New-Housing Sales Decline 24% in February
In February, only 89 new homes were sold in Puerto Rico, 24% less than the same month last year and the lowest number in nine months, according to statistics from the Financial Institutions Commissioner’s Office (OCIF by its Spanish acronym).
On the other hand, sales of existing homes increased 1% in February, reaching 685. In total, 774 homes were sold in February, 2.6% less than last year.
During the first two months of the year, total sales have decreased 5.8%, swept away by a big drop in new-housing sales (-16.4%), while sales of existing homes decreased 3.9% during the same time.
The average price of a new home in Puerto Rico was $153,442, which was 10.3% less than February of last year. On the other hand, the average for an existing home fell 3.7% to $144,218. In 2015, 1,446 new homes and 8,435 existing homes were sold, or a total of 9,881 homes islandwide, according to OCIF data. The number of homes sold last year was up 3.4% over sales in 2014, which was the lowest in four years.
According to a Caribbean Business report (Sept. 18, 2015), due to the massive outmigration to the U.S. mainland that Puerto Rico has experienced in recent years, about 22% of the housing units on the island are vacant.