Saturday, September 20, 2008

Puerto Rico's Housing Market

The U.S is not the only country in the world to be experiencing major problems in the housing market. Puerto Rico also has its fair share of challenges, albeit on a smaller scale than those found on the mainland. Compared to the U.S, in general, housing prices in Puerto Rico didn't go through the roof. However, the past 10 years or so, there were certainly quite a bit of construction throughout the island. The good is, real estate prices haven't fallen drastically. For those who are interested in buying a property a Puerto Rico, especially for first time homebuyers, now may actually be a good time.

On Saturdays, El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora, both have huge housing classified sections. Just flipping through you'll find the many attractive offers available. One of the most frequently advertised includes the joint Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Puerto Rican government's $25,000 cash advance for first time homebuyers. This offers only applies towards the purchase of a newly built house or condominium. This offer, as of right now, is available until the end of this year. If the purchaser qualifies, and accepts this government incentive, he or she is legally bound to hold onto the property for at least three years. So, don't think about doing a quick flip around.

Housing prices in Puerto Rico vary widely, depending on where you're interested in buying. The general rule is, the further away from San Juan, the more affordable. If looking for a home near the beach, Fajardo, Dorado, and Cabo Rojo are some of the most popular areas where you can find some reasonably priced homes. Currently, housing developers face a huge challenge selling homes above $300K. As in the U.S, you'll find developers offering a variety of amenities, from credits on closing costs, kitchen appliances, etc. Obviously, desperate times calls for desperate measures.

No comments: