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Medellin: The Next Panama?

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Medellin's real estate sector is growing. Can it even become the next Panama or Costa Rica?

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Medellins real estate sector is growing thanks to growing interest by foreign buyers and improved credit for local purchases of residential and commercial real estate, industry officials say.

"There has been a notable increase in Medellin from foreign clients, possibly due to the real estate situation in the United States, which is an incentive to evaluate other areas of high investment potential," says Carlos Mario Osorio, general manager of the Medellin office of Century 21. "The recent construction boom is related to the growing access to credit for private investment, mainly in industrial, commercial and residential real estate."

Commercial real estate is growing strongly, while residential saw a small decline last year, according to data from Century 21. Industrial real estate, for example, expanded by 76 percent. In contrast, the supply of new homes declined by 0.8 percent, according to Colombias Construction Chamber.

MARKETING TO AMERICANS


One company that aims to take advantage of the growing interest in Medellin is First American Realty Medellin, which was set up in November to cater to Americans.

"I expect what happened to prices in Panama and Costa Rica after Americans began investing there will pale in comparison to what will happen in Medellin," says Rich Holman, a Texas native and the co-founder of First American. "But as that happens, opportunities will abound for commercial...

Keywords: Bancolombia, Colliers International, climate, crime, metro, mortgage financing, office space

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