By George Utley, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rental prices in Rio de Janeiro have exploded during the past five years, making Zona Sul (South Zone) one of the most expensive areas to live in all of North and South America. Although the upward surge has slowed down, prices are still higher than they were last year, making it tricky to find accommodation in the city’s most popular bairros (neighborhoods). This week we examine the market for the best rental properties under R$3,000.

Leblon and Ipanema have the highest property prices in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Beach-side Leblon and Ipanema have the highest property prices in Rio, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

Blessed with one of the world’s most photogenic beaches, Leblon is without doubt Rio’s most desirable post code. Swanky restaurants, busy cafes, chic fashion boutiques and a sophisticated nightlife make the area a magnet for both glamorous Cariocas and tourists alike.

Example: This 32 m² one bedroom open plan studio apartment is hardly spacious, but it is about as far as a R$3,000 budget will stretch in this coveted neighborhood.

Approximate average apartment size for this price: 45m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$75

Slightly more bustling than Leblon, but exclusive nonetheless, with an outstanding beach and an exceptional selection of bars and restaurants, Ipanema is the place people go to be seen. As with Leblon, it would be extremely lucky to find more than a one bedroom apartment on this budget.

Example: This 48 m² one-bedroom apartment on leafy Av. Henrique Dumont is well located for shopping and nightlife. It comes with a separate kitchen area and small living room and is priced at exactly R$3,000. It also has a 24 hour porter service.

Approximate average apartment size for this price: 50m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$60

While Ipanema and Leblon have a fashionable, modern feel, Copacabana’s charms are slightly more built up, and therefore less exclusive. Yet Copacabana has a good range of properties, and it is possible to find two, or even three-bedroom apartments on this budget.

Example: For R$3,000 a month this spacious two-bedroom apartment is a great option. Its stand-out features are its size and its living room with a beautiful view of the mountains from the veranda.

Approximate average apartment size for this price: 55m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$55

Rio de Janeiro, Property, Brazil, Brazil News, Rent
R$3,000 stretches a lot further in leafy Flamengo, photo by Pedro Kirilos/Riotur.

Stunning views of Corcovado and Pão de Açucar make Botafogo a great option on this budget. Although its beach is beautiful the sea here is not clean enough to swim in, but fantastic transport links make it a convenient, affordable base from which to explore the city.

Example: This 70 m² two-bedroom eighth floor apartment offers a perfect view of Corcovado, modern interior and large living room.

Approximate average apartment size for this price: 75m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$40

As with Botafogo, there is more of a community feel to this side of Zona Sul with people of all ages passing the time in Flamengo Park. The beach is scenic, but too polluted to swim in. The tranquility of the neighborhood, with its many squares, markets and friendly botecos make this a perfect place to call home.

Example: This three-bedroom apartment on a tree-lined street has a communal garden with a playground for the use of the residents. At 110m² it is much more spacious than many of the other properties on the market for this price.

Approximate average apartment size for this price: 86m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$35

All of these properties are unfurnished unless stated otherwise. The above prices do not include condominium or IPTU fees, which will generally vary between R$300 and R$1,000. The “seguro fiança,” an insurance deposit often added to long-term leases, is also not included.


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