Introduction: The Mexican Rental Market
In Mexico most people rent their accommodation rather than buy it, so there are plenty of rental properties for all requirements and budgets available.
In recent years, more and more people have started to buy property due to a wider availability of mortgages, but nevertheless the number of rental properties still outweighs the number of those privately owned.
Compared to many other countries, the Mexican rental market is barely regulated. Rent is set freely according to market demand, and landlords can increase the rent at any time. However, with the exception of some key markets like Mexico City, rent tends to increase gradually and in line with inflation.
Rental prices in Mexico
If you are looking for rented accommodation in Mexico you have a wide range of options available to you. Note that accommodation varies significantly in terms of quality, security and other factors, and many of the ‘extremely cheap’ options might be places you would not want to go anywhere near.
You should also be aware that rental prices in Mexico very much depend on where the property is located, so your budget could cover anything from a small apartment to a house, depending on whether you live in a small town or an upper-class neighbourhood in Mexico City. Some of the most common rental options include the following:
Apartments: Apartments in Mexico come in all levels of size and quality – from dark & dirty shacks to luxurious 200sqm apartments with marble baths. You can rent a nice 100sqm apartment in a decent neighbourhood of Mexico City for US$500-800 per month. In smaller towns you can get the same apartment for half the price or less. Most apartments in Mexico are unfurnished, but they do have a kitchen and built-in closets installed. You can also find furnished apartments though these are less common.
Houses: Just like apartments, houses vary significantly in size and quality. If you come from a country with high rental prices and have lived in apartments before, your might be able to ‘upgrade’ your living environment to a house in Mexico. In smaller towns and villages you can rent a house with 3-4 bedrooms for as little as US$500 per month. If you live in a more expensive place like Mexico City, Monterrey or Guadalajara, you will probably have to pay at least US$1000 for a small house in a decent neighbourhood. If you want something more luxurious or are in love with a neighbourhood that is in high demand, there are no upper limits to the rental prices: In upper-class neighbourhoods like Polanco in Mexico City, a luxurious house can cost US$10,000 per month and more.
Closed streets: Many houses and some apartments are available in ‘closed streets’ or ‘gated communities’. Closed streets are single streets or whole blocks that are public property, but are nevertheless roped off and/or guarded by a private security company (there is a certain legal uncertainty in this respect as technically it is illegal to deny access to public roads). Residents receive a sticker which they display in their car window which enables them to access the closed area. In some communities visitors, taxis and sometimes even pedestrians must register at the gatehouse and identify themselves. In other communities the access stays free but the area is heavily patrolled. The whole system is paid for by the residents of the closed street, who all have to agree to it.
Gated communities: Gated communities are very similar to closed streets except that they are built on private (not public) land, so there are not any legal uncertainties as with closed streets. Many gated communities are built as apartment blocks.
Shared accommodation: Shared flats are not as common in Mexico as in many Western European countries or the US. They are mostly used by foreign students and Mexican students studying in another city (if they live in their home city they tend to stay with their family). For a room in a shared flat in Mexico City, you will pay around US$200 per month, although there are cheaper but less attractive options available.