There is a genuine land rush going on anywhere near the beach in Mexico. Prices are rising very fast, with village after village near the major tourist areas experiencing price escalations that are sometimes hard to believe. The coast line north of Puerto Vallarta, mostly in the state of Nayarit, has been designated as the next major area of development by the Mexican government, and the cost of ownership has skyrocketed. Not surprisingly, rumor has it that ex-president Fox owns a good chunk of that coast acquired before leaving his six-year term, which may be a factor in why it has been targeted (ya think?).
I have seen houses selling for $500,000 – $700,00 that would have been $50,00 ten years ago and $20,000 ten years before that . A little village 1 ½ hours north of PV is selling ocean lots (just the dirt) for $400,000. If you do find something for a steal, it’s probably ejido land, which legally can’t be transferred to a private party until it becomes regularized….a daunting and complex procedure. Developers are buying up large tracts of land for future development. The same thing is taking place on the Riviera Maya, the Los Cabos region, just south of Tijuana in Baja Norte, Zihuatenejo/Ixtapa, and Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) and other beach locales. Much of what is not in the cross-hairs is still ejido land.
Are there still deals to be found? Yes, but you really have to scratch and search. A more compelling question is where will it go from here? Will the declining prices in the U.S. filter down to Mexico? If so, by how much? Rationally, I have to believe that there will be a price adjustment, but a lot of the buyers these days are coming from all over the world, which might keep prices rising.
So, where does the smart money go now? Don’t tell anyone, but I like the area around Manzanillo, a town that has stayed below the tourist radar due to a lack of flights into their airport from the U.S. The town itself is not the best, but the surrounding areas, in the state of Colima, is as beautiful as Mexico gets…and you’ll pay less than ½ the price of today’s hot markets.