Why Are Houses So Cheap in Puerto Rico? (7+ Reasons)

Puerto Rico, a tropical paradise known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and vibrant history, has been capturing the interest of many, including potential homebuyers seeking affordable housing options.

In recent years, the island has gained attention for its remarkably inexpensive real estate market, leaving many wondering why houses are so cheap in Puerto Rico. In this article, we will delve into the factors that contribute to this unique phenomenon so keep reading!

Why Are Houses So Cheap in Puerto Rico?

Why Are Houses So Cheap in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico’s affordability in the housing market can be attributed to a combination of economic, demographic, and policy-related factors. These factors create an environment where property prices remain relatively low compared to the mainland United States and other Caribbean destinations. Let’s explore each of these factors!

(a) Economic Factors

Tax Incentives

One of the primary drivers of Puerto Rico’s affordable housing market is its unique tax incentives. The island offers significant tax benefits to both individuals and businesses, attracting a diverse range of investors.

These incentives include lower property taxes, capital gains exemptions, and federal tax incentives for businesses, making property ownership and investment more enticing. See more!

Tax Incentives

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Puerto Rico is generally lower than on the mainland, influencing property prices. Reduced expenses in areas such as healthcare, transportation, and groceries make it more feasible for residents to afford homeownership.

(b) Housing Market Trends

Oversupply of Properties

An oversupply of luxury properties is a key factor in the island’s affordable real estate market. Following the global financial crisis and the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, over 200,000 people left the island, leading to an excess of available properties. This surplus has contributed to lower housing prices.

Impact of Natural Disasters

Puerto Rico’s susceptibility to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, has caused periodic disruptions in the housing market. Properties affected by these events are often sold at lower prices, further influencing the affordability of the real estate.

(c) Population Dynamics

Migration Patterns

The island has experienced a significant outmigration of its population, particularly among the younger generation seeking better economic opportunities elsewhere. This migration has contributed to a decreased demand for housing, subsequently affecting property prices.

Aging Population

Puerto Rico also faces an aging population, which can lead to a reduced demand for larger homes. This demographic trend influences the types of properties available and their corresponding prices.

(d) Government Policies

Foreclosure Crisis

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Puerto Rico experienced a foreclosure crisis, leading to a higher inventory of distressed properties. These properties often sell at lower prices, contributing to the overall affordability of the housing market.

Public Debt Crisis

The island’s significant public debt crisis has resulted in economic challenges that impact both property values and market demand. These financial difficulties have contributed to keeping housing prices relatively low.

(e) Infrastructure and Development

Limited Job Opportunities

Limited job opportunities and lower average wages compared to the mainland have influenced the purchasing power of residents. This, in turn, affects the demand for housing and property prices.

Infrastructure Challenges

Infrastructure challenges, including unreliable utilities and transportation systems, have discouraged some potential buyers from investing in Puerto Rico. These challenges can impact property values and market growth.

(f) Cultural and Social Factors

Cultural Diversity

The island’s rich cultural diversity is a defining aspect of Puerto Rico’s charm. However, it can also influence housing prices, as cultural preservation efforts can limit development and alter property demand in certain areas.

Historic Preservation

Efforts to preserve historic architecture and landmarks can restrict development possibilities, affecting property values and market dynamics.

(g) Investor Influence

Foreign Investment

Foreign investors seeking affordable real estate opportunities have contributed to the demand for properties in Puerto Rico. While this can boost the market, it can also influence pricing and limit local access to housing.


Speculative investment practices, particularly in the wake of the island’s economic challenges, have contributed to fluctuations in property prices. These speculative activities can create an unpredictable market environment.


In conclusion, the affordability of houses in Puerto Rico can be attributed to a combination of economic incentives, housing market trends, population dynamics, government policies, infrastructure challenges, cultural factors, and investor influence. While the island’s cheap real estate prices can be appealing, potential buyers should carefully consider the various factors at play before making a decision.

Common FAQs

Is buying property in Puerto Rico a good investment?

While affordable prices can make it an appealing investment, thorough research is essential due to various market influences.

Are property values expected to rise in the future?

Property values can be influenced by a range of factors, making it important to consider both short- and long-term trends.

What are the downsides of purchasing cheap property in Puerto Rico?

Challenges include infrastructure issues, market unpredictability, and potential limitations on property use.

Can non-residents buy property in Puerto Rico?

 Yes, non-residents can buy property in Puerto Rico, but there are specific legal and tax considerations to be aware of.

How do natural disasters affect the housing market in Puerto Rico?

Natural disasters can disrupt the market by damaging properties and influencing pricing fluctuations.

Also Read: Why Are Houses So Expensive in Charlotte NC? (6 Factors Behind the Rising Real Estate Market)