Mexico City is becoming a work-from-home mecca for American expats

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Since the start of the pandemic, Americans have begun to rethink the way they work after being sent home and out of the office, and for some that has meant moving out of the country. One of the popular places where they have settled is Mexico City.

The US State Department reported that 1.6 million US citizens live in Mexico, but it is not known how many live and work there on tourist visas.

Although the decision may seem strange to others, some like Fernando Bustos Gorozpe shared that it makes sense.

“It’s pretty, their money is worth more here, they can live in a really nice and big house or apartment, create a better life,” Bustos Gorozpe told CNN. “But it’s not like there’s any point in participating and understanding the local culture here.”

Bustos Gorozpe, a professor at a Mexican university, was born and raised in Mexico City. He shared with CNN that the trend of Americans traveling to the Mexican capital accelerated when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Mexico, unlike other countries, had less stringent border restrictions, which became attractive to Americans looking to make their work-from-home experience more beneficial.

The Mexican government recorded more than 5.3 million American tourists flying into Mexican airports from January to May 2022. Compared to 2019, that’s almost a million more.

Edyta Norejko, a real estate agent, also shared with CNN that she receives dozens of calls every week from Americans looking to move to the southern capital, and most often they are residents of two major cities where the living expenses are among the highest.

“It very often comes from Los Angeles or New York,” Norejko said.

The move makes sense because housing costs and rent prices are astronomical compared to pre-pandemic levels.

In the United States, rent prices have soared nearly 40% for one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, according to Rent.com. With the average one-bedroom rent reaching $1,770 and $2,106 for a two-bedroom, some parts of the United States are seeing rent prices get higher than ever.

As for homebuyers, the National Association of Realtors reported that the median cost of an existing single-family home is $413,500, a new record high. Additionally, the price rose 14.2% from a year ago in the second quarter, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Norejko shared that around 70% of their clients in Mexico City come from those who live outside the country.

“Foreigners living in Mexico City have many advantages,” Norejko said, referring to tourism revenue generated by Americans traveling to Mexico. “We need them.”

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