Life goes on during the pandemic in Oaxaca, but it was a very strange Covid Christmas and New Year’s in Mexico. I was fortunate to spend Christmas in Lima Vieja, Castillo de Teayo, Veracruz with my adopted Mexican family and had a wonderful time.
Apart from Christmas, we attended two Quinceañera celebrations, which were very entertaining. Before departing Oaxaca for Veracruz we each had a Covid test with no wait and results in three hours for $1,000 pesos each.
We are back home now and the new year continues to be very busy for the real estate market in both Oaxaca City and the Oaxacan coast. I began writing this blog in Puerto Escondido, which is completely open with masks being required to enter enclosed spaces and ride public transportation, but all hotels, restaurants and beaches are open and full of people.
I have been exploring more and more the different beach options from 30 miles north of Puerto Escondido down to Puerto Angel. The Oaxacan coast is dotted with innumerable beautiful beaches, both kilometers long beaches and small ones hidden in tiny bays. Playa Estacahuite, Playa La Boquilla, Playa San Agustin, Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Zipolite, Playa Palmarito and Playa Carrizalillo dot the Oaxacan coast.
Prices are increasing due to dramatically higher demand, but secluded beachfront that is off the grid property can still be had for as little as US$17 per sq. meter. Construction costs in Oaxaca range from $10,000 to $20,000 pesos per sq. meter, which is about US$50 to US$100 per sq. foot, depending upon finishings.
I am now back in Oaxaca City for several closings before I return to the coast. Fortunately, some of the things we all love about Oaxaca City have reopened. The restaurants are all open again, as well as archaeological sites. Indoor museums remain closed. We also have reopened our wonderful Oaxaca Lending Library for check-out and return of books-only, and browsing by visitors one-at-a-time, with a reservation, for the last 30 minutes of each day.
Most of our wonderful public parks, such as Parque Llano and El Jardin Conzatti, have reopened and it is great to see aerobics, tai chi and other group activities, as well as runners, back to their normal activities. You can still enjoy pleasant walks through the Centro Historico, which is full of people again, all wearing masks of course. It is also nice to see all of the handcraft vendors back. Regrettably, we cannot enjoy live indoor music yet, but hopefully that will be back later this year.
Real estate demand in Oaxaca City has never been greater. Most new clients are still interested in the Centro Historico area, but an increasing percentage are also interested in the adjacent Colonias of Xochimilco, Reforma and San Felipe del Agua, as well as our lovely outlying villages.
I was just in San Pedro Itxlahuaca last night meeting with the mayor and his staff regarding the upcoming closing of the sale of a beautiful property to a couple relocating from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was reminded of how beautiful, clean, orderly, charming and safe these villages can be when governed by the local community, rather than political parties. This type of local government in Oaxaca is referred to as “Usos y Costumbres” and in my experience it works extremely well.
Though temperate year-round in Oaxaca City, this time of year is particularly pleasant with plenty of sunshine and no rain expected until the end of May or beginning of June. This is the time of year when Pochote, Lluvia de Estrellas and many other trees growing all over downtown are in bloom.
If you want more details on what to expect in Oaxaca City, check out the EIM profile of Oaxaca.