22.3.16

The Best Time To Shop For Real Estate in Uruguay

Apartment condos in Punta del Este

It’s a long way to Uruguay from Europe and North America.  So, it often makes sense to make the most of your trip by combining objectives.

For example, you may want to explore parts of the country, take Spanish lessons—and if you like what you find—look at real estate.

If you're considering a real estate purchase as part of your mix, be aware that some months and seasons of year are better for property shopping than others.

In January, Uruguay’s beach towns are great for vacationing but not for house hunting 

The Southern-Hemisphere summer month of January is when many locals, along with a throng of foreign travelers, head to Uruguay's beaches to vacation. It’s when popular beach towns like Punta del Este, Piriapolis, La Paloma, and Punta del Diablo are busiest.

Many properties in Uruguay’s coastal towns are used as summer rentals. With the high occupancy rate of vacation-rental tenants during January, it’s an arduous task for a real estate agent to arrange property showings.

That is, if you can find a good real estate agent willing to show properties in January.  During the high season, many real estate agents working in beach communities shift their attention from sales to vacation rentals.

Single-family home on the Punta del Este Peninsula

January isn’t a good time to shop for real estate in Montevideo, either

Almost half of Uruguay’s population lives in the capital city, Montevideo. It’s the country’s main business and cultural center. But even with a large full-time population, it’s not a good place to shop for real estate in January.

That’s because during January, a large percentage of the city’s professionals are away vacationing at one of Uruguay’s beach towns, too. This includes escribanos, the professionals who take care of the paperwork for real estate transactions; many real estate agents; and architects, who perform property inspections.

Apartment condos overlooking Pocitos Beach in Montevideo

Viewing real estate just before, and just after, high season 

The summer high season starts tapering up in mid-December. It peaks in January. Then, tapers down during February.

If you want to combine the likelihood of pleasant weather, the availability of a good real estate agent, and the opportunity to view a broad range of properties—consider coming a little before high season, in November through mid-December. Or come just after high season, from March through early April (except for Easter Week.)

Note: If you make an offer on a vacation rental shortly before the high season, the summer rent income will likely be a consideration when negotiating.

Vacation cabins above the beach in Punta del Diablo

If it’s all about business, the off-season can be the best time to shop for a property 

If your trip to Uruguay is all business, consider making your real estate search during the off-season–June through October. The prices of hotels and car rentals will be at their lowest. Good real estate agents will likely have more time to spend with you. And fewer buyers will be competing for good deals when they come up.

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