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Cuba After Castro

Last year for the first time Cuba’s government allowed a private party to sell real estate property to another private party, and now the country’s real estate market is thriving. Prices are up, and the number of houses for sale keeps growing, according to a recent article on the New America Media site.

The new properties are drawing interest from Mexicans looking to live in Cuba, and also from Americans:

“I’d love to have a vacation house in the Vedado, or a beachfront property in Mirarmar,” said David, a long-time California resident whose wife is Cuban. David, who asked that his last name not be used, added he is hopeful that through his wife’s family in Cuba he will be able to find an investment property.

The article suggests that the real estate boom is connected to speculation that the Castro family’s rule of the country might soon end. Recently Raul Castro said “I am going to resign. I’m turning 82 years old, and I have a right to retire.” If his reign is almost over and Fidel is nearing death, Cuba has a chance to think about what its post-Castro future will look like.

One very promising route for Cuba is to capitalize on foreign interest in its properties to lure retirees and even younger workers to the country. More and more Americans are choosing to retire abroad, and as telework technology improves, working people may seize the opportunity to decamp as well. Since Western expats tend to be much wealthier than natives of Cuba, the country could derive huge financial benefits from increasing its foreign population.

If the US loosens restrictions on American travel to Cuba, and Cuba adopts something like Panama’s special discount program for retirees, the country could experience an expat-driven financial boom.

[Image of Cuba from Shutterstock]

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