Buying real estate in Mexico?

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Buying a property in Playa del Carmen: a complete guide

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property investment Playa del Carmen

Yes, the analysis of Playa del Carmen's property market is included in our pack

Considering buying real estate in Playa del Carmen? You're not alone!

Many people are captivated by Playa del Carmen's beach vibe and dream of owning a beachfront villa or a modern condo with ocean views there.

Does it make sense from a financial perspective, though? Are property prices increasing in Playa del Carmen? What is the current trend? Should you consider buying in Playacar or Downtown? What are the taxes? Where can you get a yield above 7%?

We have the answers.

At TheLatinvestor, we've thoroughly explored this market. Actually, we've compiled all our findings in one pack. Get it now.

In this article, get ready to receive valuable insights from us.

How is the real estate market in Playa del Carmen?

Is the property market going up or down? Opinions vary. As for us, we don’t listen to rumors. We use up-to-date data and statistics, to ensure our conclusions are well-founded.

Types of properties

In Playa del Carmen, there are various types of properties available for sale, catering to different preferences and needs.

These include beachfront condos with stunning ocean views, cozy residential houses in charming neighborhoods, modern apartments within gated communities offering security and amenities, and even land lots for those interested in building their own custom homes.

Whether you're seeking a relaxing vacation spot, a permanent residence, or a real estate investment, Playa del Carmen offers a diverse range of property options to choose from.

What's better: buy or rent?

(If you want to live there yourself and not rent it to others)

Whether you're considering settling in Playa del Carmen or already living there, you might be pondering the buy vs. rent decision in this popular Mexican beach destination.

Obviously, it's better to buy if you're looking for a long-term investment that can provide financial security and appreciation over time.

Actually, the property price-to-rent ratio is a good metric to look at for this kind of decision. It's like a measure of how much rental income you'll need to afford the property at its current value.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Playa del Carmen is around 11.68, which is quite low.

Consider this: the average period it takes to accumulate sufficient rental payments for purchasing a property is merely 12 years. This makes buying an attractive option

Property prices in Playa del Carmen

On average, according to the updated data from National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), purchasing a property in Playa del Carmen would cost you around $4,200 per square meter.

Obviously, there are significant differences. The value of a square meter for a beachfront property in Playa del Carmen might differ from an apartment in Tulum. You'll get a more detailed in our pack for buying property in Playa del Carmen and in Mexico.

To give you a sense of scale, it means that, instead of buying an apartment in New York, you can get 3 properties in Playa del Carmen.

Also, housing prices in Playa del Carmen are 7% cheaper than in Tulum.

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Playa del Carmen are probably Playacar and El Cielo, while the cheapest are likely located in the outskirts of the city.

Playa del Carmen Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Mexico is, today, a relatively stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 70.3.

Don't overlook this while weighing the pros and cons of buying a property in Playa del Carmen.

Also, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mexico's economy is expected to soar by 8.3% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 1.7%.

If you intend to invest in real estate in Playa del Carmen it's a good thing because when the economy grows, people often experience an increase in wealth, it typically translates to a surge in housing costs.

Also, in Mexico, the average GDP per capita has changed by -3.6% over the last 5 years. It's not a good number.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Mexico right now.

Buying property in Playa del Carmen

It can be difficult to buy property in Playa del Carmen due to the lack of reliable and updated information available. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Playa del Carmen and in Mexico.

Buying process

In the pack of documents we have built, we've covered everything about buying a property, from the contacts you'll need to the taxes that need to be paid, and even where to look for available properties.

Now, we're presenting a simpler version to make it easier for you to understand and follow along.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Playa del Carmen:

  1. Research the Playa del Carmen real estate market and set a budget in Mexican pesos (MXN).
  2. Find a reputable local real estate agent with expertise in the region.
  3. Select properties and schedule viewings, considering factors like proximity to the beach and amenities.
  4. Conduct due diligence, including verifying the property's title and ownership through the Public Property Registry (Registro Público de la Propiedad).
  5. Make an offer in writing and negotiate terms, including the inclusions (e.g., furnishings) and exclusions.
  6. Hire a local attorney (notario público) to review all legal aspects and ensure a smooth transaction.
  7. Obtain a Mexican taxpayer ID (Registro Federal de Contribuyentes or RFC) from the Mexican Tax Administration Service (SAT).
  8. Sign a preliminary contract (promissory agreement or contrato de promesa de compraventa), and pay a deposit (usually 5-10% of the property price).
  9. Secure financing through a Mexican bank or other financing options if needed.
  10. Complete all necessary paperwork with the notary, including obtaining the property's certificate of no liens (certificado de libertad de gravámenes).
  11. Finalize the purchase contract (escritura pública) at the notary's office and pay the remaining balance to the seller.
  12. Register the property with the Public Property Registry to ensure legal ownership transfer and obtain the new title deed (escritura).

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Mexico.

Make a profitable investment in Playa del Carmen

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Playa del Carmen

Where to find a property

Discover these websites to find properties in Playa del Carmen:

  • Mexico Real Estate Group - A multilingual real estate brokerage specializing in luxury properties in Mexico, catering to international buyers and investors.
  • Top Mexico Real Estate - A professional real estate agency dedicated to assisting American and Canadian buyers in finding their dream homes in Mexico.
  • Bay Realty Mexico - A local real estate agency with over 15 years of experience in the Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit real estate market.
  • Cochran Real Estate - A boutique real estate agency specialized in helping buyers and sellers in Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Mexico.

What you can get

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Playa del Carmen is $4,200. A 1-bedroom property with a size of 60 square meters would cost approximately $252,000, whereas a 2-bedroom property with a size of 85 square meters would cost approximately $357,000.

However, prices will differ based on the attributes of the property and its specific location.

Prime property locations in Playa del Carmen tend to come with higher price points. A residence in Playacar might cost you around $1,020,000, while a house in PlayaCar Fase 1 could be priced at $740,000.

However, some places are cheaper. You could find an apartment in Villas del Sol for $140,000, or you may come across an apartment in Ejidal priced at only $110,000.

We give more details about property types and areas in our full pack for buying property in Mexico.

Mistakes to avoid

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:

  • Ejido land issues: Some properties may be located on ejido land, communal property with restricted ownership rights.
  • Foreign ownership restrictions: Certain areas have restrictions on foreigners buying property, requiring a bank trust (fideicomiso) or a local partner.
  • Permit delays: Lengthy bureaucratic processes can delay construction or renovations.
  • Coastal regulations: Strict regulations near the coastline can limit building or development options.
  • Mexican legal system: Navigating the legal process in a foreign country can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Property condition: Some older properties may require significant maintenance or updates.
  • Currency fluctuations: Exchange rate fluctuations can affect the cost of the property if paying in a foreign currency.
  • Cultural differences: Understanding local customs and norms is crucial to successful negotiations and transactions.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Mexico

Everything you need to know is included in our Mexico Property Pack

Living in Playa del Carmen

Living in Playa del Carmen is a dream come true, offering a relaxed Caribbean lifestyle with easy access to beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a rich cultural heritage.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Playa del Carmen is generally lower than in other parts of Mexico and other parts of the world. It is still possible to find affordable housing, food, and entertainment options in the city.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Playa del Carmen, Mexico:

  • Michelada cocktail at a beach bar: $5.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the downtown area: $800/month.
  • Tacos al pastor for two at a local taqueria: $12.
  • 1.5-liter bottle of Jarritos (Mexican soda): $1 at a supermarket.
  • Electricity bill for an 85m² apartment using CFE (Federal Electricity Commission): $70/month.
  • Monthly membership at Evolve Fitness gym: $80.
  • Ticket to a movie at Cinepolis in Centro Maya: $9.
  • Cup of Mexican coffee at a café on Quinta Avenida: $3.


We want to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a table that shows the different neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Playacar is an upscale gated community located next to Playa del Carmen, known for its luxury resorts, golf courses, and beautiful beaches.

Exclusive and safe environment, golf courses, beach access.

Higher cost of living, limited shopping options.


Centro is the vibrant downtown area of Playa del Carmen, offering a mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and access to the popular Fifth Avenue.

Heart of the city, diverse dining and entertainment options, proximity to the beach.

Noisy and crowded, higher crime rate compared to gated communities.

Playacar Fase II

Playacar Fase II is a residential area adjacent to Playacar, featuring residential homes, condos, and green spaces in a tranquil setting.

Quiet living environment, proximity to Playacar amenities, green areas.

Limited commercial activity, some areas may lack modern facilities.


Colosio is a residential neighborhood with a mix of local residences and vacation rentals, offering a more laid-back atmosphere.

Affordable housing options, local ambiance, some vacation rental income potential.

Less touristy, fewer amenities compared to tourist zones.

Real Ibiza

Real Ibiza is a growing residential area with condos and townhouses, providing a family-friendly living environment.

Family-oriented atmosphere, affordable housing options, local services.

Less developed infrastructure, longer commute to tourist areas.

Gonzalo Guerrero

Gonzalo Guerrero is a lively neighborhood with a mix of local businesses, restaurants, and shops, attracting both locals and tourists.

Local ambiance, varied dining options, vibrant street life.

Noisy and crowded, some areas may be less safe at night.

Playacar Fase I

Playacar Fase I is the original phase of Playacar, featuring residential homes, condos, and a golf course, offering a tranquil living environment.

Quiet atmosphere, golf course access, proximity to Playacar amenities.

Limited commercial activity, some areas may lack modern facilities.

El Cielo

El Cielo is a new and developing residential area with housing projects, offering a quieter and more affordable living environment.

Peaceful living environment, potential for growth, local services.

Less developed infrastructure, longer commute to tourist areas.

Luis Donaldo Colosio

Luis Donaldo Colosio is a residential neighborhood with a mix of local and expat residents, providing a quieter living environment away from the tourist zones.

Peaceful ambiance, local community, affordable housing options.

Further from the beach, limited tourist-oriented services.

El Centro

El Centro, or the city center, is a bustling area with a mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and local businesses, offering a lively and authentic Mexican experience.

Cultural hub, diverse dining and entertainment options, local atmosphere.

Noisy and crowded, some areas may be less safe at night.

PlayaCar Fase II - South

PlayaCar Fase II - South is a developing area within Playacar, featuring new residential projects and a growing community.

Potential for growth, tranquil living environment, proximity to Playacar amenities.

Less developed infrastructure, longer commute to tourist areas.

Villas del Carmen

Villas del Carmen is a residential neighborhood with a mix of condos and single-family homes, providing a quieter living environment.

Peaceful atmosphere, affordable housing options, local services.

Further from the beach, limited tourist-oriented services.

PlayaCar Fase II - North

PlayaCar Fase II - North is a residential area within Playacar, offering a mix of condos and homes near a golf course and green spaces.

Quiet living environment, golf course access, proximity to Playacar amenities.

Limited commercial activity, some areas may lack modern facilities.

Puerto Aventuras

Puerto Aventuras is a gated community located south of Playa del Carmen, known for its marina, golf course, and beachfront properties.

Exclusive and safe environment, marina access, beachfront properties.

Limited shopping options, farther from downtown Playa del Carmen.

Life in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has a thriving economy, based largely on tourism, with a variety of businesses in the hospitality, retail, and real estate sectors. Additionally, the city has been the recipient of significant foreign investment, making it a major economic hub in the region.

What expats usually like the most in Playa del Carmen are the convenient access to the beach, and the vibrant nightlife scene with its many bars and restaurants.

A good point for a property investor - Playa del Carmen has a mass rapid transit system called the Metrobús.

Playa del Carmen has generally good access to healthcare, with many quality clinics and hospitals available.

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invest real estate in Playa del Carmen

Renting out in Playa del Carmen

This section is for those who are looking to purchase a property not to live in themselves, but to rent it out and make an income from the rental.


Tenant Profiles in Playa del Carmen

According to the data reported by Wikipedia, the home ownership rate in Mexico is 80%, which is rather high.

It is probably a bit less in Playa del Carmen though.

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target expats, retirees, and digital nomads who are seeking a slower pace of life in Mexico's Caribbean coast. You could also attract short-term vacationers who are interested in exploring the area's attractions, nightlife, and beaches.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Condo in Playacar

Retirees, expats

Gated community, tranquility

$800 - $1800

Apartment in Downtown

Young professionals, expats

Urban lifestyle, convenience

$600 - $1500

House in Playacar

Families, retirees

Suburban living, proximity to amenities

$800 - $2000

Studio in Centro

Students, budget travelers

Affordable, access to transportation

$300 - $700

Condo in Coco Beach

Beach lovers, tourists

Beachfront, close to attractions

$900 - $2500

Apartment in Playa Caribe

Tourists, nature enthusiasts

Eco-friendly, proximity to beach

$700 - $1500

Villa in Playa Magna

High-end renters, luxury seekers

Luxurious amenities, privacy

$1500 - $4000

Rental yields

Nowadays, the rental yields you get in Playa del Carmen are between 5% and 7%. There are some opportunities. For a "good" rental yield, you should aim for 7% or more.

Playa del Carmen's best rental yields come from luxury vacation homes located near the beach, as they offer the highest occupancy rates due to their desirable location, proximity to popular attractions, and amenities. Additionally, high-end condos in the downtown area tend to be in high demand and provide good rental yields.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.

Finally, be aware that rental incomes in Playa del Carmen are taxed at 25%, which is average.


You could also decide to rent short-term to tourists visiting Playa del Carmen for vacation, business trips, or special events. Additionally, you could target people looking for a short-term stay while relocating to the area or attending nearby universities.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in the Centro area or the north-facing beaches such as Playacar and El Faro. These areas are popular with tourists and offer a range of amenities that make them attractive to short-term renters.

You will have some competition though - there are around 13,000 Airbnb listings in Playa del Carmen. The average daily rate stands around $91.

You have the opportunity to generate a nice additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Playa del Carmen can make around $900 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 57%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Playa del Carmen then?

Buying property in Playa del Carmen is a smart move for those who want a long-term investment or a place to call home. The property price-to-rent ratio is low, making buying more financially secure and sensible. Property prices are reasonable compared to many other destinations, offering great value for your money.

Plus, Mexico's political stability and expected economic growth can potentially lead to property value appreciation, making it an attractive investment.

For those looking to generate rental income, Playa del Carmen has a lot to offer. Long-term tenants like expats, retirees, and digital nomads can provide a steady income stream. Rental yields are decent, ranging from 5% to 7%, and short-term rentals targeting tourists can be lucrative, with an average daily rate of $91.

However, it's essential to choose the right neighborhood and property type to align with your budget and lifestyle. Be mindful of foreign ownership restrictions and the complexity of the Mexican legal system, and consider property conditions and currency fluctuations.

Overall, Playa del Carmen is a great place to buy property if you're looking for a long-term investment, a permanent residence, or rental income potential, but do your due diligence and seek local expertise to navigate the process effectively.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Playa del Carmen

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 Playa del Carmen

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.