Lisbeth Alcala doesn't have a piece of paper to show she owns her home in Caribia Socialist City, a housing project that quite literally bears the sprawling signature of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
But that hasn't stopped her from investing her savings to remodel her apartment, a 72-square-meter (775-square-foot) unit in a boxy low-rise complex outside Caracas which has the leftist leader's autograph painted in enormous pink letters on one side.
Venezuela's government has some odd ideas about how to stimulate the nation's housing market.
Consider a new law that forces homeowners to sell their rental units to tenants. As of Monday, anyone who owns three or more properties and has rented a unit for more than 20 years, must sell it at a "fair price" to be determined by the state. Landlords who fail to do so face fines and could lose their homes.
The latest industry report reiterates what top residential realty brokers have been saying: Latin American buyers are essential to the local market.
Florida Realtors’ “2013 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida” states 69% of international buyers in Miami are from Latin America or the Caribbean.
“They are major players,” said Lynda Fernandez, senior vice president of public relations for the Miami Association of Realtors.
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