Mexico Loosens Restrictions on Foreign Land Buyers
Article 27 of Mexico’s constitution states that non-Mexicans cannot own land within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the coast and 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the country’s borders. But in a 356-for to 199-against vote, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies approved loosening these restrictions. Though it still needs approval from the Mexican Senate and a majority of the legislatures of the 32 Mexican states, to become law, the bill would allow properties to be purchased for residential use and not commercial projects.
Due to foreign invasions in the 19th and 20th centuries, Article 27 was set up to detour areas that seemed risky to Mexico’s safety. Today, many Mexican’s feel these obstacles have been overcome and changing the law will make it easier for foreigners to invest and create jobs.
The current “workaround”, for foreigners who are willing to risk it, is to invest in Mexican real-estate trusts or front companies, costing the purchaser mucho dinero in lawyers, bank and notary fees. American, Kevin Graham, a resident and business owner in Mahahual, Mexico, states "I feel, with all the doubts they (potential investors) have, it's slowed the market down for foreign investment here."
"This is about eliminating the middlemen who, through trusts, corporations and front men, have made a living off the constitutional ban,” explains Congressman Manlio Fabio Beltrones, who sponsored the bill. “It is a question of encouraging tourism investment and creating local jobs."