According to a recent statement from Carlos Alberto Gonzalez, the President of Real Estate Camber of Venezuela (CIV), the country’s inflation rate has ballooned enough to impact both public and private sectors of the real estate market.
The most shocking part of his statement, as Blasting News and Descifrado reported, was that the average Venezuelan working full-time in a minimum wage job would have to save up for 166 years in order to purchase a house now.
Currently, the minimum wage in Venezuela is 7,421 bolivars per month (about $37 U.S.). The average cost of housing in Venezuela is 15 million bolivars.
As of Sept. 2015, with one bolivar equal to .16 U.S. dollar, 15 million bolivars roughly equals $2.36 million U.S.
For comparison, the average cost of a home in the U.S. (as of July 2015) was $235,000, according to Bloomberg Business.
Unfortunately, a new house isn’t the only thing that costs more than most Venezuelans can afford to buy. The same minimum-wage worker currently has to save up for seven months to buy a new pair of running shoes. Purchasing a smartphone takes at least six years of savings. For a new car, it would take 50 years to pay off the cost.
Compared to the financial situation of the average American citizen, the plight of Venezuela seems even more extreme. Even though 27% of Americans have absolutely no savings and 62% admit they have trouble paying for unexpected expenses, the majority of Americans can scrounge up some extra cash for a cheap pair of shoes even without saving up for the purchase.
Gonzalez seemed rather unaffected by the sad state of affairs in Venezuela and simply said that “it is a problem of general impoverishment of the population and we [the CIV] can not solve [that].”