Pandemic frenzy has turned a traditionally buyer’s market into a seller’s market on the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Gated Community of Playacar in Playa del Carmen

Now in its second phase of development, this resort community has about two dozen homes, its own pool and tennis courts and a gated pathway to the beach.  Homes are great getaways for owners as well as popular rental properties.

Originally built in 2000 with “gradual” upgrades, stone and cement homes combine local architectural designs as well as local materials including palapa roof coverings made with dried palm fronds. This community also has a golf course for its residents and guests.  Driving to the Cancun International Airport takes approximately 45 minutes.

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Market Overview

Playa del Carmen sits between Cancun and Tulun.  The town is within the municipality of Solidaridad in the state of Quintana Roo and is one of the largest cities on Mexico’s Riviera May coastline.

This year, after a pandemic buying frenzy in 2020, the traditionally market has become much more balanced.

Pre-pandemic, according to Ivan Castillo, a real estate attorney and general manager of Secure Title Riviera Maya, said that his offices throughout the country were dealing with approximately 40-45 homes/month.  Now that average is 100 homes/month.

Home prices in Quintana Roo increased +7.5% by Q4 2020, with an average sale price at $435,500.  This price increase was the fifth-largest increase among Mexico’s 32 states.

Nationally, according to Mexico’s Federal Mortgage Society, home prices increased +5.4% in Q4 2020.

Prices specific to Playa del Carmen, according to Jason Waller, owner of Playa Real Estate Group, start at about $200,000 for a two-bedroom condo farther from the beach to $300,000-$450,000 for a condominium closer to the beach and over $1M for beachfront homes.

Waller considers Playa del Carmen to be more walkable and less expensive than Cancun and more “valuable” compared with Tulum where development is rampant and “disorderly.”

Buyers in Playa del Carmen?

The majority of buyers are Americans and Canadians.  Texas and New York City residents are particularly drawn to Playa del Carmen.

Additionally, Waller’s brokerage has recently hired a French-speaking agent to better respond to an upswing in buyers from France and Britain.

The Basics of Buying in Playa del Carmen

Castillo said that foreign buyers who are buying within 31 miles (50 kilometers of the coastline or within 62 miles (100 kilometers) of the country’s borders must buy via a Mexican bank trust or Mexican corporation.  A Mexican attorney is required to facilitate all due diligence and a government-appointed notary formalizes the transaction.

Most transactions are done in cash as mortgage financing is not available to foreign buyers.  Sellers pay the 6-7% agent commission.

Thanks to The New York Times.



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