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There could be more construction as a result of decentralization. Relocating government departments could also be good for construction.

Realtors welcome decentralization, anticipate boost for sector

They also intend to broach constraints on foreign ownership of coastal real estate

The real estate industry has welcomed federal government plans to decentralize some of its departments.

Three federal secretariats will move their offices from Mexico City. two to the southeast and one to the north. Tourism Secretariat headquarters will be in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources will operate from Mérida, Yucatán, and the Economy Secretariat will be headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo León.

The president of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) said decentralization had been proposed several times in the past, but faced several bureaucratic obstacles.

“Finally, it looks like there’s a willful determination to make this happen,” said Alejandro Kuri Pheres, who expects the process will give a boost to the real estate sector and be good for the states’ economies.

Yucatán and Quintana Roo are good choices for the two departments, he said, because the Mexican Caribbean draws nearly 40% of all Mexico’s foreign tourism and Yucatán hosts a large part of the rainforests that still exist.

The vice-president of the Caribbean chapter of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) agreed.

Ángel Lemus Mateos explained that decentralization will have a positive impact on real estate through the leasing of office space and the construction of new space.

It will also provide a stimulus to business tourism.

Lemus said moving the Tourism Secretariat to Chetumal will consolidate the city’s economy, where the workforce has depended for years on job opportunities within the state government.

AMPI president Kuri told a press conference earlier this week that moving a government department into a new location is like installing a large business, an industrial plant or even an airport.

He also observed that corruption is costly to the real estate industry because of the many permits, licenses, procedures, gifts and rewards that must be paid, and add 14-16% to the total cost, and welcomes the new government’s campaign promise to address it.

For another real estate professional the limitations on foreign ownership of land on the coast is an issue she would like to see addressed.

María Tayde Favila Soriano, head of the Cancún AMPI chapter, told the newspaper El Economista that her organization plans to discuss constitutional reform that would eliminate the constraints on foreigners buying land in the coastal zone. At present they can only do so with a bank trust or through a corporation.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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