Investors see green shoots in barren Argentine real estate market

miércoles 22 de julio de 2015 10:09 GYT

* Argentine property sales show signs of life after 3-year crisis

* Local, foreign investors position themselves for strong revival

* Persistent inflation, dearth of mortgages remain problem

By Sarah Marsh

BUENOS AIRES, July 22 (Reuters) - Argentina is still struggling with a dearth of hard currency and mortgages but with a change of government later this year, investors at home and abroad are positioning themselves for a real estate market revival they say is already taking root.

Real estate sales tanked in recent years due to stagflation and capital controls introduced by President Cristina Fernandez in 2011.

The presidential election in October is expected to bring in a more business-friendly government that will unravel some of Fernandez's policies. That outlook, low property prices in the wake of the crisis and a slightly more stable economy this year have already driven a timid pickup in sales, surveys suggest.

Local tycoon Eduardo Costantini says he launched a new gated community in his luxury Nordelta project north of Buenos Aires in April and within a month hiked prices for plots of land by more than 10 percent due to strong demand.

He is now speeding up development at Nordelta, a "masterplan city" of 1,650 hectares that he founded 15 years ago and where some 35,000 people already live in gated communities that are popular in Argentina due to a perceived increase in crime.   Continuación...