THE INFORMAL HOUSING MARKET OF HAVANA Where in most parts of the world the housing market is formalized, in Cuba reigns informality. Buyers, vendors and ‘corredores’ -housing agents- and ‘permuteros’ -housing swoppers- gather at the corner of the Prado and Colon on Saturday morning to connect. With hand written cardboard houses are advertised en vivo. It is only since 2012 that Cubans are allowed to sell private properties such as houses. Before only exchanging houses -permuto- was allowed. A referential value is set by the government to indicate the housing value and the amount of tax that has to be paid, which is formalized in the contracts. However, through non-verbal agreements houses are sold for much higher prices in cash. Cubans have created an entire system of informal tricks around the selling of real-estate.