SAO PAULO Dec 30 Brazilian home prices rose 1
percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, indicating a more
positive outlook for homebuilders despite a harsh recession,
according to a survey compiled by VivaReal, an online
Despite the rise, the price of a square meter was the lowest
for any quarter this year, averaging 4,846 reais ($1,489.61), a
sign that unemployment and high borrowing costs continued to
discourage potential home buyers, the data showed.
Brazil's worst recession in decades has led to record
cancellations of home sales, a reduction in new developments and
in some homebuilders filing for bankruptcy protection.
Cheap rents are also keeping a lid on demand for real
estate. In the fourth quarter, residential leases slumped 8.3
percent in annual terms, reaching the lowest level since
VivaReal started keeping records three years ago.
"Rent values will only go up once expectations point to an
improvement in the economy," Lucas Vargas, VivaReal's chief
executive, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Brazil's depressed homebuilding market could see the start
of an upswing next year as developers regain confidence, Vargas
said, citing recent discussions with the companies.
For the first time in almost a year, developers have been
procuring consultants to gauge home buyers' demand, a sign they
may accelerate product launches some time in the second half of
2017, he said.
The VivaReal data is based on 2 million online ads from 30
Brazilian cities including Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and São
Paulo, where home prices are the highest in the country.
($1 = 3.2532 reais)
(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by