What you didn't know about buying real estate in Cuba
With relations between the US government and Cuba slowly beginning to thaw after 50 years of economic sanctions, foreigners are looking at the possibilities of investing in Real Estate in Cuba. Many predict that not only will the pace of U.S. tourism increase, but also the desire for high end hoteliers as well as residential developers and buyers will explode. Many things will have to be considered carefully including permits and authorizations, as well as structural and zoning permissions, however the opportunities are seemingly endless. Yad Aguiar of Point 2 Cuba, a Cuban real estate consultancy firm based in Toronto, explains how the laws concerning owning real estate currently work and how things may or may not change with the recent developments. Currently there are three ways foreign investors can acquire residential real estate in Cuba:
Marriage—This will allow the foreigner to become a Cuban citizen, thereby legally entitling him or her the right to purchase real estate in the country.
Buy property in the names of Cuban spouses, family members or friends—A common means of acquiring real estate currently is by using a Cuban national as proxy, whether it be a family member or friend.
Buy direct from a foreigner who owns a home, or an apartment in Cuba—Since the early 90s, Cuban law permitted the construction of some condominium style buildings where foreigners could buy an apartment. Those who bought these are now able to sell them to other foreigners who are not residents in Cuba. It is therefore possible for foreign investors to buy Real Estate in Cuba by buying directly from one of the current foreigners who owns a home or an apartment in Cuba. The visa category, Residente de Inmobiliaria (Real Estate Resident) is now officially listed along with other types of visas that incoming foreigners can apply for. Cuba has opened the doors to investment property with the approval of a new immigration law granting residency to foreign owners and lessees of property in the country.This is a way according to current legislation, where a non-Cuban resident can buy a home or invest in the Cuban Real estate market.
Changes in the Cuban Real Estate Market
What changes if any will result from recent changes in US-Cuban relations?—For us this means a lot, people are looking at Cuba now in a different way, they are realizing the potential of owning Real Estate in one of the most beautiful and safest islands in the Caribbean. A number of major American hotel companies have already spotted sites in which they’re interested. I’ve already heard of a 750-slip marina under discussion. For travelers, the prices will be incredible, beautiful penthouse condos will be going for as little as $200,000. We started the business when only few people in Cuba knew what was the meaning of the word Real Estate, but now times have changed and we all are betting for a better future.
Yad Aguiar is the CEO of Point 2 Cuba, A Cuban real estate consultancy firm based in Toronto. He can be reached at 905.628.8572 or through the company website