The exchange rate reached 20 pesos to every U.S. dollar last summer and has remained close to that number ever since, prompting a wave of new interest in Mexico real estate among international buyers, especially Americans. The reason is simple: Every U.S. dollar goes further than ever, buying around 43% more pesos than it did only two short years ago. Although prices in Mexico have risen a bit in response, there is still an enormous increase in the purchasing power of expats, and that includes buying real estate in some of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.
“Mexico has always offered good-value real estate,” wrote International Living. “Even million-dollar beachfront properties in Mexico would likely cost two to three times more in Southern California or in Victoria, British Columbia.”
Although many properties listed in Mexico are already either priced in dollars or have been pegged to the U.S. dollar since the peso started to slide, real estate prices in popular destinations like Tulum and Playa del Carmen are still highly competitive and making money in Mexico is easier than ever before, especially if you invest in a property that provides an almost guaranteed rental income. Also, maintenance costs in Mexico, such as utilities, property taxes and other expenses are much more affordable than you will find in the U.S., Canada and much of Europe.
The bottom line? Real estate is still a great investment in expat havens like Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras on the Caribbean coast in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, as well as inland towns like Lake Chapala, Merida and San Miguel de Allende, and Pacific coast gems like Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit.
“These are all popular expat destinations, with plenty of amenities,” wrote International Living. “There’s no shortage of things to do – and folks to do them with – in all these cities.”
Not surprisingly, International Living just named Mexico #1 among the world’s best places to retire abroad this year, and is has long been recognized as one of the best countries for expats of all ages. All of this has contributed to a big spike in the number of Americans, Canadians and Europeans who are interested in Mexico real estate and dream of living in Playa del Carmen someday or experiencing all the perks of the Tulum lifestyle year round.
According to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), more than 13% of prospective buyers who are interested in purchasing properties outside the United States wanted to buy in Mexico during 2017; a number that is three times greater than it was in 2015, when it hit roughly 4%. Buyers are increasingly interested in spending winters in better climates, but Florida is just too expensive and much more crowded than places in the Riviera Maya like Tulum, which is known worldwide for its laid-back lifestyle and for having some of the best beaches in the world.
Finally, while searching for great real estate deals, just keep in mind that you ideally want to find a property that can deliver the best return on investment in Mexico and provides some type of guaranteed rental income. It’s also important to work with a company that has already made a name for successfully managing vacation home rentals, since the whole idea of buying an investment property is to make extra income… Not to take on another full-time job!