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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEditorials | Opinions | February 2008 

Mexico Housing Vs. Income
email this pageprint this pageemail usCarlos Renteria - PVNN

You should ask Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, what is the daily income of the lowest employee in his empire, such as the phone assistance "ejecutivos" and TelMex office associates.
I was reading your article regarding The Housing Boom In Mexico, and how many people, especially from the US are taking advantage of the fact that buying your own home is now easier and cheaper than in the US.

That particular point is very true. The big problem here in Mexico is that many construction companies and real estate agencies know that, and they are driving home prices up from what they used to be before, but not so high so that potential home buyers in the US can still see that homes are cheaper in Mexico.

The consequence: Homes are now more expensive for the Mexicans who STILL live and work in Mexico.

I live and work in Puerto Vallarta, where prices for transportation, food, AND housing are on the rise, due to the constant flow of tourism and immigration of people from the US, Canada, and other countries. These people can afford the cheaper prices here in Puerto Vallarta... compared to the US. But us, workers in Mexico, still earn a minimum wage equivalent to $9 US Dollars PER DAY, with 6-day-a-week work loads. Try to afford housing with that income.

Sure, not all jobs pay that little; many companies pay more than just the minimum federal wage. Nevertheless, what most companies pay, after taxes taken from our paychecks, is still not enough to lead a respectable living.

For example: I used to work in the CasaMagna Marriott here in Puerto Vallarta as a Concierge. My income per day was of about $18 USD minus taxes, plus the occasional commissions from selling tours to guests. All in all, my approximate monthly income was of about $6500 Mexican Pesos per month. That is about $600 US Dollars a month.

I am renting a fixer-upper apartment of two bedrooms for about $2500 Pesos a month. However, rent on a regular apartment is going up to about $3500 or $4000 Pesos per month because of new, and better looking, housing complexes, private communities, and a shopping malls being built in the neighborhood.

Such homes are averaging about 2 to 5 million Mexican Pesos; that is about 2 to 5 hundred thousand US Dollars. Fine and cheap for US standards... but very out of reach for the regular working class of Mexico, who has a budget of $7000 Mexican Pesos to spend on food, bus transportation, food, electricity, water, gas, phone bill, and clothing. I must mention that I am single, with no wife or children.

You should ask Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, what is the daily income of the lowest employee in his empire, such as the phone assistance "ejecutivos" and TelMex office associates. Remember that Carlos Slim coincidentally is the owner of the first and largest Mexican telephone company (TelMex), because there are ONLY two (the other one being Alcatel, which has been operating for a few years, without much sign of success due to the overshadowing power of TelMex.)

I was also very disappointed at the Marriott company. For being quite a large and reputable international hotel company, the income of its average employee is extremely low, compared to the associates working in Marriotts across the US who work an average of 5 days a week. Find out how much a room at the Marriott in Puerto Vallarta goes for... and then see how much they pay their employees. Someone is earning enough to buy multiple homes in Mexico.

Yes, homes in Mexico are cheaper to obtain for anyone else who does not live and work in Mexico. It is a great investment. But it is a death sentence if you earn the equivalent of $700 US Dollars monthly.

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