Foreign property ownership up 3.5% annually in Yucatán — study

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The number of United States and Canadian citizens who have decided to live temporarily or permanently in Yucatán increases 3.5% every year.

That’s the conclusion from Antonio Osorio Acevedo, director of the Mérida market research firm Información Sistemática de la Península.

The normal reasons apply: Many of them are retirees who are impressed by Yucatán’s promise of safety, culture, and affordable quality health care. Easy airport access is another plus, the survey says.

Add to that rising housing costs north of the border, especially since an increase in home-office options caused housing costs to rise in cities recently considered affordable. 

Foreigners looking for a second home in Yucatán are hunting mainly in the capital’s city center as well as along the coast from Chuburná to Telchac Puerto.

They often go into business themselves selling or renting properties to the next waves of newcomers, Osorio Acevedo noted.

By the numbers

Most — 72%, according to the study — are from the United States. Another 21% are from Canada, according to the report.

From Sisal to Telchac Puerto, an estimated 11,600 residential properties are vacation homes. 

Hurricane Gilberto, which left a path of destruction in 1988, opened a door to foreigners. Beach property could be had cheaply when locals could not afford to repair the damage, he said.

“At that time, the first Americans who bought a house and remodeled it began to arrive. When they showed it to their friends, they were so impressed that they too bought and remodeled houses and became second-home tourists. Thus they formed a chain,” said Osorio Acevedo.

In Chelem alone, there are several real estate agencies dedicated to buying and selling houses and renting them through Airbnb, “with rates that a decade ago it would have been impossible to collect in this small town,” he remarked.

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