Engel & Völkers is continuing on its course of global expansion and is now moving into residential property in Colombia.
The opening of the new office in the capital Bogotá will specialise in the brokerage of premium residential property, commercial real estate and yachts.
It will be located in the exclusive district of El Retiro, one of the most sought-after residential locations in the Colombian capital, and will also cover high-end real estate in the Colombian economic centres in major cities and popular second home markets such as Cartagena, Medellín, Barranquilla and Cali.
The opening in Bogotá marks the initial stage in the conquering of a strategically important market for Engel & Völkers - for whom Colombia is the 38th country in their global portfolio.
"Colombia is one of the emerging economic powerhouses in South America," says Cristian Fuenzalida, Managing Partner at Engel & Völkers in Bogotá.
"The Colombian economy is benefiting considerably from a strong export industry resulting from its rich raw material reserves, as well as from its geographical location with access both to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
"The stable national economy, coupled with a low rate of inflation, is a very important factor for foreign investors. Such investments from abroad are also being helped along by efforts to improve the public infrastructure and combat crime in the long term."
Colombia's notorious drugs cartels have been tackled in recent years - druglord Pablo Escobar and co used to supply 30 per cent of the world's cocaine - and the country is apparently attracting investors from around the world, particularly from Chile, Venezuela and the USA.
Other interested parties are based in Europe as well. This development is being bolstered, amongst other factors, by the free trade agreement with the EU that was signed in August of this year.
What about the property market in Colombia?
House prices in Colombia are increasing in line with this growing demand.
Over the past decade, property values have risen continuously by an average of 15 per cent per year. They are currently at an historic high.
In the capital Bogotá, high-end residences in exclusive neighbourhoods such as Rosales, Santa Ana, Chicó, El Nogal, Santa Barbara and El Retiro hold the greatest potential for appreciation in value.
Top prices of as much as 11 million COP (approx. €4,200) per square metre have already been achieved in these areas.
Some very exclusive new developments may even see prices exceed this level by ten to 20 per cent in the near future, according to Engel & Volkers.
Ultra-modern, large-scale apartments and lofts are currently in particularly strong demand amongst buyers. The most important criteria for purchase are a modern equipment standard and a minimalist design.
The beautiful and historic colonial city of Cartagena has also been attracting interest from international buyers - there you might buy a three-bed, three bath home for a round $416,000 but you'd pay far more for a comparable property in the historic old town area.