Puerto Rico price bargains

© krisanapong detraphiphat - Moment/Getty Images

Bargain Hunters Are Eyeing Puerto Rico

July 10, 2018

Puerto Rico continues to recover from a devastating hurricane last year that blanketed the island with a wave of destruction. But while the aftermath of Hurricane Maria still lingers, Americans are reportedly showing an increasing interest in buying properties on the island. The number of online searches for Puerto Rican homes for sale is peaking since Maria’s impact and a growing number of potential buyers from the U.S. say they’re looking to purchase low-priced homes in Puerto Rico within a year, according to an analysis by Point2 Homes.

Bargains abound for homes on the island. Property values in Puerto Rico are now worth nearly half of what they were eight years ago—a median of $224,000 in 2010 vs. $116,750 in 2018. A recession prior to the hurricane had caused property values to plummet and home prices have fallen by another 15 percent since Hurricane Maria struck, according to Point2 Homes.

The damage caused by Hurricane Maria is estimated at around $90 billion—$37 billion of which was destruction of homes. More than 470,000 homes were damaged in the hurricane, and more than 16,000 residents are facing foreclosure.

Sixty percent of the people browsing for homes in Puerto Rico are considered “serious buyers,” according to Point2 Homes survey. Thirty-four percent said they want to get a feel for the prices there before they decide. The island is becoming a draw for Americans looking to invest in low-priced real estate. Twenty-nine percent of the online visitors to Point 2 Home’s Puerto Rico section said they plan to buy real estate in Puerto Rico within the next six months; 28 percent intend to buy within seven to 12 months; and 18 percent don’t have a timeline. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they plan to purchase a property between $101,000 and $200,000, followed by 26 percent who said their budget was between $51,000 and $100,000.

The motivations behind the interested buyers who want to buy properties in Puerto Rico were varied: investment opportunities (30%); vacation homes (22%); and family and friends who are already living there (39%). Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they were interested in purchasing a home on the island prior to Hurricane Maria.