BA is (still) cheap...


Jul 27, 2006
At least by comparison.
I don´t have much faith in these surveys, seems to me there are too many varibles for this to accurate. However, comparing the the Mercer data as follows:
Washington D.C. ranked 107 Cost of living compared to NYC 74.6 (i.e. cost of living in D.C. is about 25% less than NYC)
Buenos Aires ranked 138 Cost of living compared to NYC 62.7
Based on these numbers B.A. is about 20% cheaper than D.C.
How does D.C. rank compared to other U.S. cities? One survey I saw showed D.C. at about 138% of the average city in the U.S. If this is true than B.A. would be about 110% of the U.S. average (i.e. 138-20%).
This would square with my perception that the cost of living in B.A. is now about the same as in the U.S. If the current rate of inflation continues around 30% B.A. will be as expensive as NYC is today within two years or so.
Doesn´t sound like B.A. is cheap anymore. I think it´s safe to say if this happens the flow of expats to B.A. will probably stop and probably reverse.
Stan, Was the cost of living here a major factor that fueled your desire to "get out" of Argentina or were there other issues that newer expats (like Lee, whose "life is actually that we are OUT of the USA") might have yet to experience?

"Lee" said:
Just for reference we have been here for 1 1/2 years and plan on staying we love it so much. More friends...warmer people over all...what is not to love!
Hi Lee, It's good to read a positive post for a change. I plan on moving to BA from Ireland next year. But having read so many negative posts here, sometimes I'm slightly discouraged.
(Stan, Was the cost of living here a major factor that fueled your desire to "get out" of Argentina or were there other issues that newer expats (like Lee, whose "life is actually that we are OUT of the USA") might have yet to experience?)

For the wife and I the cost of living here wasn´t the major factor. The major factor for us was the hassle factor of living here which started when we arrived and didn´t stop until we were on the plane to leave.
What I´m talking about is problems with daily living like banking, paying bills, getting a repairman to fix the frig, filling up the car with gas etc. Almost everything turns into waiting in line or waiting for someone to showup to get something done. We just decided we didn´t want to spend our retirement years in this evironment. The list of problems we had there is to long for a post here, I´m thinking of setting up my own blog back in the states to detail some of our expierences.
Not all of our expierences were negative and if I do write about Argentina I will point out the positives as well.
By the way were aren´t just a couple of Americans who were just dissapointed because things weren´t like they were back home. Argentina was our third country since 2002. The wife is a native South American whose father was Argentine, she still has plenty of relatives there, her cousin was actually one of Cristina´s first boyfriends. We lived in another latin country before we got here but found Argentina (in comparison to our expeirences in other latin countries) to be very backward in many respects and the government to be absolutely awful.
In addition to my previous post I believe Argentina is probably heading towards some significant economic problems. I was really scared that we could get into a situation where we couldn´t sell our property and would be stuck there for a number of years. We decided all things considered now was a good time to bail.
Looks like things are starting to move on the economic front as well, see the attached link below:

It certainly is possible Argentina may default and the government has not learned, yet I do not think it will be anything as bad as 2001 and I also believe that with the vast natural resources etc, the next government after Cristina fails and is out will do things right.

Even so, if there is crash, I do not think real estate will fall much if anything because people do not trust banks and real estate has been there mechanism of saving in dollars. It is real property. Selling and getting your money out could have been a problem but I think if you have an income in dollars from investments, pensions, business etc, your costs of living will only go down not up. The people earning and making pesos will suffer but it will become cheaper for dollar incomes.

That said, I think people wanting to live in BA may have a second bite at the apple because things are not as they were in 2002-2005 but it may get cheaper for expats.
And if the s**t hits the fan, wouldn't the peso worth drop against the dollar, making it even cheaper for expats?