Puerto Rico is becoming the new Florida for wealthy households, remote workers

“Our house is a very, very nice house with a sea view from our yard, life used to be hard, now everything is easy because of the tax breaks.” That’s how Graham Nash could have written a 21st century version of Classic Crosby, Stills & Nash—you just depend on crypto brethren and Puerto Rico in the 2020s for hippies and Laurel Canyon in the 1970s.

Since the pandemic began, the wealthy and those who work remotely have moved elsewhere Statuses and even Nation to live bigger while the cost of living remains high. Florida became one of the biggest hot spots, but the influx of people made the Sunshine State more affordable price as soaring housing prices push the retired population to cheaper places like Alabama. Now, remote workers and the ultra-wealthy have found a new housing market to wreak havoc: luxury villas in Puerto Rico.

Peter Bazeli, principal and chief executive officer of luxury real estate firm Weitzman, says the trend has been “burning slowly” since 2012 when significant tax breaks began. The Wall Street Journal. But it really accelerated in 2019 when the amendments were passed as part of the 60 . Act allows new eligible non-local Puerto Rican residents not to pay any federal tax. It’s a better deal than Florida with the same heat and sunshine; while the Floridians enjoy some of the lowest overall taxes In the country, even without the combined income and sales tax of just over 7%, they still have to pay federal taxes. Along with the rise of remote work, Puerto Rico’s stronger tax breaks have encouraged people from Crypto Brothers And families for the digital nomads and businesses that flock to the island.

Peter Bazeli, principal and chief executive officer of luxury real estate firm Weitzman, told The New York Times: The Wall Street Journal.

Rodrick Miller, chief executive officer of Invest Puerto Rico, said the housing boom breathed “new life into the Puerto Rican economy” in early 2020. The average sales of million-dollar homes in exclusive Dorado Beach have skyrocketed from $3.4 million in 2021 to $6.2 million in 2023, according to data provided to magazine by Sotheby’s International Realty. Although regular transactions have been restricted recently due to economic issues, sinking cryptocurrency and low inventories, local real estate agents told magazine (average house listing in San Juan at $550,000, up 26.4% from last year, but far from a peak of $1.15 million two years ago), interest in luxury homes remains at High- magazine cites a home that sold for 33% more than its original price of $40 million as a prime example.

But there is an exclusivity to this move. In contrast to the increasingly lavish lifestyle, Puerto Rico is battling an economic downturn and mounting debt; Annual economic growth fell by 12.5% ​​from 2004 to 2020, according to the report Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Although Census data shows that 40% of Puerto Rico’s residents live in poverty, 4.9% lower than when the tax relief was introduced more than 10 years ago, the percentage is still high— and the poverty rate in Puerto Rico is more than double that of the poorest state in the United States, according to CFR.

Council data also shows that most of the native Puerto Ricans have left the island; Migration patterns became a cat cradle as wealthy Americans left Florida for Puerto Rico and some Puerto Ricans. move to Florida for a greater chance (especially after receiving minimal support after the disaster).

María Torres-López, former Puerto Rican resident and founder of the non-profit Diáspora en Resistencia: “If someone needs to move and shop in Puerto Rico, it has to be Puerto Ricans who have no choice. other than leaving. , speak Time in 2021.

However, the wealthy continued to pour in, making Puerto Rico ‘our home’; or playground, even if their money is pocketed in their secluded mansion.


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