Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buenos Aires Fixer

In early 2002, when I was preparing the first edition of Moon Handbooks Buenos Aires, the Argentine government had just collapsed, and the economy was in free fall. At that time, my Argentine wife and I had been considering a kitchen remodel on our California home as we had an inheritance from my mother, but as I wandered the city and looked at realtors' offerings, I realized we could consider our dream of an apartment in the city - for about the same price as our California kitchen remodel. A few months later, we purchased a two-bedroom unit in Palermo, near the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, from a dentist who needed the cash to purchase his partner's share of their practice. In fact, he got a pretty good deal - nearly three times the price he had paid in pesos - but had he sold a few months earlier, when the peso was at par with the dollar, he would have done even better.

The Buenos Aires real estate market has since rebounded, and bargains such as the one we got are hard to find except in outlying barrios that, unlike Palermo, have yet to become fashionable. Those with a little cash to spare, though, can consider the 14th-floor apartment in Retiro's iconic Kavanagh building (pictured here). Originally built for Corina Kavanagh, with five bedrooms in more than 700 square meters (around 7,000 square feet) , it's now owned by British Lord Alain Levenfiche and on the market for a modest US$5.9 million - possibly the city's single most expensive apartment.


Unknown said...

Hey when's the next crash coming so we can afford some argentinian real estate too?

Wayne Bernhardson said...

In a country that makes a fetish of repeating its mistakes, I wouldn't bet against one. The problem this time, of course, is that everyone else is sharing the pain this time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post wayne. now, form which country are you, the US or England?

Wayne Bernhardson said...

I am from California (in many ways, a separate country).

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