January 28, 2008


Cuba burns with real estate fever on the sly (Marc Lacey, January 28, 2008, IHT)

[T]he people of Havana, it turns out, are as obsessed with real estate as, say, condo-crazy New Yorkers, and have similar dreams of more elbow room, not to mention the desire for hot water, their own toilets, and roofs that do not leak.

And although there is no Century 21 here, there is a bustling underground market in homes and apartments, which has given rise to agents (illegal ones), speculators (they are illegal, too) and scams (which range from praising a dive as a dream house to backing out of a deal at the closing and pocketing the cash).

The whole enterprise is quintessentially Cuban, socialist on its face but really a black market involving equal parts drama and dinero, sometimes as much as $50,000 or more. These days, insiders say, prices are on the rise as people try to get their hands on historic homes in anticipation of a time when private property may return to Cuba.

The speed with which Fidel becomes a mere asterisk in Cuban history will be staggering.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2008 8:01 AM

Wow! Buyer beware. Exactly who do you trust in that kinda deal. Who is to say they won't resell it on you also. A sad situation for all involved.

Posted by: Port Orange Homes For Sale at January 28, 2008 8:27 AM

He will never be an asterisk to the families who lost relatives. Don't forget, that as a percentage of population, Castro killed and imprisoned more than almost any other dictator. His informant system rivaled East Germany, and he was quicker to shoot.

Posted by: ratbert at January 28, 2008 9:37 AM

Watch how suddenly lots of Castro lovers among the chatterati suddenly show up as owners of beach front property bought cheap. Sure those who lost loved ones will continue to mourn, but Castro, like so many other 20th century dictators, will be looked at by history as mere blips on the radar of the coming world peace and prosperity.

In the information age, myths no longer apply. Freedom works, slavery not so much.

Posted by: erp at January 28, 2008 12:07 PM