The Beautiful Women Are Still Here
I have a quick-fire question for you…
When you hear mention of “Colombia,” what’s the first thing to spring to mind?
(Don’t overthink it. Just settle on the very first thing.)
Was it coffee… drugs… gangs… Pablo Escobar… or beautiful women?
Or—if you caught Narcos on Netflix—maybe Escobar making million-dollar drug deals, surrounded by beautiful women, shooting down rival gang members?
If this is your image of modern Colombia, then we need to talk.
At the Global Property Summit here in Panama City last week, attendees were presented with the top opportunities for buying or investing in property in the world right now. Among these markets, Colombia is one that continues to surprise our conference attendees.
For a lot of people—and even readers who’ve been with us a while—Colombia doesn’t make it to the top of their list. But that’s before we give them the full story on this misunderstood country.
We remind people how far this country has come since Escobar’s heyday in the 1980s… how peace negotiations continue between the government and FARC… how, yes, there are dangerous neighborhoods, but we focus on the safer places… some that are even safer than the city you call home right now.
Of course, there’s still the coffee. Still the beautiful people. And even more wonders that the rest of the world never talks about…
Did you know, for instance, that Colombia is a natural wonderland? It has the most species of butterflies anywhere in the world… the second-highest number of bird species… one of the largest coral reefs… the highest seaside mountain… and—apart from the coffee we’re all familiar with—it’s one of the world’s biggest exporters of flowers (the country is responsible for 70% of cut-flower imports into the United States).
And, right now, due to the exchange-rate advantage, Colombia has some of the best value investment opportunities anywhere in Latin America.
The main focus of our interest in Colombia is its second-largest city, Medellín. It’s a city that truly has to be seen to be believed… and one that’s attracting an increasing number of U.S. retirees. The city’s extraordinary efforts to break from its dangerous past have been recognized this year. For its transformation in terms of liveability, sustainability, vibrancy, and quality of life, Medellín was awarded the 2016 Lee Kwan Yew World City Prize.
Publisher Kathleen Peddicord admits that she was surprised at what she found in Medellín on her first visit eight years ago. This sophisticated city was more reminiscent of Europe than Latin America. She’s now grateful to friends who pushed her to visit. She and Lief have bought a home here, are currently on the hunt for an investment property, and Medellín is part of their family’s long-term plans.
For investment options, Colombia has much more to offer than just Medellín. At last week’s Summit, attendees were also told about current opportunities in Cartagena, Bogotá, and beyond… from buy-to-let and capital appreciation plays to long-term agro-investment opportunities.
While more of the world is catching on to the superior lifestyle on offer, it’s not too late to snatch a bargain here. Thanks to the currency exchange rate, property is now approximately 20% less in U.S. dollar terms than this time two years ago. We can’t say how long that will last, but if you can get down here over the coming months, prepare to be surprised by the opportunities for both living and investing.
And, with the weaker peso (you’ll pay less on everything from your hotel room to eating out), it’s a great time to visit and check out your options.
Editor, Live and Invest Overseas Confidential