Two PhD candidates: The Making of Havana’s Property Market
This study aims to reconstruct Cuba’s economic transition with a particular focus on the making of the property market in the country’s capital city of Havana. The emerging literature on the globalization of real estate has addressed how internationally circulating capital has increasingly found its ways into the property markets of the ‘Global South’. The restrictions of underdeveloped financial and real estate markets in these countries have been turned into frontiers in the global urbanization of capital. We propose to study the regulation and market making practices that shape and reshape the Cuban property market following the legalization of private property in 2011. We focus on: 1) the emerging homeownership and tourism property markets; 2) the transnational flow of investment, especially from Cuban expats in Miami and elsewhere in the US; and 3) how households (small entrepreneurs) use opportunities in the tourism property market. Together, these processes are constitutive to Havana’s emerging property market. The practices of local entrepreneurs and the inflow of capital from Cuban expats in Miami into Havana’s (tourism) property market are an entry into understanding Cuba’s socio-economic transition towards market socialism. As such, our study also responds to the call to develop more multipolar and cosmopolitan modes of urban theory construction in an age of globalized and financialized capitalism.