We are experts in Bolivian real estate, who help lots of people in our country to know and conduct their real estate projects. Also, we are from Bolivia and know how real estate works here (you can see our Bolivian real estate website). Then, we hope you can trust the information we are going to give you in this article. That said, let’s dive in.
Bolivian houses range in price from $15,000 for the cheapest ones to $3,000,000 for the most exclusive and luxury ones. A Bolivian house similar to an average house in a developed country costs around $400,000, with a range between $200,000 – $1,500,000. Mild-class apartments have prices around $80,000.
In this article, we will be talking about all the details related to the sale prices of homes, apartments, and other types of real estate in Bolivia. We also will be talking about how the real estate market performs in Bolivia and how it compares with real estate markets in first tier countries in the pricing aspect.
The 3 types of houses available in Bolivia
Taking into account several factors, for example, where the house is located, which materials have been used for its construction, how the market for real estate is going in the country, which kind of families live in each type of house, we can divide the Bolivian houses in 3 main types.
The 3 main types of houses available in the major cities of Bolivia are:
- The most modest houses
- The midsize class houses
- The residential and luxury houses
|Type of house||Avg. house price||Price range in category|
|Most modest houses||$30,000||$15,000 to $80,000|
|Midsize class houses||$200,000||$80,000 to $300,000|
|Luxury and residential houses||$600,000||$300,000 to $3,000,000|
1) The most modest houses
This kind of home is normally on the edge of urban areas, these houses usually have basic home services, like water, light or phone services, but some of them may not have them.
Most poor people in Bolivia live in this type of house, so you will find that normally they have been constructed with bad, poor quality materials and won’t last too long. They usually lack enough space to live and consist of a bunch of bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and some other common areas.
The cost of this type of houses
The cost of modest houses normally vary from $15,000 to $80,000 in sales price, most of its value is in the land, because it’s expected that this value will greatly increase throughout the following years.
Modest and cheap Bolivian houses, including the land, will cost you between $15,000 to $80,000.
Pros and cons about this type of houses
If you are an expat, you will find that living in this kind of house will be a difficult and dangerous experience, unless you don’t bother about risking yourself in such bad neighborhoods and even not having basic home services.
Only poor people live in these kinds of houses. They usually need to travel, by foot, long distances in order to get to the nearest bus stations (normally for 10 to 30 minutes) and upon arriving there, they need to wait for the next bus for a long time. And finally, after getting into the bus, they need to travel for 1 hour, or even more, to arrive at the most commercial and important areas of the city.
If you want to have your car there, it will be very risky, robbers will very fast set you as the target for a crime, because you are not from Bolivia, and believe me, your car or even your personal security won’t last too long in those places.
The only advantage we can find for you to buy this kind of house is for investment purposes. After you buy it, you’ll need to hire a home keeper to take care of the house. So, after years of waiting, you will be able to sell it at a higher price. Normally, after 5 years, its selling price will be 2x to 3x fold higher than when you bought it.
2) The midsize class houses (the majority of them)
This type of house is where most middle class Bolivian families and people live. The families which are not in moderate poverty, people who have mostly informal jobs, but also formal jobs in both private and public institutions, normally live in these homes.
The average income of people who live in this kind of home is normally between $500 and $1,000 a month, so they can afford to pay rents from $200 to $300 that owners normally ask for renting these houses.
This type of house normally has all the basic home services, including internet, cable TV gas, etcetera. But what they most lack is spaces for parking garages. Also, many of them have been built with questionable quality materials. Most of these houses won’t have enough space for more than just living there, for example, they won’t have a room for a housekeeper, spacious bathrooms, kitchens or spacious living rooms.
Another fact to know about these homes is they are not located in the center of most commercial or most important areas of a city. You will need to travel between 20 to 40 minutes in order to get to your office or job. It’s also very rare (for not saying never) to see overseas people living in these types of houses, so neighbors may see you in a cautious or even negative way there.
The cost of this type of houses
To buy a middle class Bolivian house, you will need around $80,000 to $300,000. This price has a wide range because it heavily depends on the city in which you are buying, among the other factors, like the zone in which the house is located, its size, etcetera.
For example, if you are buying in crowded cities, where there is not enough space to keep building, like La Paz, Potosi, or some places in Cochabamba, Sucre or Tarija, what really increases the price of these homes is the land and not the construction itself. Lands can be very expensive in these cities, because as we said, there is not enough space to build, so, an average house can have a price of even $300,000 or more.
But if you are buying in other cities where there is a lot of space, for example, in Santa Cruz, Trinidad or Oruro and in some places of Cochabamba, Sucre and Tarija, you will find that an average middle class home is about $150,000, also, you may find some offers near to $100,000 for these houses in those cities.
Buying a midsize class house in Bolivia, including the land, will cost you between $80,000 to $300,000.
Pros and cons about this type of houses
The pros for these houses are mainly that you will have some sort of comfort and security, but not too much of it. Also, you won’t have to spend a really long time to get to your job or where you need to go (around 45 minutes). Furthermore, your neighbors, in most cases, will be mostly educated people that will understand that you are a person from another country and will treat you accordingly.
The cons are mainly that, as we have said, sometimes people will see you in a negative way because it’s not common to see foerign people living in these houses (you will also be more targetable by robbers). In addition to this, you will get a house with questionable construction materials, a lack of space for things like parking your car, not extra rooms for extra people, not spacious or extra living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens etcetera,
From a financial side of view, you will get an average quality house (in Bolivian standards) that will last for decades, but it won’t be built with expensive materials, and often, will need to fix many major and minor details. Also, the land won’t have the highest potential for accumulating equity, these houses are not expected to increase their prices as much as houses in the outskirts of the cities.
Maybe after 5 years of waiting, you will be able to sell a house like this for about a 1.2x to 1.5x fold their initial price. This can be different in cities where there is a lot of development right now, like Santa Cruz, El Alto, Trinidad or cities in tropical areas of Bolivia, where these middle class houses are increasing their value at a faster rate, where, after 5 years of waiting you may be able to sell them in 1.5x to 2x fold their initial price.
Notice that there may be less expensive houses of this type in Santa Cruz, the major city of Bolivia.
3) The residential and luxury houses in the best zones
This kind of house is located in the most exclusive neighborhoods and zones, where most high class and rich Bolivians live, also there are a lot of expats living there. People in these areas have everything that you may find in a suburban area of the US. Also the culture there and day-to-day lifestyle is more like in developed countries. The average income of people in this area varies between $2,000 to $5,000 per month, in some cases, much more than this amount.
Another point to highlight is that many people in these zones and neighborhoods know English and they will be able to communicate with you with no trouble. Employees from embassies, international organizations, and employees who come to Bolivia as part of international companies choose to live in those areas. You also need to know that people living there will see you in a very positive way, because they love foreigners from the 1st world. For Bolivian people, living in these zones is a dream and successful people normally move to these zones.
The cost of this type of houses
You may think that this is the kind of house that will cost you a lot, but they are not really that expensive if you compare them with properties in the first world. Most luxury bolivian houses will normally cost between $300,000 to $1,000,000. Some of them up to $2,000,000 or $3,000,000.
Bear in mind that you can find less expensive houses of this type in the major tropical city of Bolivia, Santa Cruz De La Sierra. In this city there’s a lot of space to build, resulting in less expensive houses available in the best zones and neighborhoods of this city. They will cost between $300,000 to $500,000, or even less in some cases, and with all the comfort and amenities you may expect in a normal area of a first world country.
Residential and luxury Bolivian houses, including the land, will cost you between $300,000 to $3,000,000, but most of them will be in the range of $300,000 to $1,000,000.
Pros and cons about this type of house
For this type of house, you’ll get everything you may need for living a comfortable life, all basic services, parking for many cars, a lot of security measures, they will be near to most important places, like the center of the city, supermarkets, the best private hospitals, schools and universities, entertainment areas, different kinds of clubs, commercial centers, etcetera.
The house itself also will be made from high-end materials, which will last for a long time. The homes will have all the security measures, and all the space that you may need, with a lot of extra rooms and bathrooms, expensive kitchens, some of them will have penthouses, also they will have beautiful gardens, basements, etcetera.
The cons for this kind of house, are of course the price (which by the way is very close to an average home in the US), also that these neighborhoods may seem “normal” to you and not really luxury, but for Bolivians they certainly are. So, you may feel just normal there, without the real luxury you may expect to get in a first world country.
Another con is, as we just said, the price. You may need to spend a lot of money to be the owner of one of these Bolivian houses. That’s why we recommend you to, instead of buying one of these homes, if you are not familiar with Bolivia and Bolivian culture, you should first rent them.
We talk about this possibility (renting the house) at the end of this article, but we can tell you that renting a house here is not a big deal, you will end up spending from $500 to $2,000 per month in the monthly rent of one of these luxury Bolivian homes.
Remember that buying a house in Bolivia is a highly risky process, you need to know every detail to achieve this task in Bolivia.
We have a complete guide about how to buy a house or any real estate in Bolivia with all the steps, requirements, risks and advantages, in the following direction: How to buy a house in Bolivia? All the steps and precautions.
How much is the cost of apartments in Bolivia?
In Bolivia you will find 2 main types of apartments:
- Mid-class apartments in most areas of the city.
- Luxury apartments in the best zones and neighborhoods.
|Type of apartment||Avg. apartment price||Price range in category|
|Mid-class apartments||$80,000||$60,000 to $120,000|
|Luxury apartments||$120,000||$80,000 to $200,000|
A) Mid-class apartments in most areas of the city
In most of the common or established zones and neighborhoods of major cities in Bolivia, you’ll be able to find middle-class apartments, in which Bolivians with an average monthly earning of $500 to $1,500 normally live. These apartments usually have monthly rents of $200 to $400.
But if you wanna buy an apartment like this, you’ll need to pay from $60,000 to $120,000. It will include all the essential things that you may need for a basic living, like a 2 or 3 bedrooms, with a decent kitchen and 1 or 2 bathrooms, also a decent living room, decent security, and all basic services, including internet, furthermore, some apartments will have a parking car slot and a storage. You can buy an extra parking car or an extra storage for about $5,000 to $10,000.
Most of these apartments will be in big 3 to 6 story multi-family houses, or in skyscrapers, and will also be located inside average neighborhoods and zones of major cities.
Middle-class apartments in Bolivia, located in common areas and zones, will cost you between $60,000 to $120,000.
B) Luxury apartments in the best zones and neighborhoods
The other kind of apartments are the ones that are located (as the luxury houses in the above section) in the best neighborhoods of major cities of Bolivia. These apartments normally cost between $80,000 to $200,000. This price also depends a lot on the city in which you are going to buy. For example, in Santa Cruz and other tropical cities you may find luxury apartments at less expensive prices, of between $50,000 to $150,000.
As you may think, these apartments are the best ones that you can find in Bolivia, they are in the best zones and have been made with the best possible high-end materials. They have extra rooms and extra spaces for other things more than just basic living, for example, and studio or and in-house office, a room for guests, many bathrooms, expensive kitchens, they also have been designed to be near to everything, so in less than 5 minutes you can just take out your car and be in the main avenue of the area.
The renting prices of these luxury apartments are between $400 and $1,000, and their size normally varies from 1,000 ft2 to 2,500 ft2. These prices are very cheap for a high-end apartment, so you may consider renting one of them instead of buying.
A disadvantage about these apartments is that they usually don’t have too much space outside the apartment itself, they don’t have gardens or balconies (some of the most expensive actually have), also they don’t have an area where you can be totally relaxed as if you had your own private yard. Most of these high-end luxury apartments are in mid-rices and skyscrapers.
Upper-class and luxury apartments in Bolivia, which are located in the best neighborhoods, will cost you between $80,000 and $200,000.
Remember that buying real estate in Bolivia is a highly risky process, you need to know very well what you are doing in order to go through this process.
We have a complete guide about how to buy a house or any real estate in Bolivia, with all the risks, advantages, steps and requirements, in the following direction: How to buy a house in Bolivia? All the steps and precautions.
How much is the cost of commercial real estate in Bolivia?
There are many different kinds of commercial real estate you can buy in Bolivia, but here we are going to talk about just the main types, as they are more common in the country. These 2 types are:
- Retail commercial properties and.
- Business and office commercial properties.
|Type of commercial property||Avg. property price||Price range in category|
|Retail spaces||$70,000||$20,000 to $150,000|
|Offices for businesses||$50,000||$20,000 to $600,000|
A) The cost of retail spaces
In Bolivia, people who have money to invest often buy this kind of property to start a business, like for example, a commercial center, a marketplace, a grocery store, a doctor’s office, a gym, an entertainment area, a restaurant, etcetera. But the majority of these spaces will become some kind of specialized retail stores.
People often pay between $20,000 and $150,000 for investing in commercial properties that can support the activities we just mentioned. The range of sizes for these prices goes from 250 ft2 to 1,100 f2. It’s pretty normal to see a price from $40 per square foot to $100 per square foot, or even more for these commercial properties in the country, and are normally located in very commercial locations of Bolivian cities.
B) The cost for business offices
The majority of mid-rises and high-rises in the principal cities of Bolivia have ambiences for business purposes, like offices, bank agencies, corporate branches, and other similar businesses. This is different in Santa Cruz, where mostly the business purpose spaces are located in family type houses.
It’s common to see these commercial properties (business and corporate spaces) to have an extension from 200 ft2 to 6,000 ft2, with prices ranging from $100/ft2 to $150/ft2, and buying costs can go from $20,000 to $600,000 for the largest ones.
As you can see, a price range between $100/ft2 and $150/ft2 may be very high for these properties, but such prices are now common (in 2022) in the 2 major cities of Bolivia, La Paz and Santa Cruz, but are lower in smaller cities like Cochabamba, Oruro or Sucre. In these cities, prices per ftz2 can range between $50 and $100.
Remember that you can’t buy a rural land in Bolivia
With the actual laws that are applied in Bolivia, you as a foreigner, can’t buy rural property or agrarian property in the country, this is against the Constitution of Bolivia. No matter how large or small it is or where it’s located, if it is outside an urban area, you can’t buy it, unless you are a Bolivian citizen.
We have a complete guide about whether you can buy or can’t buy rural real estate in Bolivia, with all the details of possible workarounds to this issue, in the following direction: Can foreigners buy real estate in Bolivia? All you need to know.
These laws have been enforced in order to protect the sovereignty of Bolivia. Anyways, you can buy any urban land that is located within the boundaries of a city or urban area.
How much is the cost of urban lands?
The price of urban land depends a lot on where it’s located. We can divide an urban land in Bolivia in 3 main categories:
- Land lots in developing or recently created urban zones and areas
- Land lots in average established and mid class zones.
- Land lots in very commercial and residential luxury zones.
|Type of urban land||Avg. land price||Price range in category|
|Lands in outskirts of the cities||$10,000||$4,000 to $30,000|
|Average urban lands||$120,000||$50,000 to $200,000|
|Commercial or residential lands||$320,000||$200,000 to $500,000|
A) Land lots in developing or recently created urban zones and areas
This type of land is located on the edge of the major cities of Bolivia, lands there are very near to rural areas and most of them lack even basic home services, like water or light.
The average per ft2 price for this type of land goes from $2 to $8, and lands of this type range from 2,000 ft2 to 4,000 ft2 in size, so, recently created urban lands will cost you between $4,000 up to $30,000 in Bolivia.
Currently, the main purpose for buying this type of land is for investment purposes, but you need to know that people who live in the surrounding area will sometimes just try to steal the property from you. If they see that nobody is looking out for the land, after a while, they will just move and settle inside it, this is a process called illegal takeover of lands, and is a big longtime problem in Bolivia.
B) Lands in average established and middle class zones
All the lands which are not: a) in the outskirts of urban areas or b) in the most exclusive or commercial neighborhoods and areas of the cities, enter within this category.
These land lots will commonly have a ft2 price between $25 to $50 and will normally have an extension between 2,000 ft2 and 4,000 ft2. Average urban lands in Bolivia will cost you from $50,000 to $200,000.
Bolivian people buy this kind of urban land mainly with the purpose to construct their homes and settle there, but also, to make long-term investments, so, after a decade or more, end up owning a property that has increased its price by 3x or 5x.
C) Lands in very commercial and residential luxury zones
These are the most pricey land lots in the urban areas. They’re located in the best zones, most commercial zones or in the central areas of principal cities of Bolivia.
Because of their relevance, these lands almost always have ft2 prices that range from $75 to $125, averaging sizes of 3,000 ft2 to 4,000 ft2. So, lands in the best zones and neighborhoods of Bolivia will cost you between $200,000 and $500,000.
Many of these land lots are situated in the corners of main streets and avenues of highly commercial zones and areas of Bolivian cities. Investors normally buy these land lots to build there skyscrapers, but also marketplaces, commercial centers, corporate offices etcetera. Instead, in residential areas, are wealthy folks who usually buy these land lots to build their single family homes there.
Remember that buying real estate in Bolivia is a risky process, so you must know very well what you are doing in order to walk through this process and avoid these risks.
We have a complete guide about how to buy a house or real estate in Bolivia, with all the advantages, risks, steps and requirements, in the following direction: How to buy a house in Bolivia? All the steps and precautions.
We recommend you to rent instead of buy a house in Bolivia
As you can see, if you want to buy low-end houses, apartments or lands, you are at the risk of being scammed or losing your property, because of illegal property takeovers. Also, if you’re living there, you will need to take into account the always present threats to your possessions and yourself.
But, if you buy high-end houses in the best exclusive zones of major cities of Bolivia, you will end up spending a lot of money, even more than you would have spent in some American or European cities, but you will live as if you werw in the first world, with almost the same comfort, lifestyle and functionality.
Finally, if you want to buy an average house in Bolivia, maybe that’s a better option for your pocket, but you need to first know the culture and how things work here. So after this, you can buy these houses with less risk and with more information and experience.
That’s why we recommend you to instead of starting by buying a house in Bolivia, you first should rent a house here. After a while, once you know how things work in the country, you may be able to make a decision in order to buy a house or property here.
If you rent a house in Bolivia before buying, you will get some advantages:
- Your expenses can be as low as $300 to $1,000 for a very high-end house or apartment, this amount of money is a lot less than what you could spend for renting a house in the first world. Also with a lot less risk, by using for example Airbnb, which has hosts in many neighborhoods of Bolivia.
- You will know what it is like to live in Bolivian houses and you will realize what you will get for your money. Also, you’ll learn how the legal stuff and paperwork for real estate works in Bolivia, which by the way is a complicated process, with a lot of delays and details even for Bolivian people.
- Ultimately, you will be able to decide whether living in Bolivia is or not worth it, without spending a lot of money at the beginning and without making a huge investment that you later may regret.
We have an in-depth guide about how to rent a house or an apartment in Bolivia, with all the steps, requirements, risks, precautions and costs about doing this real estate transaction, in the next direction: How to rent a house in Bolivia? All you need to know.
In this article about how much a house costs in Bolivia, we have shown you the main facts about home prices, apartment prices and other kinds of prices related to real estate in our country. As you saw, prices for buying a home in Bolivia can vary a lot, with the cheapest ones going from tens of thousands of dollars, to the most expensive ones, that may even cost millions and even more than high-end properties in first world countries.
You just learned that cheap and modest Bolivian homes have prices around $40,000, mild-class houses around $100,000, and residential or luxury houses around $400,000. Normal apartments cost about $80,000 and upper-class apartments about $150,000. Urban lands can range from $4,000 for the cheapest ones to nearly $500,000 for the most expensive ones.
Also, you’ve seen that it’s not possible to buy rural land in Bolivia unless you are a Bolivian citizen. Finally, you know now that buying a property or real estate here could be a complex and risky process, so we encourage you to first rent a house instead of buying it, unless you really know what you’re doing, because you could end up losing it all if you don’t know how things work in this country.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to get every detail about real estate in Bolivia, with all the numbers, facts and forecasts, visit our dedicated guide in the following direction: Real estate in Bolivia, a complete overview.
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