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By Mike G Coffey, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – Since the announcement of the 2016 Olympics here in Rio de Janeiro, there has been much speculation the effect such news would bring about to the local real estate market. This speculation has been especially buzzing in Barra de Tijuca, the neighborhood where the majority of the events will take place.

A stretch of beach in Barra da Tijuca, photo courtesy of Rio de Janeiro now/ Flickr Creative Commons License.
A stretch of beach in Barra da Tijuca, photo courtesy of Rio de Janeiro now/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Considering the snowball of activity generating around Rio de Janeiro in the recent past, with the coming World Cup, and Brazil’s quick recovery from the international crisis, its hard to separate the Olympic announcement from these variables.

Most of the Barra real estate agents asked, explained that Barra prices are on the rise anywhere from fifteen to thirty percent over the course of 2009. When asked if the Olympic win has played a major factor, the majority of agents interviewed said, in a word “no.”

Seeing as the Olympic announcement was on October 2nd, 2009, it is still difficult to say how much this had an effect on prices increases in 2009, and no one is more aware of this then the agents in Barra de Tijuca.

There appears to be much less dramatic reasoning for the price increases. “Barra is not what it used to be, its expensive now, the real deals are heading further and further south along the coast, in Recreio and further”, said one agent from Julio Bogoricin.

When one drives through Barra it’s hard to miss the huge condominiums everywhere, many of them looking unfinished or even empty. But this is post boom, one agent from BCF’s Barra office pointed out. “It’s getting very expensive to build in Barra, its just not as wide open as it used to be, this is driving prices up, simply out of a lack of supply”.

Expect booming prices and beautiful views at Barra de Tijuca, photo courtesy of HolidayinBrazil/Flickr Creative Commons License.
Expect booming prices and beautiful views at Barra de Tijuca, photo courtesy of HolidayinBrazil/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Another agent suggested that home mortgages are getting much easier to attain, and the rates are coming down, this is spurring a lot of interest in buying and selling, much of the price increase you see now is a result of this.

None of this excludes the Olympic announcement as playing a big role in driving the price up in Barra de Tijuca, only to say that their are many variables in the market right now.

When asked, if these agents had noticed anything different since the October 2nd, announcement, all commented in one way or another that the hype was the biggest difference. The phones are ringing more, their websites are receiving more visitors, the public is aware of the potential that Rio real estate has in the years to come.

One agent from Fernandez Mera, Victor Dias, suggested that we are starting to see a lot more interest in Barra from internationals as well as Brazilians outside of Rio de Janeiro.

Victor noted, “Olympics or not, the prices are up, and the people are interested, these are big years for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil as a whole, lets see what happens.”

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