By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city of Rio and especially Zona Sul (South Zone) has developed a very important “temporada” or temporary apartment market, which allows foreigners an appealing option to stay in the Cidade Maravilhosa. However the market is seasonal and subject to wide variances of service and price, including some new factors coming into play this year.
Since anyone on a tourist visa, or even those seeking corporate rentals, who plan to stay for up to a 3 to 6 month period will not be able to obtain the standard 30-month lease, they rely on temporadas, which come furnished with utilities activated. Typically these are available at higher monthly rates, and also always become a hot commodity around the holidays and high tourist season.
“I had a difficult time finding a rental property for my stay here in Rio until the end of January due to inflexible lease contracts and the high prices I’d have to pay during the holiday season,” says Anna Bovens, a tourist from Amsterdam who spoke to The Rio Times of her recent experience.
While new options like Airbnb.com can help find nuggets of value, as well as traditional methods like searching through the real estate section of Sunday’s O Globo newspaper, it can also take up a lot of time and does not offer the same security of a reputable agency specializing in the market.
Marisa Paska, however, an American expatriate living in Rio and founder of Yoga Body Rio tells The Rio Times: “[Online services like AirBnB] are changing the temporary market, because they’re allowing owner more personalized access to the temporary rental market.”
“For example: I really like the social media integration aspect, in that you can interact with the potential renter prior to them arriving, so you get to decide if you’d feel comfortable having them in your house or not. Especially during major holidays when people get a bit… rowdy… its nice to be able to have control over who is going to be using your space.”
Still, more often than not, apartment owners work with service agencies that connect the property to the renter, and of course not all are equal in the level of service they provide.
Frederic Crockenpot, managing director of luxury rental and real estate firm WhereinRio, suggests to “check if the real estate agency is a government approved and certified agency that can legally deal, it’s best to be sure that your agent is CRECI certified so that there are no surprises with the apartment when you check in.”
In addition to the regular seasonality, there are two additional factors effecting the marketplace this year. One is a general real estate market that has cooled after several years of skyrocketing growth. Conversely, the other factor is a city that will see a high season from New Year’s Eve to Carnival (February 28th – March 4th) and then extend to the World Cup (June 13th – July 15th).
In regard to weathering the high-season prices, Juliana Guzman, founder of Rio Exclusive, a luxury real estate agency specializing in temporary rentals says, “Our objective is to keep the same price regardless of the season but in the end it is always the property owner’s final decision.”