Inflation sends real estate, rental prices higher; Cold weather predicted; Residents complain of El Centro crime; Gasoline sulfur concern; Scopolamine attack

May 31, 2022 | 1 comment

Lunes, 30/5/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Recorrido turístico (Sightseeing tour) – The city of Azogues is organizing the “Fam Press” event el próximo 4 de junio. The tour will include a visit to the old train station, the Chocar lake, the artisanal chocolate factory “Muyami,” and other sites.

Titular –

“Richie” lo dio todo en el Giro (“Richie” gave his all in the Giro) – See Monday’s article in CL for story.

Cuenca –

Sector inmobiliario, el antes y después de la pandemia (Real estate sector, before and after the pandemic) – Cuenca is considered an expensive city to rent or buy housing, and the issue was analyzed by the real estate and construction sectors. Henry Astudillo, VP of the Cámara de la Construcción, said there are 2 aspects: construction and land prices. Materials prices continue to rise due to the increase in oil prices and the conflict in Ukraine. Concrete has risen 6-8% since the beginning of the year, along with other products such as aluminum and steel. On the other hand, remissions have risen 30%, and much of it is invested in a building or in land. Astudillo also said there are sectors in which edificios are allowed, which can generate speculation. He felt existing infrastructure should be taken advantage of and that urban expansion affects agricultural zones. One policy should be to attract construction to the center of the city and expand municipal services such as water and sewer, transportation and street lighting.

Higher costs for materials and speculation are driving real estate prices higher.

Adrian Rodríguez, president of the Cámara Inmobiliaria Ecuatoriana said that lack of knowledge about prices for land sales and rents has distorted the image of the local market. <Which seems to describe the distortions from gringo pricing?> Most people aren’t trained in real estate so they pay $800-900 for a rental, which is an unsustainable price. From there the vacancy rate surged and was increased due to the economic crisis from the pandemic. Rodríguez recommended that renters consider factors such as the condition, location, and cost of the property, or rate of return relative to the investment. He also said people should consider the comparable properties. He warned people to be cautious about buying through social networks where sellers can use false profiles, are not identified, or are not trustworthy. <Hence the stories about people who were cheated by sellers who didn’t even own the property they were selling.>

Alerta por ola de intenso frío en Cuenca (Alert for intense cold wave in Cuenca) – The Instituto de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI) is forecasting a decrease in temperatures in the inter-Andean valley which should last at least through the first week in junio. The cold will be more intense at night and in the early mornings with areas above 2,850 m. possibly experiencing temperatures of 4-5 C° (39 to 41° Fahrenheit). One factor is the decrease in humidity with masses of cold air from the south of the continent which can cause nieve y heladas (snow and frost – your words for the day) in high areas. It can contribute to respiratory illnesses <So wear your mask – at least you’ll be breathing warm air. Just take that into account when deciding between the garlic shrimp and fried chicken for lunch.

Sucesos –

En Cuenca, robos con violencia e intimidación (Robberies with violence and intimidation in Cuenca) – Businesses and pedestrians have been robbed in the Centro Hístorico and other areas of Cuenca in the past few weeks. Delinquents are using guns, knives, and physical aggression. The most recent theft was in the madrugada (early morning hours) of jueves at Simón Bolívar y Estévez de Toral when a 28 year old man was returning to his home when he was intercepted. He tried to avoid the robbers who knocked him to the pavement and took a phone, cash and fled. He got home where his family called 911.

Owners of downtown businesses are also living with zozobra (anxiety – your word for the next time you play Spanish scrabble. But maybe there’s only one z in a set of tiles.>. A gang which unfortunately includes minors, enters stores, threatens the owner and steals clothes, phones, and cash. One merchant said the gang threatened owners with knives. Victims are asking the Government of Azuay for immediate action to combat this insecurity.

Dos personas habrían sido escopolaminadas (Two people reportedly attacked with scopolamine) – A man and a woman were found semi-conscious on the sidewalk on calle Gonzalo Zaldumbide y av. Gonzáles Suárez yesterday morning. Neighbors called 911 and the victims were taken to the Vicente Corral Moscoso hospital by a fire department ambulance. Red Cross workers said the patients smelled of alcohol, and could have ingested some substance. Witnesses said the two were approached by a subject on a motorcycle, the 3 had a conversation, and a few minutes after the moto left, the victims collapsed. They thought the motorcyclist drugged them with scopolamine since one of the victims said they did not have their belongings.

Region –

Obras emergentes en El Descanso (Emergency projects in El Descanso) – The first emergency projects in the El Descanso sector will be finished in about 60 days. The work is centered on the historic “3 de Noviembre” bridge. MTOP has been removing sediment which is obstructing the 4 arches of the bridge left from flooding of the río Burgay las month. The work will diminish the flood risks to the landowners along the river.

Nacional –

Gasolinas: esfuerzos para que se controle niveles de azufre (Gasoline: Efforts to control sulfur levels) – The public and private sectors are joining forces to avoid the high levels of sulfur in fuels because of the damage to vehicles and to peoples’ health. Ricardo Vanegas, a Pachakutik assemblyman, asked the ministerio de Energia to activate mechanisms to control sulfur which has been prohibited internationally for over 20 years when the standards for euro 3, which still govern in Ecuador, were replaced. Europe is now at euro 6.2 while most of Latin America is still using euro 5 standards. The assemblyman is asking for information about the chemical composition of gas and diesel sold in the country.

The Asociación de Empresas Automotrices del Ecuador noted that in addition to environmental and health damage, vehicle owners are affected. Engines manufactured to run on international quality fuel are subject to more wear and tear and need premature repairs. Sulfur in fuels is the principal cause of air pollution. <Does that mean you should be looking for a 20 year old car in good condition rather than the latest model?>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –