10 Years of Blog Archive

Saturday, June 04, 2016

How Much to Rent a Condo or House in Cuenca? How to Get Best Price! UPDATED 2016

Update 2016 – This article was first published 5 years ago and after scanning through it again, we were shocked to see how much more house you could get for the price in 2011!  Those same houses are now in the $500 to $1000 range.

We’re not saying there aren’t any good deals out there anymore because there are a few normal priced houses in between the overpriced stuff but you have to really work for them.  They are the exception.

Update 2018: Rental prices have come back down to more normal levels, as they should be. However property prices for the buyer have just stayed steady, not going higher or lower, although negotiating will always give you the unlisted price. 

Condos are located in high rise buildings usually with 24/7 security guard, elevators and other amenities. There are many variables that can make your rent be higher or lower. Such as if it includes furniture and if it has views, how many square feet, etc. Typically, if it has security and elevators you can rent a 3/2 apartment or condo between  $350 and $600, while those condos with views and balconies and spacious are between $600 and $1200 for the really nice ones.

Update 2016 – Those prices were back then in 2011 and 2012. Today there are no 3/2 apartments/condos with elevator or security for $250 and if you do happen to come across one in that price range it means there’s probably stairs which gringos will avoid.

Just to give you an idea of what we’re talking about, in 2011 you could rent a 3/2 in the very popular Palermo Building (elevator, security and views) located in Gringolandia for $350. Throw in furniture and raise the price to $400. Those were the normal prices and what the wealthier Ecuadorians spent on rents in that building.

Gone are those days and it’s only been 5 years!

If you know someone here that can help you get a good deal on a rental you will pay less for rent. You can’t be in a hurry. But understand, just because it’s cheaper than what you are used to paying in the states doesn’t mean it is a good price! You can always try to bargain down the price. The house we rent was actually $350 a month, but because it hadn’t been rented for several months and because Frank is a good negotiator we got it for $250 a month…and btw, we still pay $250.

You will pay more for furnished houses, apartments and condos, however. And bear in mind that good quality furniture and appliances are expensive here.

UPDATE 2013*** We have witnessed that home rental prices are going up. The upsurge of foreigners is causing Ecuadorians to higher the price on their rental homes because they are not just renting to the locals anymore.

Really, really sad!! You can still find the diamond in the rough but there is a lot of pavement pounding involved...and many times they are not listed anywhere online, such as the older, but very well-kept 3-bedroom, plus study, 2 bath home in Rio Amarillo for just $220. We just rented this home to a family who is very appreciative to rent this nice home with a yard for their pets.  Value is certainly here on this one.

Update 2016: the biggest price surge in rentals in Cuenca has been with houses with yards. We’re seeing a huge demand from the foreigner for large modern houses with yards in certain neighborhoods near river and walking to the grocery store. These houses typically go between $600 and $1500 if it has all the needs the foreigner wants.  Who’d a thought that “best place to retire on a budget” would sport these kinds of price tags.  Want to take a guess?


Sure, you’ll see less expensive houses than what we’re talking about but it’s because gringos will not rent those. If it is not within walking distance to El Centro and if it has stairs you might find one for $450 that is modern and large but they are far and few between.

Take a look at how much house you could get back in 2011 to 2013 in Cuenca Ecuador.  Cuenca rental video tours.

Did you look through the tour of homes? Now, simply double and sometimes triple the price on these same homes and apartments and that’s what you can expect to pay in 2016.

If it has a nice yard and no steps the price will triple. When you look through this playlist and see a nice and modern 4 or 5 bedroom with yard for $350 then today it will cost $700 or more.

The less expensive houses are really town homes and have a postage stamp yard or no yard. All of these town homes back in 2012 were $250 -$300! Now they are $380 to $450.

If the home does not have a modern kitchen or bathrooms it might be under $500, and so there are exceptions.  So we can see that the rental inflation is much much lower on houses that foreigners are likely to pass up.

If you are renting in the short term, it’s better to come here and rent something that is already furnished for a little bit more money than to have to buy furniture and appliances for an empty apartment or house. Appliances aren’t cheap here and there are no thrift stores in Cuenca like there is in North America. 

Cuenca has a few used appliance stores here, but they ask an arm, a leg, and a nose for a 70’s style refrigerator, try $275! When you rent with any real estate agency they are going to want a lease of at least six months, and many times a one year lease.  Many will also ask for several deposits up front that you’ll never see again. That really makes them a donation rather than a deposit, if you pay it.  If you really like donating money, we know some ministries that would really appreciate it. 

We found a 5 bedroom 2 bath colonial house for as low as $180 a month. Now, it’s a big old house, mind you, but if you have a big family it might be just what you need. You’ll want to go drive around the area, get out and walk around and see if it is a neighborhood you would like to live in. That was in 2011 of course.

Update 2016 – Yep, prices aren’t what they used to be. 

Do your rental market research, negotiate and be prepared to walk away if the price seems out of line. The longer you lease the rental for the better price you can bargain for.  The bottom line is in the states you have to be careful from getting ripped off, and the same policy holds true for here in Cuenca; you have to be careful here too.

Update 2016 – There are some unscrupulous real estate folks that apparently don’t seem to care if they get a bad reputation in Cuenca. We’re just letting you know, “be diligent”.

Until we write again, you might like to read these articles about renting in Cuenca Ecuador. 
We're an expat family of five liivng frugal, healthy and happy in Cuenca Ecuador. Come along for the adventure.


  1. Hello

    My daughter and I are coming the month of Oct for an exploratory trip. I appreciate the info that you have posted and like the idea that you are staying in a typical Ecuadorian neighbourhood. If you know of any inexpensive places to stay it would be greatly appreciatly. We will be flying into Quito on the 1 of Oct but late at night and was wondering if you had the same flight and if you stayed in Quito for a few days.

    val & Janelle

  2. Hi Val and Janelle,

    I'm sorry but we only had a layover in Quito. From Quito we flew into Guayaquil and we stayed at Hotel Europa. I wish that I could advise you on a nice and safe place to stay in Quito. You might want to check some of the other expat blogs about Quito.

    But, if you are going to be visiting Cuenca, let us know and we can tell you about some nice, safe and inexpensive places for the two of you to stay.

    Take care,

  3. Hi Angie

    I booked yesterday and found a better deal if we left Sept 28 so we will be staying in Quito to have a look around until the 1st of Oct then head to Cuenca where we would greatly appreciate any suggestions for places to stay. We are also very frugal, the biggest is clean and safe-we donot need fancy.

    Thanks again for the quick response

  4. Hi Val,

    Frank stayed at this hostal for over a week while he was looking for us a house to rent. I met the owner myself, she is a real nice lady, very helpful to your needs, but she does not speak English unfortunately.

    "Hostel La Escalinata"

    This clean, safe hostel is on Calle Largo #5-83 and Hermano Miguel. It is in downtown Cuenca close to tons of shops and a major mercado.
    telephone number:(5937) 2-845758
    Email: hostallaescalinata@hotmail.com

    For two people it is $16 nightly, but you may be able to get a weekly rate if you make reservations in advance. The rooms are small but they have private bathrooms and it is a shared communal kitchen. There may be other hostals for less money on calle largo but they probably won't have private bathrooms.

    Frank thought this place was clean and safe. Every morning he would go into the shared kitchen and have tea and meet with other people who are visiting Cuenca. We think for the price this one is a good choice.

    There is s small TV in the rooms and cable. And free wifi Internet, if you have a problem with the password let us know, Frank says it is quirky and very sensitive.

    I found 3 reviews for "Hostal La Escalinita"
    all good reviews but they are in spanish.
    Copy and paste them and put them into google translate. I'm starting to be able to read some Spanish and I think the first one says the price is good and the place was comfortable. LOL :-)


    I guess that's about it. Glad to be of help. Stay in touch! If you want, maybe we can meet up sometime when you get here and our family can show you around.

    Take care!

  5. Hi Angie

    I have emailed La Escalinita, thanks for the info. We would like the idea of having someone else to talk to and see the sites, appreciate the offer. Here is my email address val_mclellan@live.ca

  6. Hi Angie,

    I also may be coming in October. I reached out to Val also. I was thinking of renting a car and looking for a rental. I'v been to Boquete in Panama but I fear there may not be enough to keep me busy. I trust there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available. I have a 16 lb. Certified dog, Springer, who will be moving with me.

    I'll be looking for a small home with a fenced yard. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

    graciaƛ, Rachelle


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