In Bolivia the cost of land has a wide range, you can find urban land lots on the edge of the cities for just a few thousand dollars if you are lucky. You also can find average land lots in average neighborhoods inside major cities for a few tens of thousands of dollars, but in the most exclusive zones lands are incredibly expensive and only rich Bolivian people can afford them. Rural lands also have a wide range of prices, but are not buyable by people from overseas.
Urban lands in Bolivia have sale prices that vary a lot depending on where they’re located. A 4,000 ft2 land on the cities’ outskirts cost ~$10,000, the same size land in an average neighborhood ~$120,000 and in an exclusive zone ~$320,000. Rural lands cost ~$1,000/acre, but foreigners can’t buy it.
In this article, we’ll talk about how much you’ll pay to buy different kinds of land for sale in our country. We’re Bolivian real estate experts (you can see our Bolivian real estate website). We know all the facts that you need to understand in order to get the best sense about the cost of this type of property here. That’s said, let’s go with all the details.
The 2 types of lands in Bolivia
Depending on the land location, there are 2 types of land lots in our country, and this will determine a lot the price and availability of them:
- Urban land lots (inside cities and urban areas).
- Rural lands (within rural areas of Bolivia).
|Type of land||Avg size||Avg. price||Price range|
|Urban land in the outskirts||4,000 ft2||$10,000||$4,000 to $30,000|
|Common urban land||4,000 ft2||$50,000||$50,000 to $200,000|
|Exclusive / commercial urban land||4,000 ft2||$400,000||$200,000 to $500,000|
|Rural land in general||123.5 – 12,355 acres||$1,000 per acre||$20-$5,000 per acre|
A) Urban lands
An urban land is a property without any kind of construction that is located inside an urban area, town or city of Bolivia. These are lots of land that are located within any city or urban area. By law, urban lands can’t pass around 100,764 ft2 in extension (max 10,000 m2 in size) in the country.
No matter if you are from Bolivia or from overseas, you don’t have any limitations or restrictions when buying an urban land here. The paperwork you will need to do to buy urban land is almost the same as for Bolivians.
B) Rural lands
A rural land is a property without any kind of construction that is located outside an urban area of Bolivia, in rural areas. These are huge extensions of land that are within rural areas, outside the cities. By law, rural lands must have a min size of and acres 123.5 acres and a max size of 12,355 acres.
Unfortunately by law, people from overseas are not allowed to buy any kind of rural land here in Bolivia. The 2 only ways you can buy rural land here are:
- With the help of a company created in Bolivia, of which you’ll have some kind of ownership, but the land needs to be used for production or the government will get it back.
- By becoming a Bolivian citizen. We’ll talk more about this option in a later section.
The cost of urban land in Bolivia
Here, we’ll focus on the cost of urban lands, which are available for sale to any foreigner that wants to buy them. The price of urban lands depend a lot on their location, as we detail below:
- Urban lands on the edge of the Bolivian cities.
- Urban lands in average zones and neighborhoods.
- Urban lands in the most commercial and exclusive zones.
1) Urban lands on the edge of urban areas
Bolivia’s population is growing very fast and cities are expanding at a high rate. This turns out that, on the edge of urban areas, a lot of rural land is becoming urban land lots, and almost all of them are put up for sale. These newly created urban lands, in the edges of the cities are, by far, less expensive to buy.
The cost of this type of land
You can buy a 4,000 ft2 urban land on the edge of urban areas and cities of Bolivia for about $10,000 and, in some cases, for only $4,000. The price for this type of land generally ranges from $4,000 to $30,000.
The price depends also a lot on the city where you want to buy the land, and also on the neighborhood. For example, at the border of Santa Cruz, you may be even able find a 4,000 ft2 land lot for only $4,000, but if you buy it in a highly priced urbanization like the one called Urubo “2” (not Urubo), which also is located in the outskirts of the city, a 4,000 ft2 piece of land will be no less than $20,000.
However, in most cases, if you buy a land lot inside a marginal neighborhood, located on the outskirts of a major Bolivian city, it will cost you around $10,000.
2) Urban lands in average zones and neighborhoods
If you’ll buy urban land inside an average neighborhood of a common Bolivian city, which is not located on the edge of the city, but also is not one of the most residential or or commercial neighborhoods there, then, the cost of this land will be also average.
The cost of this type of land
You can buy a common 4,000 ft2 urban land located on an average neighborhood of a Bolivian city for around $120,000, but this price has a wide range, going from $50,000 to $200,000 in most cases.
This range depends heavily on the location of the land, the closer to the center of the city it is, the higher its price will be. Also, in some little spaced cities, like La Paz city, the average price for a common 4,000 ft2 land will be well over $150,000 most of the time.
But in the other cases, when the land lot is located in an average neighborhood of a normally spaced city (e.g. Santa Cruz), then, it will generally cost between $50,000 to $150,000.
3) Urban lands in the most exclusive and commercial zones
If you want to buy a piece of land located in the most residential / commercial areas and neighborhoods of Bolivia, (e.g. Equipetrol in Santa Cruz, Calacoto in La Paz or Cala Cala in Cochabamba) you’ll get way more expensive prices, no matter in which part of the neighborhood the land will be located.
The cost of this type of land
You can buy a 4,000 ft2 urban land lot located in an exclusive or highly commercial neighborhood of a Bolivian city for around $320,000, and this price usually will go from $200,000 to $500,000 for a land of this size.
Even more, not only very exclusive neighborhoods have these high prices in Bolivia, but also:
- All the land lots located in the center of major cities of Bolivia.
- All the land lots located in highly commercial zones, where endless markets of any kind are present.
There is an advantage in some of these land lots, they are located in the most exclusive urban zones of Bolivia. In these places you will feel like if you were living in a developed country, also, a lot of foreigners choose to live there. Most of the rich Bolivian people also live inside these neighborhoods.
Rural land and its general cost in Bolivia
The average price for 1 acre of rural land in Bolivia, in the last few years, has been around $1,000/acre. But this price has a wide range, in the worst rural places with little potential for productivity, few development and similar situations, 1 acre or rural land can cost just $20/acre. On the other hand, in the best rural areas with a lot of productivity potential, 1 acre can go up to $5000/acre.
Depending on the rural location, 1 acre of rural land can go from $20 to $5000, with an average of $1,000/acre in sale price.
As we said before, foreigners can’t buy rural land in Bolivia, we have more details about this in the following section.
Foreigners can’t own rural land in Bolivia
We are sorry to tell you that foreigners are prohibited by law to buy rural land in Bolivia. This regulation has been made for sovereignty purposes according to the Bolivian government.
Normative about this
The Agrarian Reform Reform states in its Art. 46 (II) (Translated: Link) that Bolivian owners of rural land are not allowed to sell or rent any kind of rural property in Bolivia to natural or legal foreigners. Nevertheless, this Article has some flexibility, it permits to make a “shared risk contract” between Bolivian and foreign entities in order to run agricultural activities on rural land.
Also, bear in mind that foreigners from nearby countries (e.g. a Chilean in the frontier of Bolivia and Chile) can’t own any kind of property, no matter if it’s either an urban or rural property, on the 31-mile wide frontier of Bolivia (Art. No. 262 of Bolivia’s State Constitution, Translated: Link).
Despite this, regulations don’t say anything about operating on rural land through a Bolivian company (Bolivian legal person), of which you can be the owner in the form of solelyship, partnership or stocks. Anyway, you won’t be able to use the land other than for production purposes of your company.
We have a detailed guide about if you can and which ways you have to own rural land in Bolivia in the following direction: Can foreigners buy rural land in Bolivia? All the facts and regulations.
If you get the Bolivian citizenship you do can own rural land
There’s a way around the prohibition about trying to buy rural land in Bolivia as a foreigner. The way to use it is by first becoming a Bolivian citizen, or what is the same, by obtaining Bolivian citizenship.
This is a somewhat complicated process and to achieve this residence status, you first need to meet one the following requirements:
- Having a parent who is a Bolivian.
- Getting married to a Bolivian person.
- Asking for Bolivian citizenship after permanently living here for 3 years.
By becoming a Bolivian citizen, you’ll be allowed to buy as much rural property as you would like, and also to use it in any way you may want. But getting this citizenship has a lot of pros and cons you need to consider. Additionally, the paperwork can be complex if you don’t have the right legal assistance.
We have a complete guide about how to get the Bolivian citizenship, with all the details, costs, steps and risks, in the following direction: link
In this guide, you just got all the numbers to have a better sense on how much you’ll spend when buying either urban or rural land in Bolivia.
You now know that new urban lands located in the outskirts of the cities, which also have just become urban lots because of the increasing size of the cities, will cost around $10,000, but you can find many of them for around $5,000 or even $3,000 in the best cases. Also, there are land lots in some marginal, but costly, neighborhoods that can go up to $20,000 or even $30,000 in sale prices.
You also understood that most of the land lots available inside major Bolivian cities will cost you around $50,000, with the exception of the cities with little space to grow, like La Paz, where you’ll find that lands are more expensive. Also, 4,000 ft2 land lots in exclusive or commercial neighborhoods can go up to $500,000 in price, and is where most wealthy people and foreigners live in Bolivia.
You also have learned that it’s not allowed by law for a foreign person, no matter if he is natural or legal, to buy rural land in Bolivia. The only way you can buy rural land is by becoming a Bolivian citizen or by creating a Bolivian company. Also, 1 acre of rural land in our country will cost you around $1,000, but it can go from $20 to $5,000 depending on which area it’s located.
We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know every detail about whether it’s possible or not to buy rural land in Bolivia, and the possible turn arounds about this, visit our dedicated guide: Can a foreigner buy land in Bolivia? All the details and regulations.
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