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Centro prices rise, but abandoned properties abound

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These abandoned properties were rescued and turned into a chic hotel, restaurant and spa. Photo: Flickr
These abandoned properties were rescued and turned into a chic hotel, restaurant and spa. Photo: Flickr

Merida, Yucatan — In four out of five key Centro Historico neighborhoods, there are far more abandoned properties than homes under construction. But rental prices have risen to new heights in some areas.

A tally and assessment of Centro homes and neighborhoods was recently released by Alejandro Gil Sandoval, the director of the Office of Management for the Historic Center Board.

One neighborhood popular with foreigners and tourists came off swimmingly.

Santiago is the most expensive, and most active historic neighborhood of the five, and its prices are rivaling those of the most exclusive areas of Merida. Here, a rental house range from $1,700 US to $3,000 US monthly, sometimes reaching $7,500. Most of them are furnished with a pool, terrace, garage and garden, but not necessarily with services like a housekeeper, said Gil Sandoval.

Gil Sandoval added that Mejorada and Santa Ana also have a concentration of high-value properties, as they have similar characteristics to those of Santiago, but in contrast, San Cristóbal, San Juan and San Sebastian, all south of the Plaza Grande, have “the greatest shortcomings” of the Historic Center.

Gil Sandoval singled out San Cristóbal for an overabundance of street vendors, bad sidewalks and poor street lighting.

“People are not to blame, it is the dynamics surrounding them that doesn’t allow a higher appraisal,” he noted, later adding, “Of all the neighborhoods, Santiago is best laid out and close to cultural activities, but in San Cristóbal there are people living next to warehouses, which changes the situation completely.”

His survey confirms an active and lucrative market in historic homes: 56 ongoing construction projects in this 3.5-square-mile area. La Ermita was not mentioned in the study.

Here is a real estate breakdown for five of Merida’s historic neighborhoods. The dominant number is in bold:

Santiago: 14 homes for rent, 71 for sale, 10 under construction, 3 vacant and 76 abandoned 

Santa Ana: 53 for rent, 130 for sale, 28 under construction, 13 vacant and 126 abandoned.

San Sebastian: 15 for rent, 102 for sale, 11 under construction, 14 vacant and 120 abandoned

San Cristobal: 39 for rent, 71 for sale, 4 under construction, 5 vacant and 143 abandoned.

Mejorada: 32 for rent, 64 for sale, 3 under construction, 7 vacant and 176 abandoned.

TOTAL: 153 for rent, 438 for sale, 56 under construction, 42 vacant and 641 abandoned 

Source: SIPSE

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