Mexico climbs to 1st in searches for vacation homes

Homes are built into a hillside in Puerto Vallarta, the country's most-searched-for destination by U.S. buyers looking for a second home. Photo: Getty
Homes are built into a hillside in Puerto Vallarta, the country’s most-searched-for destination by U.S. buyers looking for a second home. Photo: Getty

Mexico is the first choice for U.S. citizens looking to buy a second home off the mainland, a new study has concluded.

Examining U.S. users’ Google searches from January 2017 to January 2018, Point 2 Homes looked at keywords indicating offshore homes for sale in the Americas, the areas with the most interest were Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. Costa Rica, Belize and the U.S. Virgin Island followed in popularity.

Mexico was in 64,000 average monthly searches for homes, and it climbed the ranks significantly since 2015 when Mexico ranked fourth behind the frontrunners Belize, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

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Puerto Vallarta was the most sought-after location in Mexico, with 10,230 Google searches. Its international airport received over 3 million foreign passengers in 2017, out of which half were visitors from the U.S.

San Miguel de Allende was the second favorite, with 6,990 monthly searches. The lovely central highlands city was named the world’s top urban destination in 2017 by a Travel + Leisure magazine reader poll.

The Yucatán Peninsula’s Playa del Carmen was the fastest growing real estate market in Latin America and the third most looked-up Mexican destination, accounting for 6,510 searches on Google.

Despite increased violence, Cabo San Lucas was the fourth most tracked-down destination with 6,000 monthly searches.

Back on the Yucatán Peninsula, Cancun ranked fifth, with 5,380 searches, even though it stands out as the most expensive of any area in the country.

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While still recovering from the September 2017 earthquake, Mexico City accounts for 2,660 monthly searches on Google.

The average home selling price, US$40,275, is more than five times less than in the States, where the median is $240,500. A US$240,000 budget will buy:

In Canada, prices in big cities such as Vancouver and Toronto are through the roof, but buyers are searching for places like Quebec City, Victoria, Guelph, Halifax, and Ottawa.

For the median home price in the U.S. today of around $240,000, one can buy:

As it did in 2015, Puerto Rico ranks third on Americans’ wish list, although interest in homes for sale here saw a downward trend after the devastating Hurricane Maria struck in September 2017. But five months after the disaster, things are looking up.

Puerto Rico is welcoming vacationers and investors — which only fuel the island recovery — and many properties have been renovated or upgraded.

For the median price of a U.S. home (around $240,000), here is what a buyer can afford in Puerto Rico:

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