Uruguay to become more investor-friendly ‘with relaxed requirements’

18 December 2020 | Investment

Earlier this year, we wrote a number of articles about the potential of Uruguay as an investment destination. Unheralded compared to its larger South American neighbours, the country of just over three million people doesn’t immediately stand out as a destination for British investors.

Even before Covid, only around 20,000 British tourists visited the country most famous for football and its lively, Art Deco influenced capital, Montevideo.

However, Uruguay is now being hailed as ‘the golden child’ of Latin America by international investors, with growing interest from foreign buyers.

In order to increase its attractiveness to foreign investors and reach its target of attracting around 100,000 overseas buyers over the coming years, the country has relaxed its requirements for those who want to move into or invest in Uruguay, offering increased tax incentives and implementing new measures that facilitate ‘an expedited return of capital’.

Why is Uruguay appealing?

According to the team at Las Cárcavas, a luxury real estate development on the Garzón coast of Uruguay, the country provides the enticing prospect of good quality of life, natural surroundings, a healthy atmosphere, and institutional and financial security.

“This highly desirable combination, now seemingly impossible in most of the world, not only exists, but is within reach. Uruguay: a stage set with the perfect blend of all these characteristics,” the team argues.

In developing and improving specific offerings such as tax-free zones, free ports, temporary residence and trading, the Uruguayan government has relaxed the requirements for residency and lowered the value for the property a foreign national must own, from USD $1.7 million to USD $380,000.

At the same time, it has extended the period for tax exemptions on revenue obtained abroad from five to ten years. And, as a bonus track, it is no longer mandatory for foreigners to live at least half the year in the country in order to be able to claim tax residence – now only two months are required.

These measures are said to especially benefit the real estate sector – with high-end real estate in particular getting a boost, ‘helping this market position itself as one of the most attractive segments in the country and the world’.

Las Cárcavas, it argues, offers an ideal proposal for investors who seek ‘a refuge of sustained value’ away from big urban centres. Situated on more than 120 acres, with large lot sites that offer exclusivity and privacy for its future owners, the project is preparing to ring in 2021 with new projects, including the construction of new bungalows.

One place, many options

What, though, are the investment options and how much could they yield?

For more conservative investors, Las Cárcavas offers its unique, turn-key ready bungalows. Designed by the renowned Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, the resort is slated to build sixteen luxury bungalows located on the shore.

Each unit occupies an area of 216 square meters, and will be handed over fully finished and equipped, ready to use. The bungalows also come with a ‘pay per use’ system of housekeeping and concierge, provided by Las Cárcavas.  

In addition to accessing these services and common areas, which offer all the advantages and entertainment available within the development, the residents and their guests will have access to a variety of sports and activities in the surrounding area: including golf, polo, biking, surfing, kitesurfing, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and horseback riding.

This investment can yield an 8% annual return, with an individual financial plan specifically suited for each buyer.

For the more ambitious investor, meanwhile, Las Cárcavas offers its line of seashore ranch-style properties. Each of these 24 lots reserved for private residences boast an average size of 9,000 square meters.

In a project that aims to prioritise the environment and natural surroundings, all residences will follow a set of pre-established architectural guidelines, allowing them to preserve ‘the essence of the brand and identity of the place’.

These seashore properties range from USD $580,000 to $3 million, with an estimated return on capital in the same range as the bungalows, and the added advantage of having a property made up of over 50% green, natural spaces.

As part of its offering, Las Cárcavas has a team of specialised advisers who accompany each investor personally from the very beginning, ensuring they make the best decisions for them throughout the buying process. 

Inspired by nature

Under the motto Inspired by Nature, Las Cárcavas aims to prioritise and care for the environment in all the development work it does, matching the rising demand for sustainability that is sweeping across the world.

“Investing in the real estate market in Uruguay is very attractive for foreign investors. Besides the tax benefits, the extensions for deductions and the space the investor gets for the value of the land are unthinkable when compared to places like the UK, France or the United States,” Fernanda Prece, commercial director of Las Cárcavas, said.

The development covers more than one hundred acres and is managed under the umbrella of sustainable infrastructure, ‘which matches the beauty of the landscape with its services and first-class amenities’.

A swimming pool, beach deck, grill, Palenque, and professional, state-of-the-art, natural grass tennis court are among the attractions offered.

This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.