Could these two startups rejuvenate Buenos Aires' property market woes?

Patrick Chambers
4 min read

Mudafy founders entrepreneurs Franco Forte and Lucas Díaz want to remodel the process of buying and selling a property. The Argentine proptech aims to streamline real estate transactions so that they are faster, more reliable and more transparent. Their technology-driven solution has a number of facets. Mudafy first improves the customer experience by offering virtual 360° tours, showings and appraisals which are bookable online. The virtual tours do not consist of just a video of the premises, but rather an immersive experience. The tour’s objective is to make the viewer feel as if they are standing in the room, with tiny details and views from the window clearly visible. Despite a general lull in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, the virtual tours feature has been a game-changing value-add for the company, especially since multiple properties can be toured in one call. It has been estimated that the platform’s users spend roughly 70% less time on the purchase or rental process. Customers can also take advantage of the dynamic benchmark property price data, accessible on the online platform. They also work with a number of the most popular portals in the region, such as ZonaProp and Argenprop, so that the properties on their platform are at the top of the search results and therefore are more likely to be enquired about. Perhaps most importantly, the platform offers transparency. Buyers and renters in the region are often put off by stifling bureaucracy: high interest fees and large deposits are the norm. Mudafy clearly sets out a property’s costs, eliminating these expensive headaches.  

Mudafy                  Mudafy co-founders Lucas Díaz and Franco Forte. Image: Mudafy

On the real estate agent side, they provide a number of tools. Brokers work with Google Street View to show a property’s façade and with local government data to indicate to their customers whether there is any building work likely to be happening in the area. The platform’s data means they can filter more inappropriate properties for an individual client, and therefore leads to them closing on properties faster than traditional brokers. Mudafy, whose team took part in the prestigious startup accelerator program Y Combinator in Mountain View, California, has already gained 30,000 monthly users and has over 10,000 properties on its platform, an impressive feat. 


Alquilando, launched in January 2016, is another Argentine proptech revolutionising the property market, with a focus on long-term rentals. In 2019 it raised $1.1 million in a Pre-Series A round from investors including Rosental Inversores and NXTP Labs. Its online platform incorporates fintech and insurtech to optimise the process for both owners and tenants. Owners and managers can easily monitor their rentals’ status, with payments, repairs and other features all visible on the platform. Commissions are automatically allocated. Access to real estate agents is immediate and the secure platform enables rents to be collected on time even if the tenant pays late. Owners can even request rent advances of up 50% of the contract’s value via the platform and score tenants on a variety of metrics. The tenant experience is also transformed: tenants can upload proofs of payments, report incidents and manage inquiries, all from one portal on their mobile phone. You can make rental advances and automate rental payments. Alquilando works with Argentina’s main insurance and surety companies, such as BBVA Seguros and AvalTotal, which means users can compare a wide range of offers before picking the one which best suits them. Alquilando, which won the Argentine round of the Seedstars World Competitions, with its customisable features and simplified processes, looks set to recast the rental industry. 

State of the market

There are very few restrictions on foreigners owning property, except for in rural areas and those close to the border. Transactions are almost always completed in US dollars given the whipsawing Argentine Peso. Stamp Duty is low, averaging 3.6%, and VAT is relatively low, at 10.5% for new buildings, 21% for other buildings and 0% for new land. However, from an investment standpoint, there is still considerable cause for concern. Argentina is, in short, stuck in a vicious economic cycle: a protectionist trade policy and unprofitable companies means it cannot generate enough revenues as a country to repay its dollar debts. This leads creditors to raise interest rates and so debt payments rise even higher, plunging the country into sovereign debt crises and multi-year recessions. Argentina has defaulted on its sovereign debt nine times and in 2020 the economy, struggling under the weight of the pandemic, contracted 10%. The impact of Argentina’s economic woes are felt in the property market. An inflation rate of 53.8% during the first month of 2021, compared to 2.3% in the US, has driven away potential buyers and renters. Properties are often priced in dollars, but almost all mortgages are peso-denominated, rendering offerings unsustainable and volatile. Apartment prices in Buenos Aires have dropped, but this has not been enough to encourage sales, currently at a very weak level. These difficulties have arisen in the context of social isolation, which has brought with it office shutdowns and reconfigured working habits and costs. 


Proptechs Mudafy and Alquilando have provided many of the real estate industry’s stakeholders with two technology-driven platforms that serve to cut out inefficiencies and increase process transparency. However, whilst they may have made positive progress in terms of reducing the burdens of high interest fees, deposits and commissions and wasted time, the outlook, in the short-term at least, looks bleak for Buenos Aires’ housing market. 

Leave a Comment
Recent Articles

Sign up to receive the Propeterra's newsletter and exclusive property news and updates. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe links in our emails.



posts by tag

See all

Market Cover_Emerging Markets-1


Market Cover_Frontier Markets-1


Market Cover_Special Situations-1-1


Market Cover_Developed Markets-1


Recent Articles

2 minutes read

It’s Ski Season! Four Resorts to Invest In Now

The swish of skis, the powder on the slopes and the crisp mountain air… With Covid restrictions easing, many holidaymakers’ thoughts are turning to travel - and with the winter sports season in full flow, what better time to look at the resorts that offer the most bang for your investment bucks? Read on for Propeterra’s rundown of our favourite ski destinations - including some you’d never have expected!

Niseko, Japan

Japan might not seem like an obvious skiing destination, but the snow at Niseko is hard to beat. Located in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the annual snowfall is a staggering 15 metres - so unlike some less fortunate resorts in warming parts of Europe, your good skiing is practically guaranteed. Niseko is also renowned for its beautiful scenery and luxury accommodations - and with New Chitose International Airport a short two hour drive away, as well as the Hokkaido Shinkansen connection coming in 2030, it’s never been easier to travel there.

Prime investment opportunities available now include the Pavilions Resort Villas and the Ginto Residences - and for more information on the area, Propeterra’s Niseko Report is available for download now.

3 minutes read

Affordable Housing - the ADB and Lessons from the UK

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently released a briefing paper attempting to
learn lessons from the UK as to successes and failures of affordable housing policy. It is
justifiable to critique the UK’s faltering policy of delivery over a number of decades, but
this is precisely why it is a fruitful area of enquiry from analysts considering other parts
of the world. The UK has benefitted from significant resources, and policymakers have
been under considerable pressure from the electorate to ensure adequate housing across tenures. This is why the Chief of the Urban Sector Group at the ADB, Manoj Sharma, saw fit to commission this work, and report on its conclusions.

3 minutes read

Back to desks and back to the city!