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The real estate market in Cancún: 2024 forecast

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As we step into the year 2024, the real estate landscape in Cancún continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for investors, homeowners, and industry stakeholders.

In this article, we will give you a clear picture of what's happening in Cancún's real estate scene for the year ahead.

If you need a full and more detailed report, with fresh data and actionable advice, please note that you can get our property pack for Mexico. This pack will also give you unlimited access to our team of experts, allowing you to ask them anything related to the housing market in Cancún specifically.

How's the Mexican economy doing?

Current state

Understanding the real estate market in Cancún requires a multifaceted approach, considering various factors like the country's economy, government policies, local preferences, and legal frameworks.

Mexico's economy and political stability have historically experienced fluctuations. These shifts inevitably impact the real estate market. In periods of economic growth, there's typically an upsurge in real estate investment.

However, during times of economic downturn or political instability, the market can stagnate or decline. Cancún, being a popular tourist destination, often mirrors these national trends but with a unique emphasis on tourism-related properties.

The real estate market in Mexico, and particularly in tourist areas like Cancún, generally follows global economic trends, but with a stronger emphasis on tourism and foreign investment.

Historically, when global economies are strong, there's an increase in investment in these regions. Conversely, global economic downturns can lead to a cooling in the market.

Focusing on Cancún's housing market, it's primarily driven by tourism and expatriates. Properties in beachfront areas or close to tourist attractions are highly sought after.

There's been a consistent demand for both rental properties, given the influx of tourists, and residential properties for expats and retirees, particularly from North America and Europe.

Over the years, Mexican government policies have aimed at stabilizing and boosting the real estate market. This includes encouraging foreign investment through relaxed property ownership laws in tourist areas.

However, the government also imposes certain restrictions; for example, foreign buyers cannot directly own land within 50 kilometers of the coast or 100 kilometers from international borders, but can do so through bank trusts.

In recent years, there might have been regulatory changes aimed at further streamlining foreign investment in real estate, such as easing the process of setting up bank trusts or altering tax laws related to property ownership. Notable events, like significant political changes or economic reforms, can also have an immediate impact on the market.

Locally, Cancún is viewed as an attractive area for real estate investment. The consistent flow of tourists ensures a strong rental market, and the idyllic setting attracts retirees and expatriates looking for second homes. Properties in areas like the Hotel Zone, Riviera Maya, and near local amenities are particularly popular.

For foreign investors, the incentives include the potential for rental income, appreciation in property value, and personal use of vacation homes in a desirable location.

However, drawbacks can include navigating the legal complexities of owning property in Mexico, potential language barriers, and understanding local real estate practices.

Real estate prices in Cancún might be higher than in less tourist-centric areas of Mexico but comparable or even more affordable than similar tourist destinations in the Caribbean or Central America. The appeal of Cancún often lies in its balance of modern amenities, beautiful natural settings, and relative affordability.

The legal framework for real estate in Mexico, while stable, can be complex for foreigners. The need for bank trusts in restricted zones, the role of notaries in transactions, and understanding local zoning and construction regulations are key considerations.

Transparency has been improving, but it's crucial for foreign investors to work with reputable legal and real estate professionals to navigate these complexities.

Outlook and forecast

Cancún's real estate market indeed has unique factors that differentiate it from others, primarily its strong dependency on tourism and its appeal to international buyers.

Cancún's economy is heavily reliant on tourism. This means that any global or regional changes affecting travel, such as economic downturns, health crises, or travel restrictions, can significantly impact the real estate market.

Given its reputation as a prime vacation destination, Cancún attracts a significant number of foreign investors, particularly from North America and Europe. This international demand helps buoy the market, but also makes it susceptible to changes in foreign economies and policies.

Based on the known factors, the forecast for Cancún’s economy and stability, and consequently its real estate market, could be cautiously optimistic.

However, several aspects need consideration. If the global economy remains stable or improves, Cancún's real estate market is likely to benefit from continued or increased foreign investment.

As long as Cancún remains a popular tourist destination, the demand for real estate, particularly in areas close to tourist attractions, is likely to stay strong. Compared to other regions or cities in Mexico, Cancún might experience faster growth due to its unique appeal to international tourists and investors.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on potential policy changes. Any changes in laws governing foreign ownership of property could significantly impact the market.

Modifications in property taxes or capital gains tax for non-residents could either encourage or discourage foreign investment. Given Cancún's ecological significance, any new environmental regulations could affect where and how properties can be developed.

Specific factors suggesting improvements in Cancún's real estate market could include; Improvements in transportation, utilities, and amenities can make the region more attractive to buyers.

More direct flights from major cities globally could boost tourism and by extension, the real estate market. Efforts by local authorities to ensure safety and security can increase the appeal to foreign buyers.

Being a coastal city, Cancún is vulnerable to hurricanes. Significant natural disasters can temporarily depress the real estate market. Any political unrest in Mexico can lead to uncertainty in the real estate market. A downturn in the global economy can reduce the number of potential foreign investors.

The reaction of the real estate market to these risks could vary. Natural disasters might lead to short-term market downturns but could also lead to long-term improvements in infrastructure.

Political instability could result in a more cautious approach from investors, slowing down the market. Economic downturns might lead to a decrease in property values, but also create opportunities for investors with the capital to invest during a market low.

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What about housing prices in Cancún?

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Current state

Cancún's real estate market, like many globally renowned tourist destinations, has shown some distinct trends over the past few years, influenced by a variety of factors.

Historically, Cancún's real estate prices have been influenced by its status as a major tourist destination. Over the past few years, there has generally been an upward trend in property prices.

This increase can be attributed to continuous demand, especially in the luxury and tourism-related property sectors. As Cancún has grown in popularity, both for vacationers and expatriates, this demand has pushed prices higher.

In times of economic prosperity, especially when the global economy is strong, there's typically a surge in investment in Cancún. This leads to increased real estate prices as more people invest in vacation homes, rental properties, and commercial real estate.

Conversely, during economic downturns, such as the global financial crisis of 2008 or the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market in Cancún, like many tourist-dependent areas, likely experienced a slowdown. Prices may have stabilized or even decreased during such periods, reflecting a decrease in tourism and investment.

Comparing current real estate prices to those from a decade ago, there's likely been a significant increase. This rise can be attributed to several factors, including the area's growing popularity, development of infrastructure, and an increase in the standard of living. This growth rate might not be uniform across all types of properties.

Currently, the trend in real estate prices in Cancún might be on an upward trajectory, reflecting the global recovery post-pandemic and continued interest in the area as a desirable location for both tourism and living. These trends can be influenced by current global economic conditions.

These properties are often in the highest demand, especially among foreign buyers looking for vacation homes or investment properties. The allure of the Caribbean Sea and the lifestyle associated with it drives this demand.

With Cancún being a major tourist destination, properties that can be rented out (like condos or apartments in popular areas) are likely experiencing growth due to the consistent demand from tourists.

Cancún's population has been growing, driven by its thriving tourism industry and the influx of people moving for work or lifestyle reasons. This increase in population can lead to; Higher demand for residential properties, both for purchase and rental.

Increased development of commercial properties to cater to the growing population and tourists. Potentially higher property prices due to increased demand and limited supply, especially in sought-after areas.

Continual growth in tourism directly impacts demand for real estate, especially properties catering to tourists. Improvements in infrastructure make the area more accessible and livable, attracting more residents and investors.

The state of the global economy plays a significant role, with stronger economic conditions generally leading to increased investment in real estate.

Outlook and forecast

In Cancún, various economic and demographic factors are currently shaping the real estate market, understanding these will provide a clearer picture of potential future trends.

The prosperity of Cancún's tourism industry directly impacts real estate prices. A thriving tourism sector increases demand for hospitality properties, vacation homes, and rentals, pushing up prices.

Cancún attracts a significant amount of foreign investment, especially from North America and Europe. The level of this investment influences property prices, with higher investment typically driving up prices.

As more people move to Cancún for work or retirement, the demand for housing increases. This growth, especially if it includes higher-income residents or expatriates, can lead to higher real estate prices.

Improvements in infrastructure, such as transportation and utilities, make certain areas more desirable, potentially increasing property values in those areas.

If tourism in Cancún continues to grow, particularly if new attractions or improvements in tourist facilities occur, this will likely increase demand for real estate, thereby increasing prices.

If Mexico’s economy, and specifically the economy of the Yucatán Peninsula, remains stable or grows, this will bolster confidence in the real estate market, potentially driving up prices. If there's an increase in the development of luxury properties or high-end resorts, this could attract wealthier buyers, pushing up overall market prices.

These factors may not uniformly affect all cities or regions in Mexico. Different regions have unique economic and demographic drivers. For example, industrial or inland cities might not experience the same tourism-driven real estate dynamics as Cancún.

If there's a global or national economic downturn, it could reduce the number of potential buyers and investors, leading to lower real estate prices.

Cancún, being in a hurricane-prone region, could see a temporary decrease in real estate prices if a significant natural disaster occurs, affecting tourism and infrastructure. Any political instability in Mexico could deter investors, negatively impacting real estate prices.

Again, these factors might not have the same impact throughout Mexico. Some regions may be more resilient to economic downturns or less affected by tourism fluctuations.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Cancún

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How's the demand for the real estate market in Cancún?

Current state

In Cancún, the dynamics of the residential real estate market are shaped by a blend of local and external factors, reflecting its unique position as a sought-after tourist destination and a growing city.

The demand for residential real estate in Cancún is often high, driven by various factors; As a prime tourist destination, there is a continuous demand for properties that can be used for short-term rentals or as vacation homes.

The city is popular among expatriates and retirees, particularly from North America and Europe, who are often in the market for residential properties.

The balance between buyers and sellers in Cancún can vary, but given its popularity, it often leans towards a sellers' market, especially for properties in desirable locations such as beachfronts or near tourist attractions. This means there are generally more buyers than available properties, leading to competitive market conditions.

The supply of new housing is an ongoing challenge. While new developments are being built, particularly high-end condos and gated communities, the question is whether they are keeping pace with the demand.

There's a focus on developing properties that cater to the higher end of the market, which may not meet the needs of all segments of the population.

Buyers in Cancún are often looking for; Beachfront Properties. These are highly sought after for both personal use and investment purposes, due to their rental potential and scenic views.

Condos, especially in gated communities with amenities, are popular among both expatriates and locals, offering security and convenience. There's a significant market for luxury properties, reflecting the demand from wealthier buyers and investors.

Interest rates for mortgages can significantly impact buying power. Higher interest rates can reduce buying power, as they increase the cost of borrowing. If rates are comparatively low, this can stimulate the market by making property purchases more affordable.

Government policies and regulations can have a substantial impact on the real estate market. Potential areas of change might include; Adjustments in property taxes or capital gains tax can influence investment decisions.

Any government subsidies or assistance programs for homebuyers, if introduced, could stimulate demand, particularly among first-time buyers or lower-income segments. Changes in zoning laws can affect where and what type of properties can be developed, influencing the supply and nature of available housing.

Outlook and forecast

In Cancún, demographic shifts and various trends are shaping the real estate market in distinct ways, understanding these shifts is key to grasping the current and future state of the market.

Cancún, like many desirable locations, attracts retirees, particularly from countries with colder climates. This aging population often looks for properties that offer convenience, security, and access to healthcare and leisure activities.

Consequently, there's increased demand for properties in gated communities, condos with amenities, and single-level homes. As more people move to urban areas for employment and lifestyle opportunities, there's a growing demand for housing in Cancún's urban centers.

This urbanization trend influences the demand for apartments and condos, especially those close to amenities and employment opportunities.

Changing patterns in household formation can impact the type of properties in demand. For instance, If there's a trend towards smaller household sizes, there might be increased demand for smaller apartments or condos.

The needs of these groups can lead to a higher demand for affordable starter homes and larger family homes in child-friendly neighborhoods.

In Cancún, real estate is often seen as a lucrative investment. Investors are typically interested in properties that promise good rental yields, such as apartments in tourist-frequented areas or near the beach. Vacation homes are also popular among investors, who may use them part-time and rent them out for the rest of the year.

With the rise of remote working, there might be a trend towards buying properties that can double as home offices. This shift favors larger homes or apartments with extra space for a home office.

An increasing awareness of environmental issues could lead to a demand for eco-friendly homes or developments with sustainable features.

The balance between buying properties for investment versus living purposes can vary. Given Cancún’s appeal as a tourist destination, there's a significant portion of the real estate market driven by investment, particularly in areas popular with tourists.

Foreign investment plays a substantial role in Cancún's real estate market. It often creates demand for specific types of properties, like luxury beachfront homes, condos with resort-like amenities, and properties in expatriate-favored areas.

Foreign investors might be subject to certain restrictions, like the requirement to use a bank trust (fideicomiso) to purchase property in restricted zones.

However, Mexico has made efforts to encourage foreign investment, understanding its positive impact on the market.

There’s a niche market for high-end, luxury properties in Cancún. These properties often come with premium amenities and exclusive locations, attracting wealthy buyers and investors. A growing niche is eco-friendly or “green” properties.

This market segment caters to environmentally conscious buyers and is often characterized by sustainable building materials, energy-efficient designs, and natural settings.

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How's the rental market in Cancún?

Current state

The rental market in Cancún is quite dynamic, shaped by its status as a major tourist destination and a growing urban area.

Understanding the current demand for rental properties involves looking at the types of properties in demand, tenant preferences, and demographic characteristics of renters.

Cancún’s rental market is primarily driven by tourism and the city’s growing population. The demand for rentals is high, especially in areas popular with tourists and expatriates. This includes beachfront locations and areas close to the city's amenities and attractions.

These are particularly popular, especially in urban and tourist-heavy areas. They appeal to a wide range of renters, from tourists looking for short-term stays to locals and expats seeking long-term leases.

In suburban areas, there's a demand for single-family homes, often from families or those seeking more space and privacy. For students and young professionals, shared accommodations or co-living spaces can be appealing, especially when budget constraints are a factor.

Proximity to beaches, entertainment, shopping, and dining is highly valued, especially in a city like Cancún known for its tourist appeal. Depending on the tenant group, the size can be a crucial factor.

Families might prefer larger spaces, while singles or young couples might opt for smaller, more affordable units. Amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and security services are attractive, especially in mid to high-end rental markets.

In urban settings, tenants often prioritize convenience, so properties close to work, public transport, and city amenities are preferred. In the suburbs, tenants might look for more space, a quieter environment, and family-friendly features like gardens or proximity to schools.

Rural rentals are less common in a place like Cancún but might appeal to those seeking natural surroundings or a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle of the city.

The tenant age range in Cancún can vary widely. You’ll find young professionals and students, families, and retirees, each with different housing needs and preferences.

This varies from singles and couples in urban apartments to larger families in suburban homes. Many tenants are employed in the tourism and service industries, which are central to Cancún’s economy, while others might be retirees or remote workers.

Tend to rent larger properties with more amenities, often in prime locations or exclusive communities. Might opt for more affordable options, like smaller apartments, shared accommodations, or properties in less central locations.

If there are educational institutions in Cancún, nearby areas might see a concentration of student rentals. Likely to be found in urban areas, close to nightlife, dining, and employment opportunities. Often prefer quieter, more scenic areas, possibly in gated communities offering enhanced security and amenities.

Outlook and forecast

In Cancún, the rental market is being shaped by several key factors, each contributing to its current state and future outlook.

As a major tourist destination, Cancún's rental market is significantly driven by the tourism sector. Properties in tourist-heavy areas, particularly beachfront or near popular attractions, are in high demand for short-term rentals.

The influx of expatriates and retirees, particularly from North America and Europe, also heavily influences the rental market. These groups often look for medium to long-term rentals that offer comfort, security, and amenities.

The rise of remote work could lead to a shift in rental preferences. Renters might prioritize properties with dedicated office spaces, high-speed internet, and quiet environments. This trend could also encourage longer-term stays in Cancún, as people are not bound to work locations.

With evolving work patterns, there might be a growing demand for flexible rental agreements, catering to a workforce that is more mobile and less tied to long-term leases.

As the population ages, particularly in expatriate and retiree communities, there might be increased demand for properties that offer health and wellness amenities.

If there’s growth in the younger population, especially due to employment opportunities in tourism and related sectors, this could boost demand for affordable and shared housing options.

New urban developments or revitalizations of certain areas in Cancún could emerge as new hotspots for rentals. These areas might attract younger professionals or families seeking modern amenities, connectivity, and a balance between city life and leisure.

The integration of technology in property management, such as online rental platforms, virtual tours, and automated tenant services, is enhancing the rental experience, making it more efficient and accessible.

Smart home technologies in rental properties, like automated lighting, energy management systems, and advanced security features, are increasingly appealing to tenants.

There’s a growing awareness and preference for sustainability and eco-friendly living. This trend might lead to a higher demand for rentals that offer green features like energy-efficient appliances, solar power, and sustainable building materials.

Developments that incorporate green spaces, promote recycling, and use eco-friendly construction methods could become more popular among environmentally conscious renters.

The rental market in Cancún, driven by tourism and expatriates, might exhibit different trends compared to other regions in Mexico.

For instance, industrial or inland cities may have rental markets more influenced by local economic conditions and less by tourism. Coastal and tourist-centric areas like Cancún may continue to see high demand for short-term rentals and properties catering to expatriates and tourists.

Considering these factors, the long-term outlook for Cancún’s rental market appears robust, especially if tourism continues to flourish and remote work remains prevalent. The market might see diversification with a mix of short-term tourist rentals and longer-term residential leases, catering to various demographics.

There’s a niche market for luxury rentals, offering high-end amenities, exclusive locations, and premium services. Rentals that focus on sustainability and green living are likely to form a growing niche, appealing to environmentally conscious tenants.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Cancún

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Mexico. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Cancún

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.