Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo
As the largest and most famous cities in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo are the safest opportunities for investment, although prices are likely to be high in the desirable areas and percentage returns will diminish proportionately.
The two cities have a relationship similar to New York and Los Angeles –
Sao Paolo is the centre of government and finance in the country, and is therefore likely to be popular with those looking for commercial and office properties. Breathtakingly monumental, Sao Paolo epitomises urban city life and despite its large population has a remarkably clean atmosphere. It is also able to encompass green spots such as the Bosque de Leitura, a large park with a lake and open air library facilities which provide a pleasant break from the bustle of city dwelling. There are endless shopping opportunities with the Jardins district of the city providing numerous designer stores and come the evening, the hive of activity continues as the city teems with bars, clubs and restaurants.
Rio, the cidade maravilhosa (beautiful city), has a reputation for Carnival and the arts and is a city of decadence. Regarded as the Carnival Capital of the World, the Rio carnival attracts 500,000 foreign tourists annually in the days leading up to Easter celebrations. Sandwiched between mountains and the sea, Rio has 45 miles of white-sand seafront, including the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and is therefore likely to be popular with those wanting to take advantage of high tourist numbers and the city's reputation as one of the great romantic destinations. Littered with museums, galleries, theatres and churches there is also an escape from urban life provided by excursions to Ilha de Paquetá, a small picturesque island with no motorised transport.
Rio Grande do Norte
Whilst the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo are undoubtedly popular destinations, higher returns and greater potential for growth are more likely in the north of Brazil. The area is attracting interest from investors as it is relatively underdeveloped and has a wealth of natural beauty. With rainforest sweeping down to some of the finest beaches in the world, the north combines a fresh, unexplored feel with properties designed to a luxury standard.
The state is reported to have the cleanest air and the purest water in the whole of South America (second in the world behind the Antartic), and in a recent survey the capital city of the area, Natal was found to have the lowest crime rate and one of the highest quality of life rankings in the country. Natal offers exceptional food, scenery and entertainment at a fraction of the cost of its more southerly competitors and is becoming a firm favourite amongst tourists especially Europeans, who only have to fly 7 hours to reach its sandy shores. With an average temperature of 30°C, 360 days of sunshine a year and up to 400km of truly spectacular beaches it is not hard to understand Natal's popularity.
It should be noted that many other less developed areas along the coast have security issues.
Bordering the Atlantic Ocean in north eastern Brazil, Ceara is a popular tourist destination, with Pinto Martins International Airport welcoming charter flights from all over Europe and the USA. Until recently the area was largely underdeveloped but the government has since concentrated its efforts on increasing the tourist industry in the area, enticing an influx of foreign investors in commercial and residential properties. In spite of being one of the smallest states in Brazil, Ceara offers one of the longest coastlines in the country and its excellent beaches and unspoilt countryside are a major attraction for visitors to the area. There are strong investment opportunities in this region and top-class new developments are being snapped up by overseas property buyers.
Pernambuco is highly populated and offers some lucrative opportunities for property purchasers, due to a thriving tourist trade, easy access to Europe and comparatively low property prices. The nerve knot of the region is the state of Pernambuco's capital city of Recife, which is one of the largest cities in Brazil with a population of over 1,500.000 inhabitants. Beautiful sandy beaches with warm waters attract international visitors and real estate investors to the area, while a solid infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and other services is widely available. The entire coastline of Pernambuco is dotted with beaches to suit all tastes, such as Maria Farinha for water sports and Porto de Galinhas, reputed by many as the best beach in Brazil.
Whereas areas such as Natal and Forteleza have specialised in low cost, cheaper tourism and properties, Alagoas has the advantage of being the destination of choice for Brazilians, with stunning beaches, a relaxed atmosphere and sympathetic building control.
Most of the state is planted with coconut trees and sugar cane offering stunning, rolling green landscapes. The beaches often benefit from coral reefs that create delightful variations in hue cascading through the range of blue, green and turquoise. The reefs also form natural pools that are popular for snorkelling due to the abundant fauna and flora that can be observed within them and the area is also a popular destination for surfing and bodyboarding. Maceio, the state capital, is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, situated along a vast beach that stretches for over 200km. The city is exceptionally clean, with tiled buildings and a beachfront with a wide, tree lined promenade that plays host in the evening to locals and tourists alike.
Alagoas has a tropical climate with the temperature ranging from an average of 21°C in June to 28°C in January. The most prominent aspect of the city is the huge swathe of beach and Maceio reflects its geographical reliance on the ocean within its more traditional architecture and the laid back ambience that emanates from its citizens.
This region is located on Brazil's north east coast and its major city of Salvador is the third largest city in Brazil. Property development in Bahia state is concentrated in tourist resort areas where considerable resources have gone into building a new infrastructure, including an airport to support a boom in international development. It boasts year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and a vibrant culture of music, carnival and festivals which draws tourists to the region in numbers never witnessed before. Government incentives are actively encouraging foreign investment in Bahia. Income levels and the cost of living are still lower in Bahia than in first-world countries and there are opportunities for investment in the popular tourist locations.