Properties in the Maya Riviera, left, and San Miguel are popular among prospective American buyers. Properties in the Maya Riviera, left, and San Miguel are popular among prospective American buyers.

American buyers show more interest in MX

Realtors association says interest in Mexico was three times greater last year

Interest in Mexican properties among Americans looking for real estate abroad was three times greater last year than in 2015.


Data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that 13% of prospective buyers of properties outside the United States wanted to buy in Mexico, the newspaper El Financiero reported yesterday.

In 2015 that figure was just 4%.

Florida realtor Margarita Sanclemente said buyers want to spend their winters in locations with a better climate, such as the Riviera Maya. Buying a beach house in Florida is much more costly, particularly in terms of taxes and maintenance, than it is in Mexico, said the CEO of Sanclemente Group.

The NAR data showed that 87% of U.S. citizens look for property abroad for use as a vacation home and as a rental.

Sanclemente said the annual cost of maintaining a property in the U.S. is 1.8% of the property’s value. In Mexico the figure is just 0.2%, she said.

The areas in which Americans are most interested, such as the Riviera Maya and San Miguel de Allende, the realtor said, are beginning to price properties in American dollars, meaning greater profits for developers and realtors in light of the peso’s decline in value.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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  • Ralf Keyes

    Unfortunately, with the incoming US administration eyeing changes to NAFTA and also implementing mass deportations of Mexican immigrants, buying a house in 2017 in Mexico is too risky. And auto makers are already cancelling plans to expand in Mexico. Mass unemployment may cause uptake in crime. Sorry to see this happen.

    • Less U.S. auto production will not cause “mass unemployment” across Mexico. The exchange rate makes this a great time to buy property unless it’s priced in dollars. Then you look elsewhere.

      • Adrian Thompson

        Do NOT buy in dollars. as all sales are registered in pesos. So consider you buy a house for $200,000 dollars the price in pesos is based on the exchange rate. So let’s assume 2-3 years ago the dollar to pesos was at 12 pesos to the dollar. Te house sale was actually at $200,000 x 12 = 2,400,000 pesos. Now you want to sell the same house for $200,000 dollars but the exchange is now 21.81. Now the same $200,000 house is 4,362,619 pesos. You will pay capital gains tax on the difference. 4,362,619 pesos – 2,400,000 = 1,962,619 pesos. You will lose money on buying and selling at $200,000.

    • 101st

      He (Trump) has also eyed/commented on a few issues that prompted Pena Nieto to make a threat with regards to gringos and their US dollar accounts in Mexico……freezing them.

    • Hailey Mannering

      The returning workers will include many skilled tradesmen who can build to USA standards.

    • Cheeeery

      Gloom and Doom

      No administration has deported more that the current one.

      So if it didn’t happen by now, it is unlikely to.

  • Buying a property in Mexico that is priced in dollars is a very dumb thing to do. You’re getting hosed.

    • Ralf Keyes

      In expat areas, housing is almost always priced in US dollars.

    • Cheeeery

      If it was 100 grand two years ago, it better be priced at 50 grand now, or you better be walking away.

    • Sue Christoph Thiel

      What areas can you buy in pesos? I have never seen an expat area where you can buy in pesos.

      • Sellers that are specifically targeting Gringo buyers will price properties in dollars, and heavily expat’ed (I invented a word!) areas especially have that problem. Properties in most of Mexico, however, are priced in pesos. Two solutions: 1. Get out of expat areas. 2. Send in a Mexican front man or woman.

      • It’s not a good idea to move south and immediately purchase a house anyway. Rent first. That gives you time to get a feel for the lay of the land, so to speak. If you speak Spanish, you’ve improved your situation immensely. Lots of properties are listed in pesos, but they’re listed in Spanish.

  • Happygirl

    “Don’t do it”, were the words that a good friend who owned property in Mexico told us…We didn’t listen. To those thinking of buying “Don’t do it” this is from someone who wants someone, anyone to buy our Mexican home. We love Mexico, we love our Mexican home but Mexico wears you down, it fills your soul but drains your spirit. Most foreigners who buy homes here last from two to eight years…the people who make money are the realestate agents and the notarys. You will lose money or just break even…those expensive dreams homes sell last. So do what we did..if you really want to buy – spend what you are willing to walk away from (houses take years to sell), the asking price is only a suggestion (there are more fish in the sea…lots and lots) so don’t be afraid to make a low ball offer, you get the best deal if you do your research and are willing to wait. Remember those trendy spots don’t hold their over priced value. Realestate agents cannot and should not be trusted (for too many reasons to list). The price of the house is the small part…furnishings are expensive, that pool requires upkeep and you really won’t use it that much, the houses here crack (repair them because buyers are scared off them)…repairs cost $$$ so you better be handy(I’m talking about the house, the electronics, the appliances, the car). Your home is a target for thieves, poor neighbours looking for a hand out or a job. If you think your home in the USA or Canada is a pain to upkeep magnify it by a thousand. Learn Spanish…even a little will go along way and leave your American/Canadian values at home. Owning is more trouble than it’s worth here…rent.

    • Gabriel Heiser

      My experience buying a house in San Miguel de Allende does not align with Happygirl’s experience. I bought a house 98% done, from the architect builder. It is about 2,000 s.f. and cost $210,000. Very low maintenance, since there is no wood to paint, no heater or air conditioner to fix (or buy…or pay for!), no carpets to clean (all giant tiles on the floors). The weather is fantastic, gas and electric very low, real estate taxes ridiculously low (this year I have to pay $150 for the YEAR). There is a great group of U.S. and Canadian ex-pats here year-round, plus many who come for shorter periods of time, all friendly. Lots to do, theater, music, art, yoga, tennis, swimming, etc. The crime rate is lower than in the states, but to protect your house you may wish to invest in an alarm system (I don’t have one); since the doors and windows are usually covered with steel bars, break-ins are reduced drastically. I love it!

      • Happygirl

        Our Mexican home is nicer, larger and way cheaper to run than our lovely lake side two storey Victorian home in Canada…We will miss the view of the ocean and sitting on our roof top patio and staring at the stars before heading to bed once it sells. We sailors have a saying “the two best days of having a boat is the day you buy it and the day you sell it”…so true. The same goes with buying a Mexican home. I am looking forward to the second part. I also I believe everyone should follow their dreams…life is short and you can’t take it with you. I am asking people to think before they leap. I could tell you some hair raising stories why some of what you say in your comment doesn’t hold water…you are still in the honeymoon stage…enjoy… let’s talk in five years.

        • Phil Wigglesworth

          After six years here in San Miguel de Allende, we still love it here. We have done many improvements, and apart from repairs just after buying a house, find they are very low maintenance and easy to service. There is a learning curve, in that houses here are built very differently to the US and Canada, but they work here.
          Home ownership is a responsibility anywhere, and there are costs associated with it, but gives you the chance to tailor your home to your lifestyle. If you love living in other peoples home, and only want to be here short term, then rental may be your best option.

      • Sheila MacDonald

        We love wintering in San Miguel but the houses can be bitterly cold and damp in January and February, especially if, like yours, they do not have heating. We find that a gas fireplace in the living room has to be supplemented with an electric heat dish and a down coat when sitting in the evening.

      • mikegre

        You actually love living in a house where the doors and windows are covered with steel bars?

  • Hailey Mannering

    I hear that It´s easier to get good work done in San Miguel de Allende than in most parts of Mexico. Of course, there are a few very good contractors and architects in other parts of Mexico, if they have time to work for you. Depending on the zoning, you might be able to get a house that is low maintenance. I´ve seen plain concrete block houses with the blocks arranged in an artistic manner, which are considered attractive.

  • lang_eddy

    I don’t understand gringo’s!!!!!why buy in Mexico….one can rent for very cheap, and after one spends the winter in Mexico, you pack up and leave….no money wasted, and you do not have to worry about someone breaking into your rented home once you’ve gone home. save your money and rent…DON”T BUY FOOL.

  • Lindy Laing

    I have owned 3 different houses in Mexico. Would never do any different. When people in the U.S. and Canada complain about their property taxes I am flabbergasted, as they are practically nothing in Mx. Then there are their mortgage payments!! One million doesn´t seem to be a lot to pay for a house up there it seems…yike. They are $ stuck for life !!! Owning means you can do renos, avoid rising rentals and bad landlords and capital gains are real!

  • Cheeeery

    Anyone that accepts U.S. Dollar pricing on Mexican Property is a fool.

    We all know the adage about Fools and their Money………..

  • Henry Wilson

    best advice an old gringo expat gave me years ago on my first trip to the la la land of mexico: 1. don’t ever get sick, and 2. don’t put your name to any contract. obviously this news article proves that p.t. barnum was right: there really is a [gringo] sucker born every minute.

  • old boy

    My wife and I have been coming to Ajijic for 12 years. We are now permanent residents. We rented all these years and with the realty co’s wanting U S dollars it got to be too much as we are Canadians. We purchased our land in Pesos based on the Canadian dollar and our architect/ builder is Mexican and we are building in Peso’s based on Canadian dollar. I flat refuse to pay in US dollars for things in Mexico. Mexico has its own currency. Canadians need to stand up and refuse to by homes or anything in US currency. A $400,000.00 dollar home in US is 40% more in Canadian. so now you have a home that is now $560,000.00 which probably wasn’t worth the $400,000.00 to start with.Wake up and speakup Canadians one should be able to purchase in the currency of their own country converted to pesos..

  • the lone mexicano

    been here 13 years and have owned 3 houses. No Problem but I am not a snow bird. It doesn´t really matter whether in pesos or in dollars at all … such Bul*sh-t! What really matters is you love to travel and love Mexico for the good and the bad. I grew up in San Francisco in the Mexican barrio and I understand Mexicans. If you grew up in an Italian barrio and you love pasta you probably should retire in Italy, etc. If you are a stranger in a strange land it can be a problem. I have had the luck to travel the world and I can accept most cultures but the one I cannot accept any longer is the USA, the lack of values and understanding what life is all about … take Trump (pls!) and where El Norte is going. I can understand better the culture of Mexico and I have made a commitment to my new country (nowhere is perfect).

  • Steve Woznick

    I know I’m a bit late to the party but just wanted to chime in. I’ve been to several regions of Mexico a number of years ago, and am still enchanted by it’s magical beauty, and haven’t given up hope of one day living there. However, with the US Mexico tension building, I’m going to wait to purchase for several years. I’ve read rumors about possible seizures of Expat funds, mass deportation from states and more. We’re going to rent down there for a while but I DEFINITELY will not be purchasing there anytime soon.