There are several characteristics that a buyer or investor looks for when choosing a property. Among them are the location, height, orientation, amenities and the state of the property. But, the purchase parameters, in addition to examining a good price, a nice place and that the documentation is in order, contemplate that the place is as safe as possible.

    Insecurity continues to be one of the most important concerns of the population. With crime taking over the streets, not only direct damage is generated, but freedoms are also restricted. Because, with insecurity, the weather becomes cloudy, the environment is immersed in a feeling of fear or uncertainty. That fear, which tomorrow can happen to anyone, is not a hypothesis. People wonder when it will happen. Therefore, the buyer knows that, in those areas with the highest crime rate, physical integrity is at risk and they keep this in mind when choosing a property.

    In other words, Citizen security is a preponderant factor when choosing a home to move into.s. It has a strong implication when it comes to making an economic decision of scale that has a direct impact on the quality of life. It even does more than influence the choice of location for the family residence; It also affects real estate values.

    The crime rate of the area can vary the value of the square meter considerably. In some cases, up to 30%, 40% or up to 50%. This is how we can find a close correspondence between real estate prices and security conditions in the area. Those neighborhoods that established security policies in an uninterrupted manner experienced new private investments for the construction of houses, shopping centers and offices, resulting in many people deciding to move or invest in those places.

    The categorical examples where the increase in property values ​​can be observed, in accordance with the low levels of insecurity, are municipalities such as Tigre, Vicente López, San Isidro, and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires itself. With strong development and growth, Tigre has managed to reduce crimes considerably, reaching average prices above US$3,000/m²; Vicente López, by applying a sophisticated citizen security system, has become a star in sales in the northern zone; and San Isidro is also considered one of the most active and demanded real estate markets in the AMBA, and the strict security policy developed for decades is one of the main pillars of its growth.

    On the other hand, in areas of the Buenos Aires suburbs where the crime rate grew -as in the judicial departments of Lomas de Zamora, San Martín, Quilmes and La Matanza, which register 62% of the crimes in the entire suburb-, they undoubtedly have less demand. This achieves that in some neighborhoods of these municipalities the value of the square meter depreciates considerably, as well as, to a great extent, its development is disadvantaged.

    Ultimately, the area’s crime rate has the power to attract or drive away buyers and investors, just as it can change the value of the square foot. For this reason, it is essential to find out about neighborhood policies aimed at improving citizen security: by positively affecting the quality of life, the security of an area is an attractive feature when doing real estate business.

    Diego Migliorisi is managing partner of Migliorisi Propiedades.

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