Category Archives: Real Estate

Basic Legal Requirements When Buying/Selling in Buenos Aires Argentina – Real Estate

Three Basic Legal Requirements When Buying/Selling Property in Buenos Aires

Whether you are buying or selling property in Buenos Aires, it is important for you to be aware of some of the legal requirements.

Firstly, whenever a property owner intends to sell a property, or acquire the right to construct on a property, he/she is required to notify the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos – AFIP (federal administration of public income, similar to the Internal Revenue Service in the United States).  The AFIP must be notified only if the transaction will have a value equal to, or greater than, $300,000 Argentine pesos.  The transaction must be completed by the owner or his/her representative by contacting the AFIP by telephone, cell phone or via internet (www.afip.gov.ar).

Secondly, if a real estate broker is going to intervene in the sale, a 90-day contract granting the broker authorization and exclusive rights to sell the property is drawn up between the seller and the broker.   Within 30 days, the AFIP must be notified of the broker’s involvement in the sale.  It is then the broker’s responsibility to notify the AFIP when a deposit is made on the property and when the property title is transferred.

Thirdly, the title transfer must be completed by an escribano publico (notary public).  In Argentina, a notary public is a highly qualified individual with a law degree and additional post-graduate studies. When a property is sold, the escribano publico serves as a public official who guarantees the legality of the property title, the authenticity of the seller, and the legitimate transfer of the property title from seller to buyer.  It is imperative that you ensure you have a qualified escribano publico handling the sale of any property, especially if you are the buyer. *

There are costs associated with these different steps, all based on percentages of the property’s sale price.   A 1.5% property sales tax, known as Impuesto a la Transferencia del Inmueble (ITI), is due if the seller is not reinvesting the proceeds of the sale in the purchase of another property.   The costs of transfering the propery title from seller to buyer runs between 6% and 9%.  The realtor’s commission averages 3% to 4%.

* In Argentina an escribano publico must be registered with his/her local Colegio de Escribanos.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

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Foreign Holding of Rural Lands in Argentina

Millionaire businessmen, magnates and multinational corporations are all buying up huge areas of land in Argentina. Making the most of the cheap prices and lack of restrictions they now own a significant percentage of Argentine soil. A new law is being introduced to help limit the dominance of foreign holding of rural lands buyers.  The new bill is called ‘Protection of National Dominium of Property, Possession or Holding of Rural Lands (in Spanish, Protección al Dominio Nacional sobre la Propiedad, Posesión o Tenencia de las Tierras Rurales). The President Christina Fernández has decided to urgently push this bill through that will impact the investments of foreign magnates.

The law will limit the control of foreign holding of rural lands to 20%. The law will affect rural land that is already been bought by foreign investors. Non-Argentine owners will be given 180 days to report their possessions to the government. A new National Register of Rural Lands will also be created that will keep a record of land ownership and the nationalities of owners. So why should the government defend the ownership of the rural areas? The government argues that land is a non-renewable resource that is different from normal types of investments. Nevertheless, the main reason for introducing such a radical and protectionist law is the sheer number of hectares owned by foreigners in Argentina.

The worst foreign holder of rural land ‘offender’ is Luciano Benetton, owner of the famous Benetton fashion brand, who possesses one million hectares in Patagonia: is the size of a small country. When Benetton bought the land it caused huge controversy and brought the issue to the attention of the Argentine public and media. Another foreign owner of Argentine land is Douglas Tomkins, a multimillionaire American and ecologist. Tomkins owns 350,000 hectares in Corrientes, Santa Cruz, Neuquén and Tierrra del Fuego. He does put the land to good use: implementing areas of preservation and conservation, however many Argentines feel it unfair that a foreigner could have so much dominium in their country.

Other famous foreign owners of Argentina include; Englishman Joe Lewis owns 18,000 hectares in Río Negro and American Ted Turner owns 5,000 hectares in Neuquén and Tierra del Fuego. It isn’t just millionaire individuals buying up rural areas: in recent years, Arab and Asian corporations have also jumped on the bandwagon. For instance, the Chinese corporation Heilongjiang will use 330,000 hectares of land in Río Negro to produce food products for export.

The new law will limit the percentage of ownership and prevent foreigners from buying more than 1000 hectares in any one place. The bill is similar to legislation in force in the UK and USA.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

Argentina Real Estate Market

The Argentine housing market, along with many other parts of the economy, has seen some interesting ups and downs in the last decade. Following the 2002 crisis, the housing market benefited greatly for two reasons: First, as people had lost their faith in the financial market, the started pouring their financial resources into real estate. Secondly, construction costs that were measured in dollars fell dramatically, due to devaluation.

Unlike the 1990s, when demand was mostly stimulated by mortgages, the early 2000s saw many purchases being made in cash. The buyers and builders came from all sorts of different economic sectors, and they all saw a positive revenue flow as a result.

Today, all of these conditions have, once again, changed dramatically. Not only is Argentina is in the midst of economic and political uncertainty, but the mortgage advertisements have made little to no impact, as that credit simply isn’t available. And given the recession, people are less willing to turn their cash into bricks, preferring to retain liquid assets until the political and economic situations develop further. Many have expected a devaluation of the peso after the election, and, furthermore, nobody can tell how long the recession will last.

If the peso continues to fall, so will the salaries of those working in exportation sectors. However, if the dollar falls, it will become increasingly difficult to put any stock in the current dollar prices that apply to the real estate market.

Currently, the market is hampered because most people won’t accept that their home or property is worth less than they think it is, or less than it should be, which is the case for so many. On the other hand, it is important to remember that the market is what dictates these values, and the real price of assets can fluctuate from day to day, or month to month.

So property owners can maintain that their property is worth, say, USD 500,000, but if there are no buyers, then what can be said of that value? At the same time, those who did buy property in recent years are in a great situation, because they have no mortgage companies urging them to sell. They can hang on to their properties longer, assuming the costs of maintaining that asset don’t change too much (taxes, etc.).

If people do not have the resources to buy a place of their own, then, there is always the option to rent. Costs, however, are not so agreeable, and it is increasingly difficult to find people who can actually afford the asked rent. In short, the Buenos Aires real estate market isn’t dynamic because the prices simply do not meet the demand, both in properties for sale and for rent.

But looking at the near future, we can consider the following: 1) given the lack of money currently circulating and available, we can expect the emergence of mortgages that are actually realistic for potential buyers, which will, in turn, invigorate the market. And 2) an increase in the exchange rate will decrease the price per square meter, again, stimulating the housing market.

So it is important to realize that the market can only truly be unlocked if people are willing to accept that all assets have lost some value in Argentina, and the situation will only change if we look at long-term growth. Unfortunately, many are not willing to look at the long-term situation due to the political and economic uncertainty, but it is absolutely necessary in order to move forward into healthier, more prosperous times.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

New York taxi mogul retains Kier Joffe Attorneys at Law to buy a Plot of Land in La Dolfina Polo Ranch by Adolfo Cambiaso the best Polo Player in the World.

La Dolfina is Adolfo Cambiaso’s personal life project. It was conceived thinking in a concept of life quality, polo lifestyle and family, aiming to make it the premier polo destination in the world: Argentina.

The world’s best polo player was born in Cañuelas on 14 April 1975. He started playing at age 12 in La Martina, stay in his family is Vicente Casares. In 1988, at age 14, won the Desert Campaign Cup and the following year Renault Cup, reaching the six-goal handicap.His big year was 1994: he won the triple crown (Tortugas Open, Hurlingham Open and Argentine Open in Palermo) with Ellerstina and became the youngest player to reach 10-goal handicap. He was 19. He also holds the record of 16 goals in one game and the record of 67 goals in the championship in 1998.Since then he received numerous awards, including the Olimpia de Plata in 1997.In 2005 he founded his own team, La Dolfina, with Lucas Monteverde Mariano Aguerre and Bartolome Castagnola.Adolfito is married to model Mary Vazquez. They have two children Mia and Adolfo Jr., born in the midst of a party that Adolfito played in the Argentine Open Centaurs against Beaufort.It stands out not only as one of the best polo players in the world, but in its simplicity. “I am very simple and very relaxed. I do not mean more than enough. I am happy to be in a good team, with people like me. Playing with the guys who really enjoy themselves and live to be eighty, if I can. Having a family and have children, “he said when beginning his brilliant career”.

From the City of Buenos Aires the quickest and easiest way is to drivethe Avenida 9 de Julio direction opposite to river until AutopistaRiccheri (freeway). Hop onto this freeway and keep driving aprox 20 minutes (you will pass two tolls). When you see the sign that says Autopista Ezeiza Canuelas (205), take it and drive aprox 15 minutes (you will pass one toll). Then you will se a sign that says ALEJANDRO PETION.Take this direction left about 5 minutes (this street is called Calle Vissir). The road will end in a Country Club, you will see that entrance.That is road 205, that you will need to make a left about half a mile. The first available road (take it right), is the road that after a mile drives you to La Dolfina Polo Club. You will see the signs of the Club.The access to the Polo Ranch will be specified soon as the road is under construction. By now, the best way to get there is through La Dolfina Polo Club.

Argentina is the second larger country in South America after  Brazil. Located in the south of America,  is bounded by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay. Argentina is currently divided in 23 provinces and the Autonomous city of Buenos Aires.GeographyArgentina has a varied geography: subtropical forests and fast-flowing rivers to the northeast that give way to the Delta del Parana and to the Rio de la Plata. The premountain high plateau to the northwest has a mountain and desert weather, a central region with fertile pampas and the Patagonia. The Patagonia is located to the south and has huge extensions of prairies, high mountains, big lakes and woods. According to this, Argentina is divided in the following geographical areas: the pampas prairies, the Chaco prairies, the Mesopotamia, the Pampas Mountains, extra Andes Patagonia and oceanic Islands and Antarctica. The Andes region is divided into: north or northeast Andes, Andes from the Center or Cuyana and south Andes.In Argentina one can find all types of weather: though the major part of the country is located in the mild weather area of the South, most of the weather types can be found. Four of those types can be distinguished: subtropical, temperate, dry and cold, each with its corresponding variants.Kinds of weather and its main characteristics: Subtropical with no dry season (Northeast): Temperature is high, mild difference between winter and summer. Many precipitations during the whole year. Subtropical with dry season (North): Really hot during summer and warm during winter. Too many rains, mainly during the summer. Pampas temperate (covers the east pampas and south of the Mesopotamia). Temperature diminishes from the coast to the inside of the country. There is a lot of rain. Transition temperate (covers the west pampas): Summer is warmer and winter is colder due to lack of humidity. The amount of rain is not enough and it rains during the summer. Dry or mountain weather (covers the Puna and the central Andes): during winter it is very cold and during summer it is fresh. There is a wide difference in temperature between day and night. It scarcely rains, mainly in the summer, hence the atmosphere is extremely dry. Dry of the mountains (covers most of the area near the Pampas and pre Andes): Winters are cold and summers are warm. There is a wide difference in temperature between day and night. It scarcely rains, mainly in the summer. Dry cold (Patagonia): Temperatures are low and dry winds blow from the west. The few rains fall mainly in winter. There are a lot of snow precipitations in the south. Snow cold (Argentinean Antartida): Temperatures are below cero centigrade, winds are strong.Demographic SituationCurrently, Argentina’s population is of 36.000.000 approximately. 34% of the whole population is concentrated in the Autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the 19 areas around it (known as partidos, which belong to Buenos Aires). These areas are an extension of the federal district, known as Gran Buenos Aires. 2.960.000 people live in the city of Buenos Aires. It is visited by 7.000.000 people who come from the Gran Buenos Aires every day.Most of Argentina’s population is from Spanish and Italian origin. In general, it is noticeable the prevailing European origin.Argentina’s population growth rate has remained relatively constant since the middle of the 20th Century. It has just varied around 1.6% since 1947. Since then, the city of Buenos Aires has shown an important decrease due to the desire of the inhabitants to live outside the city.Whereas in Gran Buenos Aires there’s been an important increase of the population in the last 50 years and it has grown at an accumulative annual rate of 3.5%.The projections from the United Nations for the year 2025 show a decrease in the population growth rate estimated in 1.1% annually.TourismThe tourism flow during the year 2006there’s been an important increment in the number of tourists who visited Argentina, 15.3% respect to 2005, whereas it the number of people who travelled abroad didn’t change much (eventhough this period is characterized for being historically the most important for tourism).It is important to notice that the flow of tourism is not a phenomenon per sei but a refection of the growth that has been taking place since 2004, as can be seen in the graphic.The balance as regards tourism from 2006 is 37.2% than 2005 and 80% than 2004.European tourists remain the main segment in the IN tourism, 25.4%; followed by Brazil 18%, USA, Canada and the rest of America 15.7%per segment. Tourists from Chile 13%. The rest of the world 8.6% of tourists. Finally, the rest of the bounding countries 3.6%.As regards overnight stayings expenses per tourist, the higher average belongs to tourists from Chile, U$S 130. Though tourists from USA and Canada were the ones who spent more in 4 and 5 star hotels (U$S 230.70).The average stayings in the 1° quarter of 2008 was of 14.1 days, which surpassed the average of the same period the previous year which was 13.7 days. European tourists are the ones who stayed longer (22.9 days), influenced by those who stayed at friends or relatives, those surpassed the month.The average expenses per traveller in this period was U$S 1.062, similar to the previous year.The province of Buenos Aires is the most populated of Argentina, almost 14 millions of inhabitants according to the National Census of 2001. It is situated to the east, in the center to the country; among its borders we find the provinces of de Córdoba, La Pampa, Río Negro, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, as well as the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires which capital is the city of La Plata.Demographically, the province is constitued by a great part of Gran Buenos Aires, with 9.270.661 of inhabitants; more than the rest of the country inhabitants which are 4.556.542.

Argentina’s origin is based in a big influence of European countries. It is very similar in the culture and architecture to France, Spain and Italy. After all the crisis, Argentina recovers and flourishes with all the glamour and beauty as this country can give. Argentina enjoys of one of the nicest weathers in the world. The Pampas is basically a flat huge province (Buenos Aires), that enjoys various rains and makes it a very profitable place. Grain and cattle are big business. A huge income, tied to an important culture, results in a very interesting country with history, sports, tourism and culture.

Stabling your horses in La Dolfina Polo Ranch has never been easier. Top designers will build barns for horses including groom accommodation, tack room, storehouse and sheds for your comfort and your horses’.Perfectly conceived exercise tracks, easy access and maneuvering spots, and all the facilities that a Polo Club must have, following the vast experience of La Dolfina Polo Club, the Polo Ranch is one of the most complete projects of premier polo.

If you are a polo enthusiast ,a horse and outdoor life lover, La Dolfina Polo Ranch is the place for you.  Located 45 minutes from Buenos Aires city, La Dolfina Polo Ranch is the most exclusive development in the polo world. It is situated where the best polo player in the world and history chose to live. La Dolfina Polo Ranch is neighbor with La Dolfina Polo Club, home of Cambiaso and center of polo on the area, where important exhibitions and tournaments are played during the Argentinean season.It is the opportunity for you to find your perfect place, with three spectacular kinds of plots for you to choose from: Plots with your private polo fields, plots overlooking a central lake and plots with a shared polo field. And all the facilities you can imagine including a polo stadium, a boutique hotel and a club house.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

 

 

Real Estate: Summary and Critique of Argentina’s “Rural Land Law”

Argentina’s Rural Land Law

Last week, in an extraordinary session before summer recess, the Argentine Congress enacted a controversial law to restrict foreign ownership of rural lands. Law 26,737, introduced by the Executive Branch, passed with almost no floor debate. According to statements made by public officials, the law protects national sovereignty over natural resources by, among other things, limiting foreign ownership of rural lands to 1,000 hectares (approximately 2,500 acres) for each foreign person. Supporters of the law point to the massive holdings of Benetton and Ted Turner (Patagonia) and Douglas

Tompkins (northern Argentina wetlands) as examples of foreign wealth locking up sovereign resources. Read on for more about these restrictions and the disquieting uncertainties prompted by the law.

Summary of the Rural Land Law

The Rural Land Law restricts ownership and possession of rural land by natural and legal foreign persons. “Rural land” is broadly defined as “all land outside the urban area,” regardless of its location or use. While the Rural Land Law does not affect already acquired property and rights, it would affect future investments such as the acquisition of companies with rural land holdings.

Restrictions

The law imposes three restrictions on foreign ownership:

–      Foreign persons may not own more than 15% of all rural land in Argentina.

–      Of that 15%, no more than 30% may be owned by foreign persons of the same nationality.

–      Any one foreign person may not own more than 1,000 hectares (roughly 2,50 acres) in any “cluster” (zona núcleo) (a term that is not defined by the law). The Rural Land Law bans outright all foreign persons from owning coastal lands or other land adjacent to significant bodies of water. The law further prohibits foreign ownership of land within “border security zones,” absent consent from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, consistent with the exceptions and procedures established by law.

To implement its restrictions, the Rural Land Law calls for the creation of a “National Rural Land Registry,” a subdivision of the Ministry of Justice, and an Inter- Governmental Council of Rural Lands. The National Registry will be charged with

creating a database of rural lands owned by foreign persons. Current rural land owners subject to the “foreign person” definition are required to notify the National Registry within 180 days of the release of implementing regulations by the Executive Branch (which has not occurred yet). Any change in the ownership of a legal entity holding rural land must also be notified to the National Registry within 30 days of its occurrence.

Defining Foreign Persons

Foreign natural persons are not defined by the law but presumably the term excludes both natural-born and naturalized Argentine citizens. The law exempts three categories of foreign natural persons from its restrictions:

–      Those with 10 years or more of permanent and continuous residence in Argentina;

–      Those having Argentine children and at least five years of permanent and continuous residence in Argentina; and

–      Those married to an Argentine citizen for at least five years before acquiring the rural land (or interest in a legal person holding the land) and five years or more of permanent and continuous residence in Argentina.

As to legal persons domiciled in Argentina, the law defines them as “foreign” when:

–      Foreign natural or legal persons own more than 51% of its capital;

–      They are effectively controlled by any foreign legal person (which is presumed when foreign ownership exceeds 25%);

–      They have issued negotiable obligations or debentures, which allow a foreign holder to convert the instrument into equity representing more than 25% of the company’s capital stock; or

–      In the case of a trust holding rural land, when foreign beneficiaries have an interest in excess of 25%.

The law further declares rural land as a “non-renewable natural resource,” the acquisition of which will not be considered a protected investment under any Bilateral Investment Treaty to which Argentina is a party.

Commentary: Whose Interest is Being Protected?

The Rural Land Law is fraught with uncertainty, making it hard to assess its application. The law is patently contradictory in defining foreign legal persons (e.g., does a 51% or a 25% ownership threshold apply?). The law prompts obvious questions (e.g., would a foreign secured creditor be barred from foreclosing on a rural land mortgage? What is the

consequence of exceeding a nationality threshold? If a quota system, does a perspective buyer await an opening? How are natural persons with dual nationality to be considered?). Some or even all of these questions may be answered by the Executive Branch when it releases regulations. Nonetheless, it is unclear when this will be done.

The absence of meaningful debate only adds to the confusion prompted by the Rural Land Law. While a government may rightly assure that a country’s natural resources be available to its citizens, it would appear that the legislators have confused sovereignty with nationality. The owner’s nationality does not affect the State’s power to tax, to regulate, to condemn or even to expropriate in the public interest. It is hard to understand

the Rural Land Law as upholding any national interest, unless one accepts that the law will rightfully keep Argentine rural lands from being a world market commodity, thereby protecting the ability of Argentine citizens to acquire large landholdings without competing with foreign wealth. If so, it is hard to imagine the Argentine landed gentry as a class requiring the State’s protection.

The best Law firms, top Lawyers, Attorneys, Advocates, Solicitors and Barristers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Agriculture, Argentina, Farmland.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com