What you can expect
The housing market in Chile is very active, and government investment in housing programs has continued this trend as more property comes onto the market. With local Chileans preferring apartment living over houses generally, the demand for rental properties of this kind is understandably high in most major cities and towns.
However, there exist thousands of real estate companies and agents who are more than happy to help in your search for a place to live. Also, with a little ingenuity you could even agree terms to share a rented space with a local individual or family at lower prices.
In Santiago, rental prices average:
- 1 bedroom furnished apartments between 175,000 CLP and 240,000 CLP (US$370 - US$508 approximately).
- 2 bedroom furnished apartments are available for between 222,000 CLP and 380,000 CLP (US$470 - US$805).
Prices in outlying areas of Santiago can be marginally more expensive than those in the centre as recent housing developments have been focused in these residential areas away from the commercial centre.
Rental prices in other cities are considerably cheaper, and for those seeking a more affordable cost of living, alternative locations such as Valparaiso and Viña del Mar offer a great deal at reduced cost. However, with the latter being such a popular resort with tourists, prices can vary with seasons and are generally higher than the more gentile Valparaiso.
Arranging accommodation from abroad
Arranging accommodation from abroad can be difficult in some cases as few Chileans speak English, or any language other than Spanish. However if you are lucky enough to have a good grasp of Spanish (or a friend or contact who does) most problems can be resolved easily enough.
One important thing to bear in mind if you are trying to find housing from outside the country, is that some website listings have an unfortunate tendency to misrepresent details (especially the precise location of a property). To really put your mind at ease, it may be useful in some cases (and cheaper in the long run) to book a short stay in a hotel, and use classifieds and newspapers to contact as many realtors and letting agents as possible ‘on the ground’.
This may not be possible for most people though, and thorough research from abroad can be invaluable in deciding which neighbourhoods suit your work, travel or educational needs before committing to travelling to the country. When you are fully armed with the information about your requirements and desired location, your search can begin with much more certainty.