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New residents in Yucatán flock to the beach

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Demand for properties along Yucatán’s coast continues to grow, but so do prices. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The real-estate market on Yucatán’s coastline continues to heat up as a growing number of people from across the country and the world continue to buy up properties.

The increase in demand for properties at the beach is fueled at least in part by the oversaturation of the market in large retirement communities in Baja California Sur and Florida. 

The number of beach-facing homes in Yucatán is now estimated to be approximately 12,000 — though the total is much higher when one includes properties slightly further inland.

The demand is fueled largely by both Mexicans and foreign nationals looking to buy a second home, especially people looking for a more laid-back lifestyle. 

“I had been dreaming about living out at the beach for a while and just decided to go for it. Progreso is nicer than ever and being able to walk my dogs on the Malecon every morning feels like a dream come true,” said Laura Sánchez, a recent transplant from Mérida to Progreso.

But as the demand for homes at the beach increases, so have prices and rents — leaving many people from Yucatán’s coastal communities priced out of the market. 

Though beach towns like Sisal and Celestun continue to grow in popularity, communities with better infrastructure and closer to Mérida like Chelem, Chicxulub, Telchac, and Progreso are gaining even more traction. 

Earlier: Should Yucatán develop its very own Cancún-like hotel zone?

The municipal governments of these communities have taken notice and begun to invest in improvements to public spaces including parks and boardwalks.

Remodeled boardwalk and pier in Telchac, Yucatán. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

This is especially true in Progreso, where the city government has redesigned its once crumbling boardwalk and set up several new attractions and facilities, including infrastructure allowing people with disabilities to enjoy the ocean.

Closing Progreso’s boardwalk to motor vehicles was a logical move and has greatly increased safety according to the local government. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The beach itself is also looking better than ever. Teams of municipal workers can be seen early in the morning raking the sand for garbage left on the beach, as well as excess seaweed. 

Private investors have also caught on and opened a series of high-end restaurants tailored to tourists and people coming in from Mérida for a bite to eat and a swim. 

The number of cruise ships arriving at Progreso has also begun to slowly trend upwards after a disastrous 16 months when not a single ship arrived due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

“Progreso and its surrounding communities are now more attractive than ever to investors, it is our job to continuously improve and bring more and better jobs to the area,” said Progreso Mayor Julián Zacarías Curi.

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