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At the end of last year, the Cuban government started allowing its citizens to legally buy and sell real estate (mostly apartments) after several generations of a ban on private property and real estate sales. Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez explains below how Cuba's real estate market is now divided into two groups of apartments and homes for sale, those built during the "capitalist period" of the 1940s and 1950s (which are advertised as "capitalist construction") and those built in the post-capitalist period starting in the 1960s and after. Can you guess which apartments sell at a premium and which ones sell at a discount?

But there is one qualifier that no one neglects to add if their housing warrants it, and that is "capitalist construction," if it was built before 1959. There is a clear parting of the waters and implacable divide between that built before the Revolution and that which has risen during it. If the apartment building is from the decades of the 40s or 50s the price soars, while those apartments built during the years of Sovietization, are relegated to an inferior level of offerings. The housing market brings out — with all its toughness — a scale of values that is far from the official discourse and that reassigns a new amount to everything, an objective yardstick for measuring quality.

Must be something about socialism -- you can see the same phenomenon in Eastern Europe, too.

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