The beach in Pattaya, Thailand attracts expat investors from all over the world for miles of beachfront condos.

I just got back from vacation in Thailand, where there were fantastic luxury beachfront condos selling for a fraction of the price they would sell in Puerto Rico.

Intrigued - I stopped in and met with several local real estate brokers about the Thai real estate market.  

All the brokers agreed that the prices were very attractive compared to international markets - the the reason was simple - virtually all sales were 'all cash'.  Mortgages are very rare in Thailand - usually only obtained if a buyers' 'home country' bank will extend off-shore secured loans.

As a result - although demand is consistent from from Russia, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia and other international markets, prices stay low because buyers have to purchase properties without the leverage of a long-term mortgage and any associated tax benefits in their home country.

This is the situation that Puerto Rico finds itself in during 2015 - very few banks are making mortgage loans - putting our local market in the 'all-cash' category.

While this puts downward pressure on prices - it will not last forever. Puerto Rico has a long tradition of mortgage financing which is temporarily disrupted, causing the current situation where demand sometimes seems nonexistent.

As soon as banks are willing and able to start issuing mortgages again - pricing will stabilize and prices will rise . 

When will this happen?  This is the perennial challenge for investors.  Do you buy now and perhaps see a short-term drop where you say 'I should have waited'...  or do you wait too long and say 'if only I had bought when prices were so low'...  Timing is everything - but rarely exactly at an exact top of bottom of the cycle.

If you are considering an investment in Puerto Rico...

If you need a broker in San Juan, PR - call 787-455-4216

Our real estate broker office is located in San Juan's SANTURCE Arts District near Ciudadela, Lote 23 & Cobian's Plaza.

Office hours are Monday - Saturday from 9am - 7pm.  (by appointment only).

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