The San Miguel de Allende real estate market came to a grinding halt on January 1, 2019, almost as if brakes were applied. The inventory at that time represented a seven-year supply of homes.
Why? Who knows? There had been some violence between old and new cartels that captured our attention then. There had been more than three straight years of “nowhere but up” sales and a tremendous number of new units came on the market as a result.
But, for whatever reason, the market changed. Sometimes markets change because a large group of people wake up one day and think that selling is a wise idea. There is always a healthy amount of turnover in this market. Expats decide to return to the U.S. or Canada, or sometimes it’s illness or the illness of a loved one. Other times it’s a desire to live near the ocean, but it’s a regular part of the cycle.
The last 18 months have brought large reductions in prices of properties as a whole, though some sellers continue to hold out for 2018 prices. The pandemic that now seems to rule our lives has brought sales to a screeching halt. But I am continually surprised by two things: There are daily price reductions, often surprisingly large, and the number of people these price reductions are bringing into our market. I have multiple clients waiting for travel restrictions to drop so they can start looking.
What to make of this? This city has an enduring charm. It has attracted a certain type of person for 100 years. The combination of culture, climate and cost is a compelling argument for moving here, and when you get here, you find an interesting and supportive community with plenty to do; everything from golf to tango.
Inventory is now much reduced, mostly from homes that have been taken off the market. Of course, this represents a “shadow” inventory as these homes will likely come back on the market when prices improve. But it is clear that buyers are here (or trying to get here) and in time the sellers and buyers will find ways to get together.
Prices in most American and Canadian markets remain strong despite the pandemic. Two years ago, a home in San Miguel would have cost half the price of what you could sell your home for in the U.S. Today, it is likely to be closer to a quarter.
If you’re thinking about buying a home in SMA, now is the time.