Having subscribed to and read publications of that circle for nearly thirty years, off and on, I'm saddened: I find that trumpetting such a development almost always indicates that prices are inflated and that the enjoyability of the area is quickly diminishing.
My views of Argentina having a ton of potential, being a great place to invest and the future are similar. But I have made no secret to my optimism about Argentina, something many other's on this board don't agree with.
Tough Question: If it wasn't for the Estancia de Cafayate, I would not, now, live in Cafayate. We moved here after just a short visit in April of 2008. We already had property in Chile and were looking to stay in South America. We were just looking for a nicer climate (than where we live in Chile with rain and cold), business opportunities, and a place we really wanted to be. We found it all in Cafayate. Definetly a little gem. Living in Argentina and opening a business has been an experience though. I think if people want to come and live here as a retirement community or only for vacation, it's great, but to open a business, and try to make a living, only a few are going to have the stamina to do it. As Casey leads, it is like the wild wild west and extremely frustrating even when you do have the right people involved to help you through the process. I would think it is almost impossible to do everything on your own. Some facts on his article are a bit off, there are more like 12,000 people here and the disparity between rich and poor are huge. It is very much a small town (as in any where in the world) and a South American small town in addition - we have to be extremely creative to find what we need and want for our business and it's not easy, meaning most won't have the patience for it, however I live in town and things as simple as cable tv is not readily available to me, it took numerous phone calls and pressure to get it (that's just a recent example). But, I can only imagine when they start building houses and start building the rest of the estancia, these items will already (or should) be provided with no hassle for owners.
Also, regarding the prices being inflated. That is certainly true but I think that the Estancia is only one of the contributing factors. This area is really up and coming wine (although already very well established) area and it is near impossible to find any sort of land - bodegas have bought all of the surrounding areas up. Some business and individuals have decided that if extranjeros are buying up a big chunk of sand (as this is what it was previously) for hundreds of dollars, then they can get more for their pieces and are charging an incredible amount (for example, one very small hotel on the plaza of 10 rooms is going for $2,000,000 usd) My experience is once they go up, they don't come down as a matter of principal. So, to snatch up cheap land, I guess it's all based on your perspective of what level of the "game" you are in.... Anyway, I could go on but the bottom line is, I love Cafayate because Cafayate is very self sufficient and is not effected as much by the troubles of the world, I think it has so much to offer and so many opportunities if it's the right people in place.
Frankly I find the logic in this article a little hard to follow. According to the man being interviewed even though the government is lousy here its OK as nobody has any regard for the government or any of its institutions anyway. According to him there no reason to fear for property rights, crime or violence. Obviously the lack of strong institutions including courts puts property rights at risk. Crime, is always a risk when you have many poor people. As far as violence one only has to look at recent history to realize violence can occur here.
This just looks like another real estate scheme to convince people to buy now with the implication they will get rich later. With events of the last few years around the world I would have thought this kind of thinking was now discredited. I think the days where people bought assets with the idea of rapid appreciation are over for several years at least.