FIFA World Cup 2014: Brazil’s real estate rental frenzy
With only 17 days to go for the FIFA World Cup 2014 - the world's most exhilarating and important soccer tournament - Brazil is teeming with excitement. The host cities, which expect to welcome at least 300,000 foreign visitors, are not only readying for the matches but also the accommodation.
The month-long tournament that starts off June 12, will take place in 12 different cities and homeowners and landlords hope to make the most of this event. Penthouses, condos and studio apartments are all going up for rent at eye-popping prices.
For Instance: fashion executive Arif Noor's three-story glass residence has gone under contract for "rent" at $677,000 - a record in the current market.
Even though footballer Ronaldhino won't be playing in this tournament, he is hoping to bank on the surging rental market. So what if you can't watch the soccer stud play, you could definitely live like him while he is away.
He has put his Rio de Janiero home up for rent via Airbnb for $15,000 a night! He tweeted a picture of his "casa" too.
— Ronaldinho Gaúcho (@10Ronaldinho) May 23, 2014
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rio has been projected to be one of the most popular cities hosting the event. Real estate agents in the area have been swamped with calls with everyone wanting to rent their place and hoping to lure in wealthy soccer aficionados.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that the average rental price in Rio shot up 144 percent in the past five years, most of it due to the FIFA tournament. The cost of living in the city also went up 200 percent.
And it's not just the homeowners and landlords. People are going so far as to camp at a friend's place to make a killing by letting out their accomodation so they can pay their own rent!
"It's quite a symbolic problem, isn't it?" Alonso Zerbinato, a budding actor in his mid-20s told the website. "Renting your own place and staying at some friend or family member's place just so you can make money to pay for the apartment you live in. It's strange."
But, the game and the passion for it beats anything - even the real estate frenzy. More recently, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke started his final inspection tour of the stadiums.
"We're very close now. Soon we're going to hand the tournament over to the players and the 32 teams. There is very little left to worry about. We just need to make sure the teams arrive safely and get to their training centers so they can begin preparing for the tournament," Valcke told reporters in Sao Paulo, Sunday.
"The World Cup isn't just a big event for FIFA, it's also hugely important for Brazil," Valcke added.