Summary of Cuba’s New Real Estate Market

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Cuba’s New Real Estate Market summary
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  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening
  • Well Structured


After more than 50 years of transacting covertly, Cubans now have the right to buy and sell property openly and legitimately. Prior to the passage of legislation in 2011, Cubans’ homes served strictly as shelters, not assets. The new law expands human rights, normalizes property rules, and gives Cuban citizens the potential to amass personal wealth and gain better housing. getAbstract recommends this on-the-ground recounting of the birth of a “new and unusual real estate market” for its insights into Cuba’s road to economic reform.

About the Author

Philip Peters is president of the Cuba Research Center, a nonprofit based in Virginia.



Cuba’s 1960 Urban Reform Law set out the state’s view that “housing is for people to live in, not to live from.” The law turned renters into homeowners, eventually granting renters legal title to their residences. But this and subsequent legislation prohibited private parties from buying and selling residential real estate, though citizens could inherit or bequeath property. The law allowed Cubans to swap homes, and they did, even as they skirted government controls; gathering in streetside marketplaces, people openly exchanged housing units, along with surreptitious cash payments for better or bigger properties...

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