By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Despite the slowing economy in Brazil, the demand for temporary vacation rentals has remained high around the state of Rio de Janeiro, especially along the coastal areas. Part of this demand is driven by the weakened currency exchange rate of the Brazilian real to the U.S. dollar, making domestic travel more desirable for Brazilians, and at the same time more foreigners may see their dollar go further in Brazil this season.
According to a report by O Globo, Búzios and Cabo Frio in the Região dos Lagos (Lakes Region) – just a couple hours north of the city of Rio – New Year’s Eve rentals were completely sold out. Some temporary apartment brokers reported that their listings were all rented two weeks before the holiday.
The expectation is that the demand will continue throughout the high summer season in and around Rio. In Búzios, large houses with four or five bedrooms, close to the beaches, are renting for around R$3,500 and R$5,000 per day. In general it is reported that prices are listing around thirty percent above what was charged last year during the same season.
When speaking about Brazilian vacationers, Fabio Pierre, a real estate broker in Cabo Frio told O Globo, “When summer comes, people want to enjoy the moment. Concern about the economy can wait.” He feels in Cabo Frio the demand for real estate this season is fifty percent higher than last year.
In Paraty, the quiet charming coastal town around three hours south of Rio, the demand also has grown about ten percent. The report lists two bedroom houses renting for around R$1,000 per day during the summer season. Larger properties are between R$1,500 and R$2,500 per day, according to a survey by the Regional Council of Realtors (Creci-RJ). “For New Year’s Eve, [we were] all rented. But for January and Carnival there is still enough availability,” says Eduardo Andrade, a local broker in the town.
However in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Arnaud Bughon of Rio Exclusive, a luxury real estate agency, sees a slightly different perspective with foreign travelers this season, with “no real change concerning the demand for temporary apartments,” adding that their “prices are generally based on U.S. dollars.”
Bughon continues, “We have an increase on people looking to buy properties in Rio. In the last years, we had many people telling us ‘we loved it but we won’t come back because Rio definitively too expensive’… With the fall of the real, it changed [in terms sales].”