The COVID-19 pandemic has been the main topic of interest for most cities I have researched over the past year. I recently spoke with sources in Port-au-Prince, Haiti about the expatriate housing market. While Haiti is considered to have a high level of COVID-19 cases and the population is doing their part by wearing masks, Port-au-Prince has been overcome with strife from political protest, violence, and burgeoning cases of kidnapping.
The Housing Market is Feeling the Impact of violence
The increasing violence contributed to the drop in housing market value, while at the same time increasing the rent of the rare, good-quality homes in safe neighborhoods. The neighborhood of Pacot is nice and popular for its central location near downtown but is now considered a high-tension area by sources because of gang activity. Security is the number one priority when looking for an apartment. As such, most companies find a good apartment and continue to rent it as opposed to looking for a new one when they bring in a new assignee.
Sources report that Haiti is now an individual destination for expatriates – expats are relocating there alone, without spouses or families. There are some houses on the market because of the vacancies left by people leaving the country. Good neighborhoods remain in high demand because there are only a few areas where there is no violence. Real estate agents are still showing homes when they feel it’s safe to do so and some expats remain to finish existing projects. Though a dire situation, hope still exists among the people, as life must carry on. All segments of the population are reacting to the situation, not just the housing sector. Ultimately everyone just wants to be able to live a healthy life safely and securely - but at what cost?