Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

April 2009: The House of my Dreams

The slump in Puerto Rico’s housing market

Housing has always been at the forefront of the PR economy. Together with the public sector, housing became a powerful engine that kept the economic machine working over the past fifteen years.  Now, with housing trapped in one of its worst slumps ever, the story is quite different. Construction is shedding more and more jobs and the bleeding has not stopped. Thousands of housing units remain empty across the island. The affliction of the housing sector has spread to the rest of the economy, including banks, mortgage bankers, realtors, and many other companies. This is not the first time housing goes astray in Puerto Rico. Past lessons were forgotten and there is still a lot to learn from this crisis. This issue analyzes some of the causes and draws valuable lessons for the future.