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Centro: 1/3 Of Large Homes Are For Sale

This was a post by Yolisto member Pennsy_Al.

Today´s front page headline is "For sale, one-third of Centro," in the Mérida edition of Milenio. At least 652 large homes/mansions of the 1,915 casonas are being auctioned over the Internet, for a total asking price of $US 153,600,000. That is an average price of $US 234K, before usually hefty renovation and legal costs. Another 263 such homes are for rent, while 856 are abandoned properties. Another 91 properties are under construction, while 43 are empty lots.

The inside article terms these homes el Centro's treasures.

The figures come from the Patronato del Centro Histórico. Centro refers to the Historic Center and barrios of Santa Ana, la Mejorada, San Cristóbal, and Santiago. (But not La Ermita?) Question: Am I correct in assuming that this stockpile of properties hanging on the market is a challenge to those trying to sell properties they have renovated? Or all foreign purchasers accepting of paying the price (including mark up for foreigners) to avoid the headaches and uncharted costs of renovating any particular home?

With prices asked in dollars, the clear intended market are foreigners, that means us from the USA, Canada, as well as new interest from places such as Ireland, the U.K., and France. The article assumes that the properties are bargains compared to equivalent properties in the foreigners' home countries, not that all countries have equivalent properties!

The article talks of foreigners securing permission from INAH to certify renovation projects as maintaining their colonial look. Apparently the article refers to the facade, for I have seen a number of such project where the interior was gutted (except perhaps for a few features and for the distinctive told tiles) to produce a Hollywood version of modern design.

Much of the article relies on info from fancy architect Henry Ponce. He notes that a "recent phenomenon" is for foreigners also to be interested in such colonias as García Ginerés, Itzimná, and México, all having ample tree, wide street, and attractive housing. I know best my own fraccionamiento (subdivision of a colonia), Campestre, with all the attractive features plus readier access to expat-favored shopping plces, yet almost every block features homes for sale or abandoned, with the creeping entrance of offices. (Happily "my" block is all residential,

Before the foreign buyers were mostly retired folks, but now younger couples, including those coming from elsewhere in Mexico for the Yucatan´s better security situation, are among the buyers, said Ponce. Sales to foreigners have dropped in the last two years, reported Ponce, owing to the economic situation abroad. (Last two years, huh? Ok, maybe in parts of Europe, but the economic decline goes back to 2008 in the USA, and several years in Spain, with Canada a robust exception).

though with a facing home subdivided into owner-occupied housing and four apartments.)

The paper also reports that the Fundación Brazos Abiertos A.C., which supports HIV-oriented prevention and care, will be sponsoring open house event Nov. 25, from 2 to 5 pm. Actually, the foundation's website reports that the first tour date is Nov. 6. (See http://www.hivyucata.../en/events.html .) Not noted in the articles is that the Merida English Library also is sponsoring Tuesday afternoon house visits in el Centro; see http://www.meridaeng...y.com/tours.htm. All in all, plenty of opportunity to see what the more affluent among us do with their casonas.

Incidentally, the listing of posted prices on the Internet, to attract us expats, contrasts with the local listings for homes for the local market, which more often than not do not list the asking price.

A side article tells of a Canadian photojournalist, Barbara McClatchie Andrews, who converted part of the casona she purchased about 6 years ago, into an art gallery. She had purchased a 100 year old home that had been abandoned by its owners for about 25 years.She renovated her h o me emplying architect Miguel Rojano. Milenio portrays her as something of a world traveler, one who found in Mérida what she had been seeking.


Thanks for this interesting post Pennsy_Al and Khaki !
Great information! Thanks!

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