the tallest building can only be 2 storeys), but mostly one finds very elegant and spacious houses. This is where most corporate and diplomatic people choose to live, and where the best international schools are located.
Apartments start at 200 US$/sqft and lots go for about 30 US$/sqft. Building a new house in Montevideo costs around 70-90 US$/sqft.