The price of homes has been steadily increasing in Mérida for over a decade.
However, increasing demand and inflation rates have made buying a home in Mérida not much more than a dream for most locals.
The so-called super peso is also making homes more expensive for expats, with Mexico’s currency now trading at the highest rate in over half a decade.
According to propiedades.com, the average sale price for a home in Mérida’s Centro is 3.1 million pesos, or nearly US$200,000.
In the north of the city, prices average 2.64 million, while in the east and west of the city, homes come in at 1.3 million and just under 1 million pesos, respectively.
Mérida’s south remains the most inexpensive, with properties for under 700,000 pesos, or about US$40,000.
At the same time, homes just 10 years ago were being sold in the north of Mérida’s periferico for 250,000 pesos and are now fetching at least four times as much.
“It used to be that you could buy a home with your government credit and simply take public transit to work. But now everything is so expensive,” said Ricardo Pech, a maintenance worker working in Mérida’s main city market. “If you want to buy, you need to go far out of town… but in those areas, there are no jobs.”
High demand has also begun to inflate real estate prices in municipalities such as Kanasín, Hunucmá, and Pisté, while prices in Valladolid seem to be practically on par with Mérida.
The increase in real estate prices also has a lot to do with the cost of building materials, which have steadily increased an average of 11% a year for the past several years but now exceed 15%.
There is also the fact that Mérida’s reputation as one of Mexico’s safest cities has attracted investors from home and abroad looking for a solid investment.
“There is no denying that we are facing an affordability crisis in Mérida. This is forcing folks, especially the younger generations, to enter the renters market — which is not any better — or consider moving way out of the city,” said Sergei López Canto of Yucatán’s Chamber of Commerce.
But paradoxically, Mérida’s most expensive area, the Centro Histórico, is home to hundreds of abandoned and dilapidated properties.
The same applies to swaths of suburbs in developments like Las Américas, where even the most basic homes now come in at well over 1.2 million pesos.
Similar issues are being felt in other Méxican cities such as Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Cancún — as well as internationally.
Though gentrification is undoubtedly having an effect, especially in Mexico City, its effects are being felt the most in the rental market, with apartments in areas like Polanco and Las Lomas going for thousands of US dollars a month.