Mexico is home to more than 1 million ex-pats from around the world, including about 750,000 American ex-pats. A land of sunshine, rich cultural traditions, historical heritage, lower living costs, and a slower, easier pace of living, Mexico has been a top ex-pat destination for decades.
More people will move
This may seem ironic given today’s widespread border closures and standstill in global transportation, but as the curtain lifts, people will seek to relocate from poorly governed and ill-prepared “red zones” to “green zones,” or places with good medical care. Or, people may relocate to places where involuntary quarantine, whenever it strikes next, isn’t so torturous.
Both domestic and international migration was surging before the pandemic, with Gen-Xers and millennials shifting to cheaper second-tier cities in the Sun Belt or abroad to Latin American and Asia in search of an affordable life.
Once quarantines lift and airline prices stand at rock bottom, expect more people to gather their belongings, and buy one-way tickets to counties or countries cheap enough to start fresh. At the higher end of the value chain, telecommuting has long been the norm; now it has been thrust upon the entire corporate world.
This will allow talented remote workers to justify becoming even more remote as they move to places offering a higher quality of life, lower taxes, and equal, if not better, connectivity. If you’re buying in U.S. dollars, your buying power in Mexico is now 58% greater than it was in 2013… and your buying power has increased by 5.5% since last year.
Mexico is still the #1 overseas destination for its fellow North Americans, with more than a million American ex-pats calling it home, myself included. Also, about 500,000 foreigners own homes in Mexico. These ex-pats are enjoying a low cost of living at today’s exchange rates, while new arrivals are getting some good property bargains.
Properties trade in U.S. dollars or Mexican pesos. The latter is where your increased buying power lies. Mexico offers well-developed coastlines along the Pacific, the Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean. The options for coastal living are limitless, despite the widely held misconception that foreigners can’t buy coastal property here.
Finally, they’re a culturally familiar neighbor. Having lived in South America since 2001, I’d forgotten Mexico’s familiarity, which shows up in many small ways. You can eat enchiladas instead of guinea pigs, and you’ll see full-size, V8 American pickups and SUVs on the road instead of those wimpy Chinese pickups. You’ve also got familiar stores like Sam’s Club, AutoZone, Walmart, The Home Depot, and OfficeMax.