The pandemic revolutionized labor markets around the world; Thousands of companies have definitely moved to remote work and this has caused thousands of workers to start their journeys working from anywhere in the world and all they need is to have a good internet connection.
The Mexico City It became one of the favorite destinations for foreigners, who particularly settle in central neighborhoods such as the Roma, Condesa, Cuauhtémoc and Juárez neighborhoods.
This was already happening before Covid-19 reached the world, but in the midst of the pandemic it accelerated. Mexico was one of the few world destinations that always kept its borders open for foreigners. foreigneven during the most complex times in terms of infections.
In addition to being open to the world, it is also one of the cheapest countries for those who receive their labor income in foreign currency. The “great resignation” in the United States and the appearance of flexibilities at work also prompted this arrival of digital nomads in Mexico City.
This has generated that today dozens of foreigners are occupying the capital’s homes for monthly rents that are significantly higher than the minimum wage and the average wages of the Mexican population. About 30% of the leases in the neighborhoods of the Cuauhtémoc mayor’s office are active contracts with foreigners.
And despite the fact that international tourism and spending by foreigners within the country is important for the Mexican economy, the arrival of digital nomads can also negatively impact the quality of life of local people; that they are forced to look for other options living place that they can afford or that each time they have to allocate a greater part of their income only to rents.
rents go up
In addition to the accelerated trend of inflation, the persistent arrival of digital nomads in the Mexican capital has produced a significant increase in rental prices.
In these areas of Mexico City, and some others in the interior of the country, rents have become unaffordable for most workers Mexicans.
The rents in neighborhoods such as Hipodromo Condesa they range from 18,000 to 60,000, according to the Inmuebles24 and Vivanuncios platforms.
But in Mexico, half of the workers earn less than 4,251 pesos per month, according to figures from the ENOE (National Survey of Occupation and Employment) of the Inegi. And barely 2% of the population earn more than 21,255 pesos for their work each month.
Even for those who work in Mexico City, these rental prices are priceless without roomies. The average monthly salary is between 6,000 and 10,000 pesos.
According to the annual report of the housing sale and rental advertising platform, Inmuebles24, the municipalities where it is more expensive to rent are Miguel Hidalgo and Cuauhtémoc. Some of the most expensive neighborhoods are Polanco Chapultepec, Polanco Reforma, Roma Norte, Roma Sur and Condesa.
Half of Mexicans have problems paying rent
While for foreigners the prices of rents in Mexico City are accessible, the reality for the Mexican population is different: 55% of the inhabitants have difficulties paying rent, according to a study conducted by the Institute of Social Research from UNAM.
The study also found that housing conditions have deteriorated significantly relative to the pre-pandemic situation. 32% of Mexicans were forced to leave their home to move to another that they could afford during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of them moved to another cheaper place within Mexico City, but about 14% of these people had to move to the State of Mexico or some other entity.
These figures show that in addition to the gentrification -the arrival of digital nomads-, inflation and the complex economic recovery, the pandemic also had effects on the housing sector.
The study concludes that it is fundamental that public policy actions be taken to regulate all these new phenomena that are occurring and guarantee the universal right to housing. For this it is necessary that:
- The tenant regime occupies a central place in care policies and in post-pandemic reconstruction.
- Legislate on tenancy matters from a human rights perspective, balancing the relationship between owners and tenants.
- The State regulates rental prices according to the salaries received by the inhabitants of the city, offers specific support for tenants in difficulty and expands the options to access housing by offering expedited alternatives to vulnerable groups that are evicted.
The housing situation, particularly in terms of rent, has become significantly complex in recent months. The more digital nomads come to occupy the rooms in buildings in the central neighborhoods of Mexico City, the more residents are pushed to other neighborhoods and peripheries. Food, culture and entertainment are also more expensive. And the impact also reaches transport, congestion levels and transfer times. The quality of life of Mexicans suffers from these phenomena.