According to real estate agents, several local condominium developers are having second thoughts about selling to foreign buyers.
According to one agent, at least two developers, including one who is constructing a large project on Av. Ordonez Lasso, have cut off sales to gringos.
Javier Ordonez who sells real estate to both Ecuadorian and foreign buyers says that the reluctance of developers to work with foreigners, particularly North Americans and Europeans, is troubling. “I don’t see it as a trend but I think several more builders will also decide to sell only to locals. It’s too bad but they tell me that foreigners are too much trouble and they can make more money working with Cuencanos.”
According to Ordonez, giving up foreign buyers will not affect overall sales for most developers. “Foreigners are only 1%, maybe a little more, of sales in Cuenca. They are not really a dominant factor.” He added: “It is also true that because the real estate market is so strong, builders can afford to be choosey. If things were not so good the situation might be different.”
Developers who spoke to Ordonez say that language and cultural issues are one problem, but the larger one is that most foreigners are more demanding in their construction and finishing specifications. A few, they told him, are simply rude and unreasonable. “It is much easier for builders to work with Ecuadorians because expectations are understood by all the parties,” he says.
Ordonez says he regrets the decision by some developers to sell only to locals. “I have had two or three Americans interested in the project on Av. Lasso. It’s one of the nicest in Cuenca but the sales office tells me to tell my gringo clients that they are sold out. On the other hand, for my Cuencano clients, there are several units remaining.” Ordonez says he agreed not to reveal the name of the developer or the project.
Heavy rainfall causes local flooding
Heavy thunder storms caused flooding in several Cuenca neighborhoods Tuesday afternoon.
Although rainfall recorded at the airports was less than half an inch, a weather office spokeman said that as much as two inches may have fallen in some areas of town, especially in the Miraflores neighborhood on the north side of town. Several houses were flooded in the area and nearby streets were temporarily closed due to high water.
Claro dominates cell phone market
Ecuador’s national telecommunications authority reports that cell phone service provider Claro commands a 69% market share in Ecuador, with an even higher share in Cuenca.
Claro provides service to 11,921,637 active lines out of about 17,250,000 cell lines in the country. Otecel, which operates in Ecuador as Movistar, services 5,000,000 lines, or 29% of the market.
Claro says is services about 75% of the Cuenca cell market but did not provide numbers.
Ecuador, with a country of 15,000,000, has the highest ratio of cell phones to population in Latin America, with 1.18 lines per person.
Photo caption: According to January statisitics, condo construction continues at a record pace in Cuenca. A handful of developers are having second thoughts about selling to gringos.