Mérida, Yucatán — Historic properties in the heart of the city have soared in value over the years, a look at land records confirms.
For example, palatial Post Office building, just years before being converted into the City Museum, was assessed at just 1.5 million pesos in 2003. Today the renovated building is worth 48 million pesos.
Even a small, plain parking lot, near bustling Calle 57 and 54, was valued at 104,000 pesos in 1996. Today land records declare its worth at 625,000, according to research performed by Sipse.
Commercial property grew in value in the short term. An unnamed hotel on Calle 62 near 65, which in 2013 was valued at 10.5 million pesos, three years later is at 14.8 million pesos. In the same period, a small restaurant property on Calle 57, between 60 and 62, rose from 2 million to 4 million pesos in value.
The Sipse report notes that many abandoned mampostería colonial homes have been snapped up and “rescued” by foreigners. That has helped stimulate the historic center economically and culturally.
Just over two decades ago both services and the residential use in the historic center was in decline. Today, the downtown is alive with pedestrian traffic and commercial life, with nearly 6,000 vehicles crossing through during peak hours.
Rising dollar encourages property sales
The strong U.S. dollar has also encouraged foreign investment, especially from retirees looking for properties in the historic center or the coast, reports Mauricio Moreno Mendoza, of the Mexican Association of Realtors (AMPI).
Mauricio Moreno Mendoza, co-founder of Property Now, an organization affiliated with AMPI, said the economic currents that favor the U.S. dollar has intensified the activity of real estate in Mérida and along the coast. But he urges sellers to post their properties in pesos, not U.S. dollars, after evaluating the dollar’s value — and not to adjust asking prices based on the currency fluctuations.