House prices up by 10.59% y-o-y in Q3 2019

Puerto Rico’s housing market is recovering fast, after several years of house price falls. The seasonally-adjusted purchase-only house price index soared 10.59% during the year to Q3 2019, in contrast to the previous year’s y-o-y decline of 3.76%, using inflation-adjusted figures. Though quarter-on-quarter, house prices fell by 2.66% in Q3 2019. 

Demand is rising, but housing market remains fragile

Demand is rising again, as insurance and federal aid money pour in, coupled with growing interest from Americans looking for bargain. During 2018, sales for newly built houses surged 78% from a year earlier while existing home sales rose by 17%, Estudios Técnicos, Inc. (TSI). Home sales are expected to continue rising this year.

Despite this, the housing market is expected to remain fragile, amidst the island’s continued economic woes, massive debt, and population loss. 

Puerto Rico filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in May 2017, unable to pay its massive debt or provide its citizens effective services. With US$70 billion in debt and US$50 billion in pension liabilities, Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy filing is the biggest in the history of the United States, dwarfing Detroit’s US$18 billion bankruptcy filing in 2013.

Rents, rental yields: no yields data available for Puerto Rico.

Recent news.  Yet the wider economy is still struggling and is projected to contract further by 1.1% this year and by another 0.7% in 2020, after 14 years of depression, according to the IMF.