Founded in 1982 in Argentina, La Cite Real Estate is currently headquartered in Punta del Este, Uruguay—a location they’ve been working out of for the past 26 years. The firm serves Maldonado, which includes the areas of Punta Ballena, Punta del Este, La Barra, Manantiales and José Ignacia. Working with clients to achieve their real estate goals in the South American country known for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast, owners Anja Oest and Charles Wright go above and beyond to provide buyers and sellers alike high-quality service. Here, Wright provides a glimpse into the current housing market—and the biggest trends impacting the luxury sector.
Please describe your current housing market. Charles Wright: We’re currently experiencing a slight drop in prices, making it a good time to invest in Uruguay. Depending on location, amenities, etc., apartments can be priced anywhere from $200,000 to millions of dollars, while houses range from $300,000 all the way up into the millions.
Tell us about the types of properties in your market and which are most popular. CW: While we primarily sell condos and houses, condos tend to be most popular among Argentinian and Brazilian customers. European and American customers tend to gravitate toward houses and gentleman farms.
What types of buyers do you work with? Are they predominantly local, or mixed from other countries? CW: We work with two types of customers: regional (Uruguayan, Argentinian and Brazilian) and non-regional (American and European). While we’re native English, German and Spanish speakers, these languages aren’t common in Uruguay. Having lived in both Europe and the United States, we not only understand the language, we also understand the mentalities of our customers.
What are some of the most important trends in your market? CW: One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is the influx of Europeans coming into Uruguay and settling down because it’s a peaceful country that’s welcoming to foreigners. In fact, 96 percent of the country’s population is of European origin. It’s also important to note that Uruguay has a very good health/medical system, as well as international schools and universities.
How does being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® help advance your business? CW: Working with LeadingRE gives us the opportunity to make ourselves known worldwide, which enables us to get new customers from around the world. We also receive listings and referrals, which we’ve been able to close successfully.