We surveyed over 130 apartment buildings in the 5 most popular Medellín neighborhoods for expats to find out current costs to buy new apartments in Medellín.
We previously looked at the prices to rent apartments in the 5 most popular Medellín neighborhoods for expats.
Several Medellin Guru readers have also asked about the costs for buying apartments. So, we first look at the cost to buy new apartments in Medellín in this article.
The following table summarizes the findings of our survey of costs to buy new apartments in Medellín:
New apartment prices average 12.2 to 36.9 percent lower per square meter or per square foot in Laureles-Estadio, Envigado, Belén or Sabaneta compared to in El Poblado.
Note we used the exchange rate of 3,434 pesos to the U.S. dollar in this article.
We surveyed new apartment projects listed in the October 2019 Informe Inmobiliario magazine that is distributed for free in Exito, Euro and other grocery stores. This magazine lists new apartment projects in the Medellín metro area.
We used this magazine to identify new apartment projects in the five neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley included in this article. For each apartment project we surveyed, we included only the smallest model apartment, which will tend to have the highest price per square meter.
Understanding Estratos in Colombia
It is very important to understand estratos when looking at neighborhoods in Colombia. Residential properties in Colombia are ranked in a socioeconomic scale, which are known as “estratos”. Estratos in Colombia run from 1 to 6, as follows:
- Low-low class (bajo-bajo)
- Low class (bajo)
- Low-middle class (medio-bajo)
- Middle class (medio)
- Middle-high class (medio-alto)
- High class (alto) – the wealthiest
In addition, it is important to understand that middle class in Colombia is not the same as middle class in a wealthy country like the U.S. Also, the wealthy estrato 6 in Colombia represents only about 3 to 4 percent of housing in Colombia.
The majority of Colombians live in estrato 1, 2 or 3 neighborhoods, which represents about 80 percent of the housing in Colombia. And most foreigners tend to live in estratos 3 to 6.
1. El Poblado
El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for foreigners living in or visiting Medellín. In addition, El Poblado is considered the most upscale neighborhood in the city of Medellín.
El Poblado is where the most hotels, hostels and furnished apartments catering to foreigners are located. So, El Pobaldo is where most foreign visitors to Medellín stay. El Poblado is known as Comuna 14 and it has 22 barrios.
El Poblado is the wealthiest neighborhood in Medellín. El Poblado is primarily an Estrato 6 neighborhood with about 74 percent of the households rated at estrato 6. Also, it’s where the most expensive real estate and most expensive apartment rentals in the city tend to be located.
Most of the housing in El Poblado is located in high-rise apartments. And some of the high-rises in El Poblado have spectacular views of the city.
Number of New Apartment Projects: 36
Average Price to Buy New: 6.9 million pesos ($2,009) per square meter or $186.7 per square foot.
Price Range for New Apartments: 4.5 million to 10.2 million pesos ($1,324 to $2,975) per square meter or $123 to $276 per square foot.
Laureles-Estadio is another popular neighborhood for foreigners living in Medellín. It has many areas with tree-lined streets and much fewer high-rise apartments than are found in El Poblado.
Also, Laureles is primarily a residential neighborhood. Laureles-Estadio is known as Comuna 11 and it has 15 barrios (neighborhoods).
Laureles-Estadio is home of Estadio Atanasio Giradot, which is the stadium where Atlético Nacional and Independiente Medellin play fútbol matches. Also, near the stadium is a huge sports complex that has an Olympic size pool; basketball, volleyball and tennis courts; velodrome and many other sports arenas.
The first unfurnished apartment I rented in Medellín was located in Estadio near the stadium. Laureles-Estadio is primarily an estrato 4 and 5 neighborhood with about 99 percent of the homes rated as estrato 4 or 5.
There aren’t many new apartment projects in Laureles-Estadio, as this neighborhood is built-out and new projects tend to be replacements of older buildings.
Number of New Apartment Projects: 9
Average Price to Buy New: 6.1 million pesos ($1,764) per square meter or $163.9 per square foot.
Price Range for New Apartments: 5.0 million to 7.0 million pesos ($1,324 to $2,975) per square meter or $136 to $189 per square foot.
Envigado is another popular neighborhood for foreigners living in Medellín.
Most notably, Envigado is less commercial than El Poblado and it is located directly south of El Poblado. Envigado is a separate municipality from Medellín. The Envigado municipality has over 40 barrios (neighborhoods).
In addition, Envigado is primarily a residential community. So, you won’t find many hotels or hostels in Envigado like are found in El Poblado.
Envigado has many areas with tree-lined streets and it has fewer high-rise apartments than are found in El Poblado. In addition, Envigado is considered to be more of a working-class community. In Envigado, 96 percent of housing is in estrato 2 to 5 and only 4 percent is in estrato 1 or 6.
Number of New Apartment Projects: 41
Average Price to Buy New: 5.3 million pesos ($1,548) per square meter or $143.8 per square foot.
Price Range for New Apartments: 3.5 million to 6.7 million pesos ($1,019 to $1,962) per square meter or $95 to $182 per square foot.
Belén is a neighborhood that is slowing becoming more popular for foreigners living in Medellín. Belén is located west of El Poblado on the other side of the Medellín river. Also, Belén is located south of Laureles-Estadio.
Belén is considered a middle-class area except that it has more of a blue-collar feel. Belén is known as Comuna 16 and it has 22 barrios (neighborhoods). In Belén, 98 percent of the housing in estrato 2 to 5 and only 2 percent in estrato 1.
Similar to Laureles/Estadio, in Belén you will find many tree-lined streets lined with one-story, two-story and three-story attached homes that are more difficult to find in El Poblado. In addition, Belén has some areas with high-rise apartment buildings, especially in the Loma de los Bernal barrio.
Furthermore, Belén is the comuna where I lived for over four years in three different barrios (Fatima, Loma de Los Bernal and Los Alpes).
Belén like Laureles-Estadio is nearly built out and has few new apartment projects.
Number of New Apartment Projects: 6
Average Price to Buy New: 4.5 million pesos ($1,300) per square meter or $120.9 per square foot.
Price Range for New Apartments: 3.4 million to 6.4 million pesos ($988 to $1,870) per square meter or $92 to $173 per square foot.
Sabaneta is located directly south of Envigado. Sabaneta is a separate municipality from Medellín, like Envigado. Sabaneta has been booming with developers building many apartment buildings over the past several years. With all the new apartment buildings in the area there are many unfurnished rentals available.
Sabaneta has a total area of about 5.8 square miles, which makes it the smallest municipality in all of Colombia. The Sabaneta municipality has 31 barrios (neighborhoods).
Much of the daily life in Sabaneta is centered around Parque Sabaneta, which is a one square block plaza that is filled with trees for shade. Also, this park is surrounded by several small restaurants, bars and shops.
In addition, Sabaneta has become increasingly popular with foreigners looking for an alternative. Rentals in Sabaneta can be much cheaper than in El Poblado, Envigado or Laureles-Estadio.
Sabaneta is more of a working-class community. 98 percent of the housing in Sabaneta is estrato 2 to 4. And only 2 percent is estrato 1, 5 or 6.
I currently live in Sabaneta. I have lived in Sabaneta for over three years and I hear English more and more around town as more foreigners discover this area.
Number of New Apartment Projects: 43
Average Price to Buy New: 4.3 million pesos ($1,267) per square meter or $117.7 per square foot.
Price Range for New Apartments: 2.4 million to 5.4 million pesos ($697 to $1,559) per square meter or $123 to $145 per square foot.
Medellin Guru’s Guide to Renting Apartments and Choosing a Neighborhood
On the Medellin Guru website, we have a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood in Medellín found in several articles, including:
Renting Unfurnished Apartments:
- Apartment Rental Guide: Renting Unfurnished Apartments in Medellín
- Guide to Finding Unfurnished Apartments in Medellín and Casas
- Guide to Overcoming the Fiador (Cosigner) Requirement in Colombia
- 2018 Unfurnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín
- 6 Inexpensive Neighborhoods for Unfurnished Rentals in Medellín
- Furnishing Apartments: A Guide to Furnishing Apartments in Medellín
- Apartment vs Casa (House) Rentals in Medellín: Pros and Cons
Renting Furnished Apartments:
- Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín – 2019 Survey Results
- Guide to Finding a Furnished Room for Rent in Medellín
- Current Costs to Buy New Apartments in Medellín – 2019 Update
- Rent vs Buy: Downsides of Renting and Buying Property in Medellín
- 11 Things Real Estate Agents in Colombia May Not Tell You
Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellín:
Also, we have several articles that can be used to help foreigners choose a neighborhood in Medellín:
- What are the Safest Neighborhoods in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley?
- 5 Best Neighborhoods in Medellín: A Guide to Choosing a Neighborhood
- 8 Downsides of El Poblado: Living in Medellín’s Expensive Neighborhood
- Estratos: A Guide to Understanding Estratos in Colombia
- El Poblado vs Laureles: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Envigado: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Sabaneta: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- El Poblado vs Belén: Which is the Better Neighborhood to Live in?
- 2018 Unfurnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín in 5 Neighborhoods Popular with Expats
- 6 Inexpensive Neighborhoods for Unfurnished Rentals in Medellín
The Bottom Line: Current Costs to Buy New Apartments in Medellín
The different neighborhoods in Medellín offer a wide range of costs to buy new apartments. El Poblado remains the most popular neighborhood for foreigners out of all of the Medellín neighborhoods.
But El Poblado has the highest average costs to buy new apartments in Medellín, as seen in our above survey results. Also, El Poblado has the highest average costs for buying used apartments and renting unfurnished or furnished apartments.
Furthermore, new home prices in Medellín have been increasing at a faster pace then inflation. According to DANE, new home prices increased 8.5 percent in the past year in Medellín.
The bottom line is you have many neighborhood choices in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley and to each his own, everyone’s priorities are different. Also, there are a wide range of amenities and a wide range of cost-of-living.
Used apartments in Medellín can be purchased for significantly lower prices than new apartments. And the prices can vary dramatically depending on the age, location and amenities of apartments. We plan to look at the prices for used apartments in Medellín in a future article.
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