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New Bill Loosens Restrictions on Foreigners Buying Mexico Real Estate

30 April, 2013

The lower house of Mexico’s congress voted this week to loosen longstanding restrictions on foreigners who buy Mexico real estate along the nation’s coast and borders. The measure will become law following approval from the senate and a majority of state legislatures.

"Thousands of Americans and Canadians already own beach homes in Mexico anyway and many more are interested in buying,” writes ABC News.

Since the early 1970s,the nation’s many American,Canadian and other international buyers have had to use the services of a real estate trust,also known as a fideicomiso,to legally purchase real estate in Mexico. Since Article 27 of the nation’s constitution has prohibited foreigners from directly owning land that is within 31 miles of the coast and 62 miles of the nation’s borders,these real estate trusts have been used to provide a way for buyers to own property. As you may imagine,this has created a profitable business for the banks,lawyers,etc. who are required to handle the extensive paperwork and operation of the trusts.

“The change,sponsored by Congressman Manlio Fabio Beltrones of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party,would allow foreigners to directly buy oceanfront property for residential use,” according to Fox News.

One of the major reasons these reforms are receiving so much support among government officials is the widespread desire for more foreign investment dollars,which will come in part from the growing number of foreign retirees who will opt to purchase real estate in Mexico if the buying process is streamlined. In addition,when the restrictions were originally included in Mexico’s constitution,they were meant to deter foreign invasion – a concern that is no longer relevant today. In other words,the concerns that led to the law limiting foreign ownership of real estate have been overcome in modern society.

“We want to facilitate investment in tourism and generate jobs,” stated Mexican congressman Manlio Beltrones,who is one of the bill’s main supporters according to ABC.

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