It’s nothing short of a global phenomenon. Urban-dwellers are decamping from cities in droves, seeking simpler, slower routines in places where their money goes further and life is, in a word, sweeter. This planetary Plan B has a name—second city syndrome—and it’s playing out in erstwhile B-list cities such as Porto, Valencia and Salvador, where one-time New Yorkers, Londoners, and Milanese are increasingly choosing to hang their hats.
Salvador, a colonial gem on the Atlantic coast in northeast Brazil, is seeing its real estate market bounce back after a five-year slump as the city—the capital of Brazil’s Bahia state—emerges as a safe haven for investors. With tourism booming and (as yet) no regulations on AirBnb and its ilk, savvy investors are snapping up apartments in the city center to monetize as short-term rentals. And while it’s by no means easy to unearth quality properties which, crucially, have all their papers in order, judging by the sheer number of people looking to get in on the action, it appears to be well worth the hassle.
Change is in the air, and all evidence point to the hard times being a thing of the past for Salvador’s once-beleaguered real estate sector. A survey by the Association for the Touristic and Real Estate Development of Brazil revealed that 91% of the country’s decision-makers are planning on buying or building real estate in the coming fiscal year and that Salvador is on the radar for 30 percent oft hem. New projects are mushrooming through out the city.
But Salvador is not only the new darling of Brazil’s real estate sector. It’s also a destination for those who want to slow down and take it easy. The city is attracting folks from Brazil’s two megacities, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as well as foreigners desperate to dial down the frenetic pace and live life at a baiano rhythm—which moves in step with the rustling of palm trees and the crashing of the ocean waves. After all, Salvador is where land and sea meet, and where Brazil was born. Perhaps its time to go back to Brazil’s roots and fall in love with Salvador.