By Rob Sawers, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last year we published a series of articles on apartment rental options at various price points in Rio. Now, amidst a overheated market seeing 30-50 percent increases in real estate value, we look again at the apartments you can expect to find for R$3,500 per month, a year later. Again we are focusing on five popular neighborhoods in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone) – Ipanema, Leblon, Copcabana, Botafogo and Flamengo – to give a sense of some neighborhoods most popular with foreigners in the “Cidade Maravilhosa.”
Prices do not include significant condominium fees and IPTU taxes, which can add an additional R$500 – R$1,000 per month. Also not included is the “seguro fiança”, a type of renter’s insurance often required for long-term leases, that can be equal to two or three month’s rent and paid up-front.
Ipanema is a neighborhood that is famous around the world thanks to the 1962 bossa nova hit “The Girl From Ipanema” and is one of the more pricey neighborhoods in Rio because of its easy access to the beach. For R$3,500, expect to find a 60-100m² apartment, often with two bedrooms.
Example: This 90m² unfurnished apartment is located on Rua Visconde de Pirajá, Ipanema’s main commercial street. Hardwood floors and a newly painted interior give the apartment a clean and tidy look. The condominium and IPTU fees combined add an extra R$649 to the price.
Approximate average apartment area: 90m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$39
Ipanema’s ritzy neighbor, Leblon, is located further down the same beach, and its leafy streets are home to luxury shopping malls and haute couture boutiques. Leblon is also very close to the Gávea and Jardim Botánico neighborhoods. For R$3,500, renters will be able to find two-bedroom apartments close to the shops and the beach.
Example: This spacious apartment has two-bedrooms, a large living room, but a lack-luster kitchen. Located on the Visconde de Albuqurque, residents will have access to multiple bus routes and will have a short walk to the quiet cafés and bookshops that line the streets of this neighborhood. The IPTU and condominium charges add a further R$992.
Approximate average apartment area: 88m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$42
Copacabana is a popular neighborhood for tourists and Cariocas alike who come for its endless beach, views of Morro Pão de Açucar, and its iconic sidewalk tiles. Here R$3,500 should get you a three-bedroom apartment in a centrally located building.
Example: This three bedroom, 94m² apartment has abundant storage space, an immaculate bathroom, and long, hardwood-floor hallways. Located on Rua Djalma Ulrich, it is a one-block walk to Copacabana beach, and a three-block walk to the Cantagalo metro stop. Extra fees add R$804 to the price.
Approximate average apartment area: 95m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$38
Centrally located between Copacabana and Flamengo, Botafogo has a busy, commercial feel but is known for its up-close views of Morro Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf), its wide variety of restaurants, art-house cinemas, and an emerging nightlife. Botafogo has followed its neighbors into the city-wide housing boom, but for R$3,500, renters will be looking at larger two-bedroom or three-bedroom options.
Example: This two-bedroom apartment on Rua Estacio Coimbra is just around the corner from the Botafogo metro station, with a spacious kitchen, and small balcony that overlooks the street. The condominium and IPTU fees add R$564 to the total price.
Approximate average apartment area: 107m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$33
Flamengo is a high-rise neighborhood located between Zona Sul and Centro and shares its name with Brazil’s most popular football (soccer) club. Without its own beach, a park, Art Deco architecture, good transport links, and proximity to Laranjeiras, Catete, and Santa Teresa make it a very pleasant neighborhood to live in. Apartments available in the R$3,500 price range are usually spacious and can feature three or more bedrooms.
Example: This furnished, three-bedroom apartment is close to the park, is a three-block walk to the Flamengo metro station, and has a lateral view of Praia Botafogo, an excellent find despite the whopping R$1,000 in added fees.
Approximate average apartment area: 116m²
Approximate average rent per m²: R$30