Ecuador Property Laws
Ecuador property is very secure from a legal standpoint – the real estate ownership laws are well written & constitutionally guaranteed. If you’re thinking of living overseas, Ecuador is a great choice for international living.
Anyone can freely buy real estate in Ecuador. You can arrive in the country, and buy a piece of property the same day, using only your passport. Ecuador’s constitution guarantees the right to buy and hold property for everyone, citizens and foreigners alike.
Taxes, Fees & Closing Costs
The buyer pays almost all costs in a property transaction in Ecuador. The seller must prove that the property taxes, utility bills, and any building maintenance fees are current, and may owe capital gains tax on the sale, but the buyer pays for everything else.
Costs typically include:
- Legal fees for drafting the contract and performing the title search
- Notary fees
- Translation of documents and translator at signing (this is a legal requirement if the buyer doesn’t speak Spanish)
- Transfer and registration taxes
- Real estate agent’s commission
While it is hard to generalize, as every transaction is different – typically the agents commission is 5% of the agreed up price, and all other costs (legal fees and taxes) are typically between $750 and $1,500 for a regular condo or house purchase.
In late 2006, the people of Ecuador elected Rafael Correa, a PhD economist. He is a reformer who wants to make fundamental changes to Ecuador’s political society.
A former university professor with a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois, Correa has put Ecuador on the path to a sound economy for the future. Correa gained voter approval to amend some parts of the constitution in 2007, but no changes to property ownership laws were considered or enacted.
Ecuador’s government publicly welcomes foreign investment and offers a relatively open foreign-investment regime. The constitution gives foreign investment the same rights and treatment as national investment.
In 2000, Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its official currency. This decision, without a doubt, saved the Ecuadorian economy.
The dollarization has helped build a strong middle-class in Ecuador. The growing middle-class has led to a housing boom in the major cities. The number of higher end apartment buildings under construction or recently completed is astounding, and in Cuenca, well over 90% of these luxury condos are purchased by locals.
Major industries and exports are oil, mining, textiles, metal work, chemical production, fishing, lumber, bananas, coffee, cacao, rice, shrimp, sugarcane, sheep, beef, pork, and dairy.
Financing is available in Ecuador. Its constitution grants free access to the banking & credit market to locals and foreigners alike, just as it grants the free right to own property.