Parts of Merida’s Centro are 38% foreign owned, says real estate expert

Outside investment, from Mexico and north of the border, has driven up housing costs for local working families

A relatively quiet moment on Calle 63, between 60 and 58, just off the Plaza Grande in Mérida's Centro Historico. Photo: Getty
Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — According to a private real estate consultant, almost 50 percent of housing of very center of the Centro Historico is owned by either foreigners and Mexicans from other parts of the country.

The cluster of non-Yucatecan housing is most evident near the Paseo de Montejo and north of the Centro, according to Cristian Canto Villanueva, director of Uno Consulting.

“The dynamics of housing today in the city shows us that 38 percent of them, in los primeros cuadros of the city, now belongs to foreigners living in the capital and another 10 percent to the population of other states in the country,” said Canto Villanueva.

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This is due to the high costs of maintaining the infrastructure of old or colonial housing, according to the specialist.

Properties in the first frame of the capital can cost more than four million pesos, which makes it expensive for most Meridanos.

“In addition to that we see that 70 percent of the housing supply in the north is acquired by residents who have come from other parts of the country, and acquire properties at costs higher than what a local average worker can pay,” said Canto Villanueva.

This leaves an average of 80 percent of housing acquired through the Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit), mainly a source for the average local worker who today has been “expelled” to the periphery of the city, in areas such as Ciudad Caucel, Juan Pablo II and Kanasín, he said.

“Yucatan’s capital has been popular for a couple of years,” he said, citing studies putting it near the top for investment and economic growth in Mexico.

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Just 9 percent of the population in Merida can afford premium housing. By Uno Consulting’s standard, just over 110,000 people have income between 110,000 and 250,000 pesos per month, which is said is necessary to pay for upscale living.

The consultant sees a time when 70 percent of the Centro will be acquired by non-local owners.

Source: Punto Medio

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