House prices up by 13.24% y-o-y in Q2 2019

Puerto Rico’s seasonally-adjusted (and inflation-adjusted) purchase-only house price index soared by 13.24% during the year to Q2 2019, a sharp improvement from the previous year’s minuscule growth of 0.38%. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices rose by 3.76% in Q2 2019.

Demand is rising, but housing market remains fragile

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

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

Puerto Rico filed for the equivalent of bankruptcy protection in May 2017, unable to pay its massive debt or provide its citizens with 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.  The wider economy is still struggling and is projected to contract by 1.1% this year and by another 0.7% in 2020, after 14 years of depression, according to the IMF.