A Four-Bedroom Mexico City Townhouse
$2.995 MILLION (58.4 MILLION MEXICAN PESOS)
This four-bedroom townhouse with a first-floor gallery space and four terraces is in the affluent Mexico City neighborhood of Condesa. Built in 2019, the four-level home was designed by the well-known Mexican architectural firm of Ambrosi/Etchegaray, along with the interior design firm Esrawe Studio.
The 6,780-square-foot home is unusual for the neighborhood because it has a five-car garage, said Luis Díaz, an agent with Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty, which has the listing. The residence is built above the garage, where the main entrance is located.
A massive oak door opens into an entry foyer with an elevator that services all four floors. A small wooden stairwell lined with black Mexican marble is to the right of the entrance and leads to a square atrium space, also lined with marble, with a roof-level skylight.
A doorway in the atrium connects to the gallery, which has wood floors and recessed lighting. “This part of the house is basically the living room, but the owner is an art collector and he has his art featured here instead,” Mr. Díaz said.
Glass doors at one end of the gallery open onto a covered dining terrace with a bar overlooking the street. A hallway off the gallery leads to the combined kitchen, dining and lounge area. The kitchen has sleek Italian cabinetry, built-in Miele appliances and granite counters. Another set of glass doors at one end of the kitchen opens onto a second atrium, this one open at the top and with a tree growing up from the floor.
On the second level is an exercise studio with a glass wall overlooking the gallery, a steam room and shower, and a hot tub on an outdoor terrace. There is also a large office with built-in shelving.
Three bedrooms are on the third floor, each with its own bath. The primary suite has a lounge area, a glass wall overlooking the kitchen atrium and a walk-in closet.
The fourth bedroom, with a large closet unit integrated into the room, is on the top floor, where there is also a work space with extensive built-in shelving and cabinetry, as well as a rooftop terrace.
The home also has a water purification system, and the German-made windows block out street noise, Mr. Díaz said.
Condesa is a lively, walkable district that has become increasingly popular with tourists. Mr. Díaz compared it to New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, with its mix of stylish cafes and boutiques, restaurants and galleries. Condesa is also known for the nine-acre Parque Mexico, which has a large amphitheater, sculptures, fountains, ponds and walkways.
After a slowdown during the pandemic, the housing market in Mexico City is gaining strength, driven in particular by rising demand in the prime areas of this city of 8.8 million residents.
“We sold more properties in April of this year than in the whole last year in the triple-A places of the city,” Mr. Díaz said. “The demand has been growing a lot.”
Mexico does not have a centralized database for real estate transactions. But according to the data platform Statista, the average home price in Mexico City was about 2.9 million pesos ($148,000) in the first quarter of this year, making it Mexico’s most expensive market.
Prices in Condesa, Polanco and Roma, a cluster of upscale districts prized for their architecture, culture and culinary scenes, are among the highest in the city, at $465 to $555 a square foot, Mr. Díaz said.
Still, Mexico City is more affordable than many markets in the United States, and Americans are moving across the border in growing numbers. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute, roughly 799,000 migrants from the United States were living in Mexico as of mid-2020, compared to 740,000 in 2015. The U.S. State Department puts the number at closer to 1.5 million.
“There are a lot of digital nomads in Mexico City now — the pandemic changed it,” said Edyta Norejko, general director of ForHouse, an agency that specializes in working with foreign buyers. “Finding rentals is very difficult — there are not a lot of apartments available.”
The accompanying rise of Airbnb and a tighter market overall have frustrated some local residents, who are faced with rising rents and changing neighborhoods.
Americans are also flocking to the Riviera Maya coastline, in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, which includes popular resort areas like Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
“A good set of buyers are drawn to it because they’re priced out of either a primary or second home in the United States,” said Chet Kittleson, the chief executive officer of Far Homes, a Seattle-based agency focused on simplifying the buying process in Mexico for foreigners. “And there are large expat communities in these areas.”
Nationally, as of September, the median price of a home was 887,000 pesos ($45,000), according to a report from Mexico’s Federal Mortgage Society, a government financial agency. Third-quarter prices were up an average of 9.4 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Price gains were highest in the states of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur.
Who Buys in Mexico
Americans make up the greatest share of foreign buyers by far, agents said. Ms. Norejko said that 70 percent of the international clients she works with in Mexico City are Americans, primarily from New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Another 20 percent are from Canada, and the rest are from Europe.
A recent study by the real estate search portals Trovit and Properati found that Americans accounted for 80 percent of searches for homes in Mexico City on their sites, and almost half of all searches for rentals.
Foreign buyers purchasing property within about 30 miles of a coastline or 60 miles of a border must set up what is called a fideicomiso, a trust in a Mexican bank, Mr. Kittleson said.
“That trust is what is on the title of the home,” he said. “You pay an upfront fee and work with an attorney. The trust is good for 50 years.”
A notary handles the purchase transaction, acting as a neutral third party.
Financing is not particularly attractive for foreigners, as origination fees and deposit requirements are high, and interest rates are currently around 7 to 9 percent, Mr. Kittleson said.
Languages and Currency
Spanish: Mexican peso (1 peso = $0.05)
Taxes and Fees
Notary fees and the transfer tax typically total around 8 percent of the purchase price, Ms. Norejko said.
Annual property taxes on this home total about $4,000, Mr. Díaz said.
Luis Díaz, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-52-55-8107-5698, cdmxsir.com
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