Land prices in the rural areas of Colombia are quickly on the rise, according to research. Data from the Agustín Codazzi Geographic Institute found that the average price of rural land in Colombia increased by 91% between the years 2012 and 2017. This appreciation is largely thanks to increased formalization for land purchases, improvements to infrastructure, and heightened political stability.
Research has also shown that an estimated 47.1 million hectares, constituting 42% of Colombia’s continental land area, is potentially available for sale in the country’s formal land markets. The high availability of land suggests that although prices have risen in recent years, the potential for further appreciation is still strong.
The availability of this data in and of itself is a positive signal. In developing economies like Colombia, it is rare for the rural areas to be surveyed in such an in-depth fashion, and many regions remain isolated and unknown. The ability of the government and other organizations to make statistical inroads into these areas is a sure sign of their imminent connection to global supply chains and economies of scale.
This formalization is in large part thanks to the efforts of the Rural Agricultural Planning Unit (UPRA in its Spanish acronym), a government organization dedicated to improving access to agricultural land and monitoring land usage and land transaction, according to the UPRA website. The organization has conducted surveys, helped landowners become registered in government databases, and issued formal titles to landowners in rural areas.
These steps have gone hand in hand with widespread efforts to improve infrastructural access in rural areas, which are often isolated from the rest of the country due to unpaved roads, poor signage, and sparse public services. The Fourth Generation (4G) infrastructure project, currently the largest of its kind in Latin America, has already made great strides in connected parts of Antioquia and Cordoba, two of the most productive agricultural regions in the country.
Political stability has also proven itself an important factor in land appreciation. No longer affected by civil unrest that plagued the country for decades, rural farmers are beginning to place more faith in the government and its programs, leading to higher productivity and long-term planning. Finalized in 2016, the peace agreement between the government and the FARC guerillas has opened the way for a new era of prosperity in the country, largely in rural areas.
Rural land in Colombia is appreciating quickly, but it will likely appreciate much faster in the future. The combination of infrastructure, formalization, and political stability is just now beginning to take effect, a trend that can be observed in the rapid rise of Colombia as a tourist destination and international business hub.
Colombia’s rural land is ideally situated, with port access on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In addition, the country features a wide range of soil and climate conditions, which allow for the production of a wide range of high-value agricultural products such as avocado and limes. Elevation, average rainfall, moisture levels, and air pressure all contribute to the fertility of Colombian land, which has been described as some of the most productive in the world.
Taken together, these factors present a significant opportunity for rural land in Colombia. As the interior regions of the country become more connected to global supply chains, the potential for continued appreciation is considerable. The country of Colombia is proving itself more than just a tourist destination – it is rapidly transforming into an agricultural powerhouse.