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1st Quarter 2014 Mexico Resort Real Estate Update

April 28, 2014

Mexico is the #1 destination for Americans and baby-boomers that retire abroad, with an estimated 1 million+ Americans residing there. Up to half of these expatriates own real estate in resort areas.

La Paz, BCS, Mexico - Welcome to our First Quarter, 2014 Newsletter. The year is off to a good start with up ticks in the tourist and real estate sectors, including increased hotel occupancy. There were two important international real estate events held in the First Quarter. Two National Association of Realtors® sessions were held in Cabo San Lucas.

Proposed Amendment to Article 27 (Fideicomiso) has Been Rejected

In April of 2013, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved legislation which would have amended the Mexican Constitution to permit foreigners to purchase property outright in Mexico's Restricted Zone, which is 100 kilometers from the borders of the United States, Belize and Guatemala, and 50 kilometers from the coastlines of Mexico. Effectively this would have meant doing away with the Mexican bank trust, known as the fideicomiso. This initiative has been rejected, according to a report from Mexico's Secretary of Government. (SEGOB) Rejection of the proposed amendment is the result of not continuing with the amendment procedure within the time frame permitted under Article 89 Number 2, Section III of the Rules of the Chamber of Deputies. The result is that foreigners purchasing property in the Restricted Zone must continue to obtain titles using the bank trust system, the fideicomiso, initiated in 1972. It is not thought this subject will arise again over the next few years.

Hotel Occupancy up in First Two Months

According to SECTUR, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, hotel occupancy was up 5% in the first two months of 2014. With 70 tourist areas reporting, 200,460 rooms were occupied, up from 191,087 for the same period last year. For example, in the Baja Peninsula the increase were as follows; Loreto + 27%, La Paz + 26%, Rosarito + 21% and Los Cabos + 8%. So, 2014 is off to a good start for the hotel industry.

International Real Estate Education in Mexico

More than 40 professional designations are available thought the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Classes were presented in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur for two of the designations. These were a Certified International Property Institute (CIPS) and the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) The five day Institute was taught by Linda Neil, ABR, CIPS, TRC, PIC (Mexico). Mercy Duenas, ABR, came from Guadalajara and shared teaching duties with Linda for the ABR courses. While most of the studies were from Los Cabos, others came from California, Loreto, and Texas. Today, it was announced that classes leading to the two designations will be offered in June, again in Los Cabos. MARK THE DATES! CIPS in Los Cabos: June 2-6, 2014 & January 26-30, 2015. ABR in Los Cabos: June 9-10, 2014 & February 2-3, 2015. For more information, please visit

U.S. - Mexico Trade Reaches New High
Source: Office of the Mexican Ministry of Economy-NAFTA Works newsletter

The trade relationship between Mexico and the United States demonstrated another solid performance as products traded between both countries set an historical record at $506 billion in 2013, an annual increase of 2.6%. Over the twenty years of NAFTA, trade between the U.S. and Mexico has more than sextupled (6.2%), growing nearly 10% annually, a rate that exceeds that of U.S. trade with the rest of the world. The U.S.-Mexico trade value is not only greater than the GDP of Belgium, Poland, or Taiwan, but is also integrated along a complex and dynamic supply chain that reflects the way products are traded in the 21st century. EDITOR's NOTE: Here in the state of Michoacan, we see annual increase in tonnage of goods received and exported at our deep sea port of Lazaro Cardenas.

The Oldest Music Conservatory in the Americas

The first music conservatory in the new world was constructed in Mexico. The Conservatorio de Las Rosas was founded in 1743. It is the host institution to the oldest symphonic orchestra in the country and is located in Morelia, Michoacan. (Orquesta Sinfonica de Conservatorio Nacional, founded in 1881.) The music hall is one of the sites for the famous Morelia International Music Festival. I have attended several concerts in that hall and the acoustics are superb. In front of the Conservatory is a park surrounded by a European style coffee shops and restaurants. Students and people from all walks of life find this a place to rest and enjoy life. EDITORS NOTE: Morelia is a city of festivals. Among those held annually are The Cine Festival, International Music Festival, Dance Festival, Mariachi Festival, and the International Organ Festival. (Morelia's cathedral has the second largest organ in Latin America. The city is also officially known as "Latin America's Illuminated City," as each evening its many churches and monuments are lit up.)

Living at Sea, A Life Style Preferred by Many

With an estimated 80 million baby boomers retiring in the coming years, Mexico looms large as an alternative place to live not just on land, but on sea. Recreational boating industry experts predict that the number of boomer boat owners will grow, although finding exact figures - anywhere from 10 million to 17 million, by some estimates - is difficult in part because of their nomadic existence. Many of these retirees are living seasonally or year-round on boats, lured by the simplicity of life and lower cost of living. They are also searching for tranquility, a place away from the fast pace and hectic life increasingly dominated, they say, by time pressures in an age of social media. Read more »»
John Glaab is Vice President, International Market at Mexico's The Settlement Company. He is a founding member of AMPI Los Cabos and a Certified International Property Specialist. In 2013, John was named the International Real Estate Member of the Year by NAR. For further information, contact John at John.Glaab(at)