Monday, December 4, 2023

ARGENTINA | 26-09-2023 15:33

Prices in dollars puts Argentines’ summer vacations in doubt

When the sweltering summer arrives, many in Argentina flock to the Atlantic coast for their summer break. But with inflation eating away at spending power and prices now being listed in dollars, 'verano en la costa' is now out of reach for many.

Argentines are facing the prospect of putting their summer vacations on ice as runaway inflation and dollarised prices put rental hotspots out of reach.

The Atlantic coast, dotted with seaside spots, resorts and towns, is often packed during the summer season. One of Argentina’s most popular tourist destinations, along with Patagonia, Córobda and Mendoza, the region draws millions to its beaches during the summer months.

But with this year’s election and economic instability looming large in the minds of many, inflation and exchange rate turmoil is putting vacation goers off booking their regular break.

In resorts such as Cariló and Pinamar, most summer rentals are being listed in dollars outright. Those that are still being offered for fees in pesos have been hiked by as much as 150 percent compared to the 2022/2023 season.

For example, in Cariló, renting a house now costs between US$2,000 to US$11,000 a week, depending on the characteristics and location. One house by the sea, with four bedrooms, was being offered at US$11,000 at the time of writing, while another in the golf area with three bedrooms and two structures is US$3,700, while a house near the centre with three bedrooms and a swimming pool costs US$4,700 for seven days.

While the vast majority of prices are in dollars, those that have remained in pesos have risen sharply in order to keep up with inflation. 

"For the flats that we rent, we do it in pesos, but the increase is 150 percent compared to last year and the total must be paid in advance," said one source in the real-estate sector that oversees departments with amenities and services, often highly in demand.

At other tourist locations, such as Mar del Plata, reference prices have not been set as owners struggle to work out costs due to the uncertainty generated by runaway inflation and the likely change of government in December.

Despite being a much larger resort, and offering more diverse options, Argentina’s main seaside resort still remains in stasis.

"In general terms, there are not many prices, the ones we already have are with a 100 percent increase compared to last year," said a local real-estate representative from the city.

"Prices are in pesos, although there are specific cases in areas in front of the sea with top-tier flats that are in dollars," they emphasised.

Owners, real-estate agents and tenants are hoping the outlook for prices will start to become clearer in the next weeks.



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