You may have noticed your rent has shot up rather dramatically within the last year. According to Clarín, rental contracts have increased by up to 40 percent, which means for us poor mortals, finding a cheap one-bedroom apartment is as difficult as tracking down The Rolling Stones as they wander about Buenos Aires.
(Note to the wise: the Spanish dos ambientes, or “two room” apartment, refers to what many anglos would call a “one-bedroom” apartment.)
According to a survey carried out by the City of Buenos Aires statistics agency, the average cost of renting a 50 meters squared apartment in the City last year was AR$5,581 per month. That figure, 34.5 percent higher than the year before, represented an increase of AR$186 a day. This is equivalent to 34.7 percent of a family’s average income. In other words, tenants are working for the first 10 days of each month just to pay for a roof over their heads.
According to Tomás Marola, secretary of the Chamber of Real Estate in Argentina, the reasons for the increase are that, “The outgoing government dropped price controls, while the new government warned about a devaluation. This triggered an increase in rental prices. But whereas rents used to be adjusted on a yearly basis, now they’re adjusted every six months.”
Check out the average costs of one-bedroom apartments in the City:
The problem isn’t just the increase in rent, either. Signing a contract on a city apartment through a real estate agency means forking out even more. A month’s deposit is usually needed to secure the yearly contract (two if you’re planning on staying for a couple of years), and the agency is entitled by law to take 4.15 percent. And, as surprising as this sounds, when put into practice, agencies have been know to award themselves up to 9 percent commissions for all their, ahem, hard work. “This, along with the advance, deposit and other costs can amount to around $30,000,” explains Ricardo Botana, president of Argentina’s Tenants Union.
It doesn’t seem like the situation will improve either, considering President Mauricio Macri yesterday said inflation was unlikely to ebb for the next two to three years.
So, turns out your landlord’s not just being a dick. In fact, he or she is making less of a profit than ever. To see exactly how much a two-bedroom apartment is costing across the city, check out this article by The Bubble on rent inflation.