Why Havana's High-End Properties Cost More Than Miami's

Legalizing the buying and selling of homes between residents and foreigners with "permanent" residence status has created a massive real estate boom in Cuba's capital.

What's the Latest Development?


Cuba's real estate market has enjoyed significant growth in the year since the government of President Raúl Castro legalized private buying and selling of homes. Thanks also to increased tourism, helped along by a loosening of US rules regarding flights, buyers -- many of them Cubans who left for Florida during Castro's brother Fidel's regime -- have been snapping up luxury homes in Havana for prices that reach beyond those for similar properties in Miami. Real estate agents, who are technically illegal but tolerated on the island, confirm that "[t]he market is fantastic."

What's the Big Idea?

The Internet is where most buyers are finding homes, with two Web sites -- Detrás de la Fachada and Revolico -- experiencing much of the traffic. On these sites, houses are going for as much as $1 million, even though the prices are listed in much-lower "convertible Cuban pesos." Cuba's law restricts buying and selling to Cuban citizens and those foreigners who have permanent residence status. So even though the actual buyers may be Cuban-American, the sale documents will list the name of a citizen who, most likely, can't afford anywhere near the actual cost of the property. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less