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In December 2014, Brazil was enjoying a record low unemployment rate: it stood at a mere 4.3% according to official figures. However, just seven months later, by July 2015, unemployment had risen to 8.6%, the highest rate since 2012.

I had the opportunity to attend an outstanding presentation and panel discussion on Brazil’s competetiveness and entrepreneurship – [or lack thereof].

Held on November 10th, the event was sponsored by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. NY and hosted by The World Economic Forum in Manhattan.

The panel was moderated by Fernanda Bak, a New York-based Brazilian journalist. The panelists included Monica Baumgarten de Bolle, a macroeconomist and Partner at Galanto Consultants, Cesar Cunha Campos, Director of FGV Projetos, the technical advisory unit of Getulio Vargas Foundation, and Michael Drexler, Senior Director and Head of Investors Industries at the World Economic Forum.

Brazil is home to the Amazon Rainforest, with flora covering some 60% of the Latin American nation’s land. The Amazon Rainforest is the planet’s largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest, containing around 390 billion trees and 16,000 species, according to the Field Museum.

Please see a chapter from “The Essential Guide to Land Investment in Brazil for 2015 and Beyond” – kindly donated to this blog by Brazilian real estate consultant and author Mike Smith. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for Mike´s full contact details and social media links.

With Brazil’s recession, political disarray and justifiably anxious and muddled market outlook by foreign investors, I thought it was a perfect time to take a closer look at Brazil’s real estate investment climate – as seen by both Brazilian and foreign real estate players.

There is a saying that every dark cloud has a silver lining. The current situation in Brazil is just like one of those dark clouds. It won’t be too long before they move away and the bright sunlight shines through. For foreigners, the Brazilian real estate market presents a great opportunity, but it may not last long.

According to a recent business survey, Natal has been ranked as the 5th best city to invest in real estate in Brazil whilst the first four places were taken by selected municipalities of São Paulo. This is an extraordinary finding for Natal, considering that nearly all Brazilian municipalities were studied, out of which the 100 best were shortlisted and ranked.

Whilst the bottom of Brazil´s real estate market is arguably some distance away, more investors have begun to examine when this turning point will actually arrive to potentially benefit from future capital gains. Yet even during such boom times, particularly for the foreigner, the risks of buying into this asset class often outweigh the positives – a phenomenon largely caused by lack of clear knowledge of mitigating the myriad of pitfalls. In an attempt to kick-start more rational analyses of doing property business in Brazil, below are some highly informative comments recently made by tax adviser David Soares da Silva. Having operated as legal counsel, tax advisor and member of board of directors of foreign funds and companies with investments in Brazil since 1993, David is well versed in a range of tax planning and international business transactions and can be contacted directly on dsilva@blslaw.com.br.

Brazil has always been, and remains, a beautiful and exotic location with a high demand for beach front property and vacation homes. The vacation rental market in Brazil has a good reputation with with AirBnB and similar services offering high end vacation homes for rent.

Despite the economic and governmental issues currently weighing heavily on Brazil, real estate investment still presents a very real opportunity for those willing to consider the bigger picture and the long term.

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Ruban Selvanayagam