2015 Update: Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín

A typical furnished apartment living room in Medellín

Last month we looked at updated costs of renting unfurnished apartments in Medellín and this is a follow-on report that looks at updated furnished apartment rental costs in Medellín.

To more accurately answer the question about what the actual furnished apartment rental costs currently are in Medellín, with the help of my Colombian wife, we recently surveyed the rental costs of 300 available furnished apartments in several neighborhoods in Medellín.

We only included apartments that have hot water and Wifi available.   Several hundred apartments in Medellín are listed on the Airbnb site. We did not include apartments on the Airbnb site in our survey if they did not have positive ratings, as they are more risky to rent.

Without a surprise most of the furnished apartments we found in Medellín are located in El Poblado – 81% of the furnished apartments we surveyed this year were found in El Poblado.

There are three main websites to find furnished apartment rentals in Medellín

  • Airbnb – has several hundred furnished apartments in Medellín listed, but many of these have no ratings.
  • Casacol – has >100 furnished apartments in Medellín listed.
  • The Apartment Medellín – has many apartments listed.

Some furnished apartments are listed on one of the rental company websites as well as the Airbnb site. If an apartment is listed on more than one website we only included it once in our survey.

We also looked for furnished apartments on some Spanish language websites that cater to Colombians for our survey. However, be careful of apartments on Spanish language sites, some have not that many furnishings, some do not have hot water and some do not have Wifi.

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Most furnished apartment rentals in Medellín are priced in U.S. dollars. For apartment rentals priced in pesos we used the exchange rate of 3,171 pesos to the U.S. dollar.

Some Initial Survey Findings

Pricing for some furnished apartments in Medellín increases during the popular times of the year such as Christmas, New Years and Feria de las Flores (the Medellín flower festival). We used the low season rental prices in our survey.

Most furnished apartment rentals in Medellín have a minimum rental period of at least 2-3 days. But many furnished apartments we looked at in Medellín have a minimum rental period of 30 days (26% of the apartments surveyed).

For apartments with both daily and monthly rates, the longer-term monthly rate usually reflects a discount to the daily rate.

Most furnished apartment rentals in Medellín require a security deposit; 83% of the apartments we surveyed required a security deposit. The security deposit charges ranged from $95 to $1,500 and averaged $277.

Many furnished apartment rentals also require a cleaning fee; 75% of the apartments we surveyed had a cleaning fee listed. The cleaning fee ranged from $6 to $200 and averaged $28.

We didn’t include security deposits or cleaning fees in our below rental cost survey results.

El Poblado Furnished Apartments

El Poblado is the most popular neighborhood for foreigners living in or visiting Medellín. It is the most upscale neighborhood in the city and is where the most hotels and furnished apartments catering to foreigners are located.

In my first few visits to Medellín, I rented furnished apartments in El Poblado.

El Poblado is primarily an Estrato 6 neighborhood with 74 percent of the households rated at Estrato 6. It is also where the most expensive real estate and most expensive apartment rentals in the city are located.

El Poblado survey of 243 furnished apartment rentals results:

  • 94 of the 243 apartments surveyed in El Poblado had a 30-day minimum rental.
  • 103 apartments were 1-bedroom or studios with rents ranging from $32 to $225 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $628 to $5,100 per month.
  • 80 apartments were 2-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $50 to $219 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $882 to $8,100 per month.
  • 41 apartments were 3-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $60 to $385 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $990 to $7,970 per month.
  • 19 apartments were 4-bedroom to 8-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $195 to $839 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $1,500 to $19,470 per month.
Average Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in El Poblado

Average Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in El Poblado

Laureles-Estadio Furnished Apartments

Laureles-Estadio is perhaps the second-most popular neighborhood for foreigners living in Medellín. It is primarily a residential neighborhood with many areas with tree-lined streets and fewer high-rise apartments than are found in El Poblado.

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Laureles-Estadio is primarily an Estrato 4/5 neighborhood with 99 percent of the households rated at Estrato 4 or 5.

Laureles-Estadio survey of 28 furnished apartment rentals results:

  • None of the 28 apartments surveyed in Laureles-Estadio had a 30-day minimum rental.
  • 15 apartments were 1-bedroom or studios with rents ranging from $28 to $65 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $441 to $1,487 per month.
  • Seven apartments were 2-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $42 to $86 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $609 to $2,245 per month.
  • Six apartments were 3-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $41 to $65 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $780 to $1,950 per month.
Average Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Laureles-Estadio

Average Furnished Apartment Rental Costs in Laureles-Estadio

Furnished Apartment Costs in Other Neighborhoods

Our survey also found a few furnished apartments in Envigado, Belén and La Candelaria (El Centro) with a summary of these results as follows:

Envigado is another popular neighborhood for foreigners living in Medellín. It is less commercial than El Poblado and like Laureles-Estadio has many areas with tree-lined streets and fewer high-rise apartments than are found in El Poblado.

Envigado survey of 14 furnished apartment rentals results:

  • Three of the 14 apartments surveyed in Envigado had a 30-day minimum rental.
  • Six apartments were 1-bedroom or studios with rents ranging from $47 to $90 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $897 to $2,700 per month.
  • Three apartments were 2-bedroom apartments with monthly rents ranging from $986 to $1,700 per one. Only one 2-bedroom apartment had a daily rate, which was $54 per day.
  • Three apartments were 3-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $36 to $103 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $687 to $2,472 per month.
  • Two apartments were 4-bedroom with daily rates of $250 and $443 and monthly rates of $5,700 and $12,400 per month.

Belén is a neighborhood that is increasing in popularity for foreigners living in Medellín. Belén is where I lived for over nearly four years in three different barrios (Fatima, Loma de Los Bernal and Los Alpes)

Belén is more of a working-class community with 98 percent of housing in Estrado 2 to 5 and only 2 percent in Estrato 1.

Belén survey of eight furnished apartment rentals results:

  • None of the eight apartments surveyed in Belén had a 30-day minimum rental.
  • One of the apartments was a 1-bedroom with rent of $25 per day or $638 per month .
  • Five apartments were 2-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $27 to $48 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $700 to $1,440 per month.
  • One apartment was a 3-bedroom apartment with rent of $41 per day or $984 per month.
  • One apartment was a 4-bedroom apartment with rent of $80 per day or $984 per month.

The center of Medellin, known formally as La Candelaria, or informally as El Centro, has a rough reputation but also some hidden gems that make this neighborhood one that should not be overlooked when visiting the city.

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La Candelaria survey of seven furnished apartment rentals results:

  • None of the seven apartments surveyed in La Candelaria had a 30-day minimum rental.
  • Three apartments were 1-bedroom or studios with rents ranging from $25 to $39 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $690 to $870 per month.
  • Three apartments were 2-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $55 to $150 per day. The monthly rates ranged from $1,320 to $3,510 per month.
  • One apartment was a 3-bedroom apartment with rent of $44 per day or $1,188 per month.

The Bottom Line

There is a wide range of furnished apartments available for rent in Medellín ranging from economical to luxury. El Poblado is where most of the furnished apartments in Medellín are available but El Poblado is also where the most expensive real estate in the city is found.

Furnished apartments are more expensive to rent in El Poblado than in the other areas of Medellín. You can save substantially on a furnished apartment rental in an area outside of El Poblado, such as Laureles-Estadio, Envigado or Belén.

Unfortunately there aren’t that many furnished apartments to be found outside of El Poblado as El Poblado remains the most popular area for foreign visitors to Medellín.

To compare the costs of furnished apartment rentals with unfurnished apartments, see our report last month looking at unfurnished apartment rental costs in Medellín.

To compare the results of this year’s furnished apartment rental cost survey to last year, you can look at last year’s survey results here.

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About Jeff

Jeff first discovered Colombia back in 2006 and has traveled to all the major cities in Colombia. He is fortunate to have a job in the U.S. with location flexibility, which has allowed him to spend over six years living in Medellín. He is also studying Spanish to become fluent.

Comments

  1. I have a 3 bed 3 bath apartment in poblado,LA calera,.pool,parking,game room.3 years old most awesome view of the city 23floor.huge balcony.1200usd per month.1 year lease required.

    • First, thanks to Jeff for this outstanding research. Secondly, it sounds really expensive to live in Medellin…almost like Miami. I don’t understand why the market will bear such high prices. Bogota sounds much more affordable.

      • It’s fairly expensive to rent furnished apartments in ritzy El Poblado in Medellín. You can find unfurnished apartments that rent for about one-third of the price of furnished in El Poblado. The big real estate firms with most of the furnished apartments in El Poblado are charging fairly high prices for furnished rentals, but it’s still cheaper than higher-end hotels. But you can find furnished apartments outside of El Poblado for half the price or less. Unfortunately over 80% of the furnished apartments in Medellín are in ritzy El Poblado.

        It’s not really expensive to live in Medellín if you rent unfurnished or buy a place outside of El Poblado. For example, I pay about $400 per month to rent a nice unfurnished 110 square meter apartment in Sabaneta with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, granite counters in the kitchen, and two balconies. Real estate is generally cheaper in Medellín than in Bogotá for comparable properties.

        • Lloyd Sutton says:

          YES, That is correct, I love Sabaneta,I will be coming back there in the next 2 months , I would
          like a unfurnished nice 3 bedroom 2bath. for $ 500.00 if possible or under. I saw a couple for
          that price and they were beautiful. If you know of one let me know, Atlanta Ga.

          Thank you Lloyd

  2. Expensive!!!

    • I agree, v e r y expensive! Miami prices for sure!

      • Yes some of the prices for furnished apartments in El Poblado are pretty expensive. I have seen some of them – very high end and large apartments plus some with jacuzzis and incredible views.

        What is surprising is the prices in El Poblado for furnished apartments haven’t really dropped that much from the prior year even though the exchange rate is much better now so owner costs are lower in terms of USD since their costs are in weaker pesos.

      • Deez Knutts says:

        Not sure which Miami you guys are referring to. The one in Florida is much more expensive!

    • I agree. Expensive. Downright expensive, actually. LOL At least for folks like myself with low, fixed, retirement incomes. I KNOW I HAVE A DEAL, but … here in Cajamarca, Peru, I rent a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, hot water, two nice couches, kitchen, private bath, etc. for 500 soles/month (US $150, approx.) Soooooo, $400 looks like a LOT of money.

      The city sounds exquisite, though, from everything I’ve read. And I’d land there for 3-6 months in a heartbeat, but … Wow. I can find comparable places to rent in the U.S.

      THANK YOU, though, for doing all the legwork! It r-e-a-l-l-y helps a person like myself who may want to move to Medellin and/or is at least considering it.

      Sinceramente,
      Michael

      • Yes furnished apartments are expensive in the higher estrato neighborhoods neighborhoods in Medellín where expats normally stay. You may be able to find a less expensive one in an area not frequented by expats rented by a local agency (not an expat owned agency).

        But it’s better to rent an unfurnished place and furnish it yourself. Rents of unfurnished places are much cheaper than furnished. You could find a unfurnished one-bedroom apartment in some neighborhoods appropriate for expats for about $260 per month or even less. See: http://medellinliving.com/2015-apartment-rental-costs/. Or even cheaper in areas not frequented by expats. For example, my wife’s uncle pays <$180 in rent per month for a three bedroom apartment in an estrato 3 neighborhood.

  3. Great article Jeff with a lot of really useful information. Thanks so much for putting in the effort. I think this site has been improving a lot since you have been a regular contributor.

    The prices do seem on the high side but I guess when you consider that rental costs for furnished apartments normally include all the utility bills they are not so bad. I know that Electric, Gas, Internet etc. are far from cheap in Colombia. Also, if you’re looking for a furnished, ready to live in apartment for say 1-3 months, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect to pay anything other than a significant premium over a longer term and most likely unfurnished place.

    A friend of mine (a fellow gringo) here in Medellin found a really nice place (at a really good price) by simply asking the porter in a building he liked the look of if he knew of an available apartment. He did have the advantage of a Colombian girl friend to do the negotiating for him (reducing the ever present gringo tax).

    As for me, I have a decent size, nicely furnished and equipped studio apartment in Boston, close to El Centro and I pay a very reasonable $240 a month for it all in. I do accept that many readers of this site probably would not want to live in or near El Centro but I like it.

    • Thanks. Good point about utility bills being included. Rental prices for all the furnished apartments we surveyed include all utilities (TV, Internet, electric, gas, and water). There is not an extra charge for utilities.

  4. patrick salsich says:

    I live one hour North of Miami… Airbnb 1 BR furnished apartments near Miami average around $200 a night… Medellin is not expensive. I visit once a month and pay average of $55 a night for 1 BR

  5. Great research!

    Some tips for saving money on furnished rentals is to look El Poblado where we have most of our apartments has base rental rates much higher than other parts of the city. When looking at rentals people should pay close attention to the building and how long ago it was built. Older buildings should have much cheaper rental values. Buildings which cost more also usually have elevators. Finally another way to save money is to look for buildings that don’t have elevators. Usually if your paying a premium your going to have 24 hours security. their many smaller buildings that don’t have security or only have security 12 hours a day.

    Costs that make rental price rise higher:
    If your not paying a premium then you have to put up with old furniture usually. Everyone has different tastes so for some this is not a big deal. Most times people are complaining about high costs they do not understand that their many factors which effect the prices such as very expensive furniture, and double the price on electrical appliances in Medellin. Average apartments will accumulate 2-3 months empty time in a year and agencies or owners have to assume the costs.

    Less than a year makes sense to rent furnished:
    A furnished apartment shouldn’t be a long term solution unless you have a large disposable income. if your living in Medellin for more than one year then its time to get an unfurnished place and look into buying furniture. Furniture in Medellin is much more expensive than the USA, that is if your looking for stuff comparable to the popular franchise ROOMS TO GO.

    AIRBB offers renters security if their dealing with unknown Realtor or independent persons. Once your in Medellin and you can look around, then you can personally visit Realtor offices and choose who your doing business with.

    During low seasons your more likely to get discounts of course. For a Realtor who lists furnished apartments, January, June, July and August are the high seasons.

    Thanks for mentioning Paradise Realtor.

    Happy apartment hunting.

    James Lindzey
    Paradise Reatlor
    57-4-444-5488

    • Furniture in my experience isn’t necessarily much more expensive than in the US. As long as you shop outside of ritzy El Poblado and look for deals you can find furniture that is similar in price or can even be less expensive. Also you shouldn’t buy mattresses in the stores in shopping malls. You can frequently find furniture on sale at the large Fabricas Unidas store on Autopista Sur in Itagüí and small mattress stores near the Homecenter store near the Suramericana metro stop sell mattresses about 40 to 50 percent cheaper than in malls.

      You can also go to Retiro, which is about an hour from Medellín and has several furniture shops with good prices. In Retiro they will also build furniture to your specifications. It’s a good place to find wood beds or dressers. Many of the wealthy in Medellín go to Retiro to buy their furniture as it is that much cheaper than in the stores in Medellín.

  6. Hi Jeff,
    I’m new to the site. Have you done any articles on long term living and rental costs? I’m not particularly interested in short term (i.e. more expensive) rentals.

  7. Hi guys,

    I’m looking to rent an apartment on a 12 month lease and have a budget of about $800-$1000. Unfurnished is okay, I’d prefer El Poblado or Laureles.
    My question is does anyone know who I can talk to, perhaps a realtor or broker? I’d like to check out some apartments this weekend but don’t know how to go about it. Although my girlfriend speaks fluent Spanish I do not and I am flying solo.

    Thanks!

  8. Tommy DeVito says:

    Nice article and thanks for the tips. We are living in Boquete Panama right now and I am looking for our next city to tour. Medellin sounds like it might be a good candidate. Reading all around and a couple of questions pop up.

    1. When on Craigslist it seems that many apartments are listed but they don’t have a price or they say something like 305LP or 406BP or 229WP. Is that some sort of shorthand for pricing??

    2. I see mention of zone number in a few listings. Are these defined areas and is there a map? I read somewhere that higher zones cost more. Is the zone defined by the government? Is electricity and other utilities priced higher in higher zones? Maybe you could point me to a website that explains it all but so far I haven’t been lucky with my googling…

    Regards,
    Tommy

    • Hi Tommy,

      Sorry, I don’t what 305LP or 406BP or 229WP codes mean, perhaps that is a property code of the real estate agency.

      There aren’t any defined zones that I am aware of. If the zone is a number from 1 to 6, it will most likely be the estrato, with 6 being the highest normally only found in El Poblado. This is used to define the utility rates – 5/6 have similar rates for utilities, you have to drop to 4 or lower to get better rates. 1/2 estratos are very poor neighborhoods that are not really appropriate for expats. For furnished apartments, utilities are typically paid by the landlord not the renter.

    • Duh! and a better map of the communes on this website. http://www.medellinliving.com/map/ 🙂

  9. Carolyn says:

    Hi,
    I recently moved into a furnished apartment in El Poblado. Our rental company promised that we would have a particular appliance (a washer and dryer) but we only have a washing machine. We are trying to negotiate that they either install the appliances that they promised (which we have in written correspondences although not on the contract) or get them to discount the monthly rent. The realtor is being very stubborn and I feel like I’m being cheated here. Are there any renter protection laws that or groups that could help us solve this problem?
    Thanks,
    Caro

  10. Hi guys,

    I’m looking to rent an apartment in Medellin for one month with my girl friend while traveling in South America. Ideally would be looking to spend in the $700 range. This would be next March, 2017. One question: How far in advance should I think about booking? Do most of the good rentals get snatched up far in advance? Or is there pretty much a continuous supply all year?

    • The better furnished apartments in Medellín have high occupancy rates. Your $700 budget for a month is on the low end so the best apartments around that price will have high occupancy rates. But you are planing to travel almost a year from now, very few plan that far in advance. Since you are renting for a month, I would recommend booking probably six months in advance.

      • Thanks man, this is really helpful! We’ll plan to start looking more seriously in the fall. Much obliged.

  11. Nancy Bluhm says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I am not a big city person, currently living in Cuenca Ecuador which is plenty big enough for me.
    Thus I am curious about living south of Medellin in a smaller city, community, and only coming in to Medellin for a couple of weekends a month. Do you know if there are any expat areas outside of the city, or can you recommend how I should proceed? I plan on coming up for a month or so, and explore the area, but just thought I’d ask if you have any tips for this idea. Thanks.

    • Hi Nancy,

      I believe there are a few expats living in Caldas, directly south of Medellín. You may want to look in Rionegro to the east and areas around it, which has more expats but nowhere as many as found in El Poblado.

      • Dancy Bluhm says:

        Thanks Jeff. This is helpful information. I bought a decent map of Colombia, and have located these two places. It would be really great if you could provide an email contact for any of the expats living in Caldas or Rionegro. I also met a Colombian man who was here in Cuenca. He is from Pereira, so I will explore that area as well. At this point, my plan is to arrive in Medellin on October 6th, and will be renting a room from a relocated Cuenca friend who now lives in Poblado. I will stay with her for 6 nights and it is during that time that I would want to visit Caldas and Rionegro, as well other neighborhoods besides Poblado and Laureles. The weather here in Cuenca for the past 4 months has been so cloudy and cold ( 50 – 60F). If the sun comes out at all, it is brief. It is a main motivation for me to consider relocating, or at least finding a place to escape during this time of the year. Thanks so much for your help.

        • Unfortunately I don’t have email contacts of expats living in Caldas or Rionegro. I have met a couple of expats living in Rionegro or nearby and I heard there are at least a few expats living in Caldas.

          I like Pereira, it’s like a mini-Medellín. I wrote a comparison of Pereira with Medellín here: http://medellinliving.com/medellin-vs-pereira/

          I also wrote a comparison of Medellín with Cuenca: http://medellinliving.com/medellin-vs-cuenca/. I am aware there are some expats living in Medellín that used to live in Cuenca and others that are looking to move.

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