Envigado – an Exciting Investment Opportunity in Medellín

Many foreigners owning property in Medellín call the upscale neighborhood of El Poblado as home but this is also where some of the most expensive real estate is located in the city. However, some foreigners have discovered Envigado, which is located directly south of El Poblado, where real estate can be a bargain in comparison, with the potential for faster appreciation.

While El Poblado is a neighborhood of Medellín, Envigado is a separately administered city within the Medellín metro area. Envigado is also larger than El Poblado with a population of nearly 200,000 – compared to a population of about 124,000 in El Poblado.

Envigado is primarily a residential community – you won’t yet find any hotels in Envigado like are found throughout El Poblado. In Envigado, you will find a few neighborhoods similar to El Poblado with high-rise apartment buildings.

Low-rise housing in Envigado

But throughout most of Envigado you will quiet streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes that are more difficult to find in El Poblado. Envigado also has height restrictions in place, which prohibit many of these low-rise buildings from being replaced with high-rises.

Coming in the Near Future to Envigado

Envigado has several projects coming in the not-to-distant future, which will make it a more attractive area to live.

Envigado is investing in a new Metroplús Metro bus line. Metroplús is a bus system with dedicated lanes that will make transportation easier and less expensive. The new bus line will run along Avenida El Poblado (Carrera 43A) from Calle 21 Sur until Calle 50 Sur.

Santa Gertrudis Church at Parque Envigado

The city of Envigado is also completely renovating Parque Envigado in 2014. This is a one square block plaza where concerts and public events are sometimes held. On one side of the square is the picturesque Santa Gertrudis Church with several bars and restaurants found on the other three sides of the plaza. Several small shops are also located nearby where you can find clothes for good prices.

Investors have recognized the lack of hotels in Envigado with plans to build, Murano Plaza, a new hotel located two blocks from Parque Envigado.

 

City Plaza mall in Envigado

City Plaza is currently the only shopping mall in Envigado, which is a smaller mall compared to the larger malls located in nearby El Poblado. City Plaza is not very well located as it is high up the Escobero hill in Envigado, which means it still has many vacancies.

Investors have also recognized the lack of shopping options in Envigado with plans to build Medellin’s largest shopping center – Viva Envigado – located next to Envigado Exito.

The Neighborhoods of Envigado

Envigado has over 40 barrios (neighborhoods). When looking at any neighborhoods in Colombia it is important to understand the estrato system. Residential properties in Colombia are ranked on a 1-6 socioeconomic scale (with 6 being the highest), which are known as estratos.

Understanding estratos are important, as this is a factor for housing costs and also for utilities. Households in lower estrato neighborhoods pay a lower rate for gas, electric, water and triple play TV/Internet/phone services.

El Poblado is primarily an estrato 6 neighborhood with 74% of the housing in El Poblado ranked as estrato 6.   In comparison, Enviagdo has a more even distribution of properties with 96% of housing in estrato 2-5 as seen in the following table:

Estratos of Households in EnvigadoThe higher estrato neighborhoods in Envigado tend to be the neighborhoods closer to El Poblado, such as Bosques de Zuñiga, Las Vegas, Pontevedra and Zuñiga.

Cost of Real Estate in Envigado

With the wider range of estratos in Envigado you can also find a wider rage of real estate prices in Envigado that can be significantly cheaper then El Poblado. In El Poblado, new apartments generally cost around 4,000,000 to 5,000,000 pesos ($2,133 to $2,667) per square meter. Prices for new apartments in Envigado can range from about 1,300,000 pesos ($693) per square meter to 3,700,000 pesos ($1,973). (Note used 1,875 pesos to 1 USD exchange rate.)

This means a new 1,000 square foot apartment in Envigado can range in price from about $64,380 to $182,108. This is a pretty wide range that is driven by the estrato, quality and location/view of properties.

The lowest priced new housing is typically located in poorer estrato 1 or 2 neighborhoods, where foreigners normally don’t feel confortable living. In Medellín most foreigners chose to live in estrato 3-6 neighborhoods.

The price for existing housing can be even lower in Envigado. The average cost of 35 existing properties I surveyed in Envigado in nicer neighborhoods was $1,074 per square meter, which is about 40% cheaper than similar properties found in El Poblado. It is possible to find properties in nice neighborhoods in Envigado that can be up to half the price of properties in El Poblado – but many of these properties are also “fixer-uppers”, needing some work.

Jardines restaurant area – street view

Jardines de Envigado – the Hottest Up and Coming Neighborhood?

One of the barrios in Envigado – Jardines – is an up and coming neighborhood, which is seeing rapidly increasing interest with the opportunity for excellent appreciation due to its location.

Jardines has a new and popular restaurant zone consisting of a few tree lined streets, which is located between Calle 30 and 31 Sur and only a block west of the main thoroughfare, Avenida El Poblado.

The first restaurant in this area was El Trifásico, which has been in business for over 30 years. But over the past two years several well-to-do Envigado families started opening more restaurants in the area. The area has now grown to about 25 European-style boutique restaurants, bakeries and ice cream shops in a five-block area, which has resulted in this becoming a trendy area that is very popular. You can find a range of cuisines, including steaks, pizzas, Peruvian, Mexican, Cuban, Italian, Colombian and gourmet hamburgers.

What is notable is that unlike, El Poblado’s Zona Rosa area – Parque Lleras – Jardines has refused to permit dance clubs and bars in the area. The result is quieter crowds and shutting down at a more reasonable hour of the night.

The Jardines barrio in Envigado is attractive for several reasons:

  • Flat area for walking and retirees, compared to the hilly El Poblado
  • 5 minutes to Parque De Envigado
  • 20 minutes to Parque Lleras and the rest of El Poblado
  • Several grocery stores within 15 minutes, including Carulla, Exito, Euro and Jumbo.
  • Quiet neighborhood: no bars or discos
  • Next door to the planned Metroplús line, which is coming in the near future

Jardines areaFirst American Realty, the largest foreign-owned real estate firm in Medellín, has recognized the potential in this up-and-coming area. The company’s first project is its Jardines de Envigado remodeling project, which sold out relatively quickly the project’s three 85 square meter units (910 square feet) for a price of just $130,000 each.

First American Realty now has its second project in Jardines planned. The Envigado Lofts – Calle 30 Sur project is a loft style project, which will provide two one-of-a-kind loft units for sale. The units are on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a three-story building located at the cross roads of the Jardines neighborhood and across the street can be seen restaurants. The average size of the two units is 115 square meters (1,237 square feet). More details about these two unique properties are available from the company:

Call First American Realty at 305 393-8872 or 954 363-1169 or email [email protected] and the company will send you the investor’s kit and detailed information about Envigado Lots.

Conclusion

Taxes are low in Envigado and the Jardines neighborhood in Envigado looks to have particularly good price appreciation potential with real estate properties prices that are significantly lower than found in El Poblado. Jardines also has the potential to become a pretty “exclusive” neighborhood in the Medellín metro area with the limited size of Jardines, low-rise buildings limiting inventory and the lack of properties on the market near the popular Jardines restaurant zone.

A similar trend of a rapidly upgrading area with new restaurants like Jardines has already been seen in the Provenza neighborhood of El Poblado, which has seen real estate prices rise quickly.