Foreign property ownership restrictions lifted in Mexico

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The Mexican lower house of congress has voted to loosen the restrictions that are in place regarding foreign buyers buying property on coastal plots and along its borders.

Although the measures still need to be approved by the Senate and by Mexico’s 32 state legislatures, it is likely that the changes will come into force and have a significant impact on the domestic property market.

At the moment the only way that foreigners can buy the prestigious beachside properties is through a complex set up of front companies. Article 27 of the Constitution prohibits non-Mexicans from directly owning land within 31 miles of the coast and 62 miles of the country’s borders.

The time and extensive paperwork involved has deterred many from making investments in the country, and the figure of 49,000 foreigners who bought beachside property since the turn of the century is expected to rise steeply after the new measures are adopted.

However, the changes will only relate to those looking to buy property for residential purposes, as commercial units will be excluded.

Local business and councils would see the greatest benefit, as on average a foreign couple owning a home spends between US$3,200 and US$4,300 per month when in situ.

The current restrictions that are in place date back from the 19th century when Mexico was frequently invaded. The current situation seems to many to be an anachronism and, if the changes are ratified, it is expected that many Americans will buy second homes just across the border.

The impact on foreign investment levels would therefore be significant, as would be the positive growth that the entire Mexican property market would likely enjoy.

If you need to send money now to Mexico or any other country, it is always worth researching the rates offered by specialist currency exchange companies, as these are often far better than those available from banks.

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