The ‘Mexican Hamptons’, the beaches where many want to live


Spending the summer in a beach house is a custom for meridians of high purchasing power since the linear meter in the area can cost up to 350 thousand pesos.

To the north of Merida, the sea breaks against the coast in the municipality of Progreso, the most important port of Yucatan. Along more than 40 kilometers of beach, you can count hundreds of houses and condominiums that for more than 100 years have been part of the life of the meridians.

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The summers of hundreds of Yucatecan families have passed in this place and for some years it is the winter that receives Canadian, North American and European vacationers, who have found in this area a shelter against the cold that punishes their countries of origin, in a paradise similar to the New York Hamptons.

This arrival has generated a new panorama for the area, which stands out in the map of northern Yucatan as one of the most valuable real estate in the region, with prices that reach 300 and 350 thousand pesos per linear meter in the surrounding areas. the places called San Benito and San Bruno.

Víctor Esquivel Peniche, director of Prisma Edificadora, one of the real estate companies that have condominiums in the area, told how the region has become an attraction for foreigners looking to spend days or months in Progreso since the beginning of this century, but for The Yucatecans its a tradition that goes back to generations that lived between the 1880s and 1890s.

“A tradition of our grandparents (going to the houses on Progreso beaches) in July and August the middle and upper class will live two and a half months,” recalls Esquivel Peniche, who, in addition to being a developer in the area, is a native of Mérida and he knows well what the coastal zone represents for the Yucatecans.

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“Penthouse, one bedroom, one bathroom, 293 square meters of surface, price 6 million 788 thousand 293 pesos”, is the advertisement with which a property is sold in a condominium located in Chicxulub Puerto, in the portal VivaAnuncios. The cost does not seem to surprise many who ask for it in the comments of the publication.

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Similar to what happens in the area called ” The Hamptons ” in the state of New York, the area is now highly valued and becomes the refuge of people of high purchasing power who also find a warm place to spend the days, a high fishing and water sports activity to satisfy your entertainment needs.

Along the coast that begins in the area of Chelem are buildings of one or two floors, with family spaces, small pools or Jacuzzis to the front, some of which have been remodeled and adapted to modern styles.

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There you can find considerably cheaper properties, houses of one thousand 302 square meters, with a garage with space for four cars are offered at one million 400 thousand pesos on the coast.

It is in this area where a large colony of Canadians has established some homes that they visit from the end of November to the beginning of March, dates when their country has little work or tourist activity.

Some, mostly retired people, already have a permanent home and have even adapted to the daily life of the place.

“They have found the Peninsula to spend the winters fleeing the snow and the low temperatures,” says Esquivel Peniche, “they also rent properties here, that gives Progreso an opportunity to create infrastructure, create a place for fishing tourism.”

In addition to them, hundreds of Mexicans who have had to leave their places of origin driven by violence find refuge in Mérida or areas of Progreso.

“Yucatan absorbs people who are fleeing from insecurity, violence (…) there is a boom for construction.”

The increase in the construction of houses in the city caused that the coast also saw benefited with greater demand for holiday periods.

Sites and housing rental applications such as Airbnb have gained strength and there are now some condominiums, mainly in the Chicxulub Puerto area, which are used only for short-term rental.

For those who only seek to know the area and spend a weekend near the coast, there are rental options ranging from 250 pesos in areas closer to Chelem and Puerto Progreso, up to one thousand 500 or 2 thousand pesos per night in the Chicxulub and Telchac area, according to Airbnb site options.

Now, with the increase in demand, the constructions have extended eastward, to San Bruno and San Benito still in Chicxulub and to the municipality of Telchac Puerto.

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In some points, the linear meter is around 400 thousand pesos, according to the constructor’s data.

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Towards the other extreme, at the end of the commercial area of Progreso beach, Chicxulub Puerto starts, an area where some of the oldest condominiums in the area are established and which has had problems in recent years with the advance of the sea, which has gained ground to the beach and forced many property owners to frequent less or simply abandon their properties.

“At kilometer 12 the sea is already 5 or 6 meters away,” says the real estate developer, who recalls that this happened gradually. Together with the current problem of sargassum, this area that is several kilometers long on the coast now looks abandoned.

After the removal of the spurs (wooden structures that were intended to prevent the erosion of the beach) due to ecological causes, a large part of it disappeared.

There, some large complexes have been left waiting for the sea to swallow them, but meters ago other houses and apartments are being built, away from danger.

In San Bruno, many of the buildings in process and some others already finished, are not near the beach, they started 120 meters away from the coast, preventing the same problem that caused the abandonment of their predecessors.

“They are built on pilastrons (pilasters), which measure one meter with 80 centimeters, so they are already asking for them,” says Ulises Mézquita Martínez, a carpenter and rescuer of ships from the Progreso area.

He prefers to be called “El Botellón” and has experience in all the houses in the area where he does carpentry work, but also masonry.

The houses are now built on these pillars that go to a considerable depth, depending on how near or far from the coast, which in addition to giving security to the new homes protect it from the onslaught of hurricanes that could cause flooding in nearby areas. the coast.

With his experience, Ulises knows that these houses are prepared to withstand much more now than the spurs that have been removed from the beach area, at the demand of local authorities, which also gives more value to the houses that are built with the new technique.

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Although many still use their homes as places where they only vacation on holidays or during a long weekend, others have begun to add to the advantages that technology provides by sharing long stays with travelers to keep the properties occupied for much longer.

Others more take advantage of the boom of the region and offer houses within the town, in areas slightly further from the coast, at an average price of 2.6 million pesos, according to data from real estate portals such as, Trovit, Inmuebles24 and Lamudi.

On the coast, the average is between 5 and 6 million pesos, according to these same search engines, but they reach 2 million dollars (about 38.3 million pesos) for properties with 40 linear meters of front.

Most of these properties are located from kilometer 16 and up to 35, areas that had not been so demanded until recent dates.

“Now it is built between 100 and 120 meters from the coast, the beach at some points is already 5 or 6 meters from reaching the houses,” says Peniche, who says that building far from the beach gives them much more years of safety to the constructions.

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Although the region still does not gain national or international fame from other points, as more people continue to acquire properties in the area, the prices will continue to rise.

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If for decades the Yucatecans preferred their coast instead of any European destination, now also the Europeans do it.


Source: El Financiero, Bloomberg

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