Fancy a move to Mexico?

By overseas property expert Chris Hall, based in Norwich.

MU_3_CHRISTOPHER_HALL_2007.jpgMexico may not be a destination you think of to buy a second home, but in fact, its sandy beaches and coral reef coast makes it an interesting proposition. Mexico, divided into 32 federal states, borders with the US, Guatemala and Belize with the world’s third largest population of Catholics.

With 103,263,388 inhabitants and an official language of Spanish, Mexico has seen some substantial property investment over the past few years – and some of these developments offer very tantalising deals on property purchases. I reckon you could find properties to buy in some of the popular coastal resorts from £70,000. Recent investments include developments such as the Ocean Front Condominium & Hotel Project under construction south of Tijuana, Baja, the beach front private bay south of Ensenada, near the newest Tiger Woods golf course development, a tract of land within a gated golf course development in Playa del Carmen (near Cancun) along with a condominium project, some of which come with a European bank guaranteed rental return on investment.

The Mareazul development is looking pretty promising too, situated just 45 minutes from Cancun international airport, which offers direct flights to Europe. This is the first of 14 phases of the Grand Coral Rivera Maya resort community complex boasting approximately 33,3592 acres with 656,165 feet of beach front with white pristine sand. The Mareazul homes are built of stone and wood in modern Mexican design and all offer ocean and garden

views with two, three or four bedroom units.

Economy- wise, Mexico has the second largest economy in Latin America, highly dependent on the US which accounts for around 80pc of the country’s exports. Furthermore, millions of Mexicans work in the United States and the remittances they send home are a vital source of foreign exchange. Indeed, remittances are the second-biggest source of foreign-currency inflows, behind oil exports, and comprise around 3% of the country’s gross domestic product. Mexico is considered one of the better-managed emerging economies and has enjoyed relatively stable economic growth during the current decade—growth averaged 3pc each year between 2000 and 2007. However, there are stark divisions between rich and poor. In 2008, the OECD ranked Mexico bottom of 30 developed and developing countries in terms of economic income inequality. The wealthiest 10% of Mexicans earn more than 25 times as much as the poorest 10%. Around 40% of the population are poor and 18% are considered to live in extreme poverty, according to official estimates.

The global economic slowdown is exacerbating these divisions and the authorities have been very active in adopting measures to calm financial markets and counter the impact on the domestic economy. In October 2008, President Calderon unveiled a revised budget for 2009, which will result in the first budget deficit in several years. The budget includes a 13% spending increase on infrastructure and other projects to stimulate growth and prevent job losses.

The Mexican central bank, Banco de México (or Banxico), has kept a tight rein on monetary policy in order to contain inflation. The central bank cut interest rates by 50 basis points in January 2009, to 7.75%. It was the first fall in borrowing costs in nearly three years. The central bank is expected to cut the key interest rate aggressively in 2009 to help the economy.

Chris is on 01603 700007 or email him at ch@worldwide2ndhomes.com

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