By Ronan McMahon, Real Estate Strategic Partner, Bonner Family Office
Overseas real estate continues to be one of the Bonner family’s favorite investments. Bill owns properties in Argentina, France, Ireland, Nicaragua, and the US. Real estate is relatively illiquid – you can’t trade in and out of it easily. But as long-term investors, that can be an advantage. It keeps us from shifting in and out of investments too frequently.
Bill has tasked me with scouting the best overseas real estate opportunities and reporting back to him – and you. Following a recent scouting trip to Colombia, I want to put Medellín on your radar.
Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, is a beautiful city of 2.5 million people (3.5 million, if you include the outer valleys). At 5,000 feet elevation, the weather is perfect. Most days have sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. The modern apartment I rented for my last trip didn’t need air conditioning or bug screens on the windows.
The leafy neighborhood of El Poblado is a great place to sip coffee or enjoy an evening meal in the shade next to one of the many streams that gurgle down the hillside. Much of my scouting was on foot. In this area, almost everything is a pleasant stroll away. The locals are warm, welcoming, friendly, and honest. They are happy that foreigners are beginning to visit their country. They are aware that, for many, Medellín’s reputation is still one of out-of-control drug cartels. The reality I found was very different.
Today, you can buy for as little as $100 per square foot. You’ll do well to find a city condo priced this low anywhere else. (Maybe in Ecuador, which has the lowest-priced real estate on my beat.) And you can generate rental yields of up to 8% or more. If you are looking for a family stronghold in a growing economy with a perfect year-round climate, Medellín is worth a visit.
Longtime readers of my real estate investment letter, Real Estate Trend Alert, will know that we did well in northeast Brazil as the country’s middle class grew. New middle-class Brazilians now buy condos and drink lattes in newly opened cafés. Owning the real estate that members of a new middle class want to buy or rent is one of our central strategies at Real Estate Trend Alert. It is also a strategy pursued by many of the world’s most successful multigenerational families.