Vacant houses in Mérida, a symptom of the housing bubble: Carla Escoffié

(Photo: La Jornada Maya)

“In the metropolitan area of ​​Mérida, there are around 62,000 unoccupied houses; this is a reflection of the real estate bubble and the speculation that prevails in the local real estate market”, said Carla Luisa Escoffié Duarte, author of the book “The Right to Housing” in Mexico.

(Carla Escoffié).- In the Yucatecan capital, there are around 62 thousand homes without occupants, says the Inegi.“There is supply, but there is still unsatisfied demand,” she said.

For the defender of human rights and housing, it is also a form of “financing” of housing. “A Process by which the use of housing begins to be prioritized as a financial vehicle and not as a means of living. That is to say, it becomes one more currency for speculation and the flow of capital”, as she stated in an article.

According to data presented by Graciela Márquez Colín, president of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), there are 837 thousand 068 private homes in Yucatan 658 thousand 085 are inhabited, 108 thousand 752 uninhabited, and 70 thousand for temporary use.

The official explained that Mérida is the municipality with the most inhabited homes, with 303,783. The rate of inhabited homes grew by 2,178 percent in 2020, compared to 2010. On average, there are 3.5 occupants per inhabited private home.

The bubble causes prices to inflate or increase for no logical reason. Instead, its increase is based on speculation and the desire of people to acquire goods and then sell them at a better price, taking advantage of precisely that price increase.

Escoffié Duarte recognized that a large part of the housing situation in Mérida is marked by a real estate bubble, which on the one hand generates precarious and irregular settlements and on the other has generated unoccupied housing; around 62 thousand, according to Inegi data.

Ninety percent of these houses, she specified, are located in the north of the city, where the area with the highest surplus value in the state is supposed to be.

They are houses, she explained, that may be abandoned, that are for sale, but nobody has bought them. That is, no one is currently occupying them.

“But we see that housing is being developed that does not respond to the real housing needs of the city and is based on speculation and the real estate bubble,” she said.

The lawyer insisted that this is a symptom of the real estate bubble in the city and the state; It is one of the warning signs: the 62,000 unoccupied houses and the increase in housing prices.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, as she explained, the growth rate of real estate prices was 12 percent; now, he is bigger.

In addition to this, added the director of the Human Rights Center of the Monterrey Free Law School, there are lots of investments that have deforested, destroyed, and dispossessed Mayan peoples of their territories. Sold in “absurd” areas, where nobody is going to buy and where there is no prospect of urbanization “as a whole, they are elements that help us see the real estate bubble.”

For the specialist, it is not surprising that in several of these precarious settlements growing in Mérida, a large part of the population is Maya.

“This tells us that when there is dispossession in the territory due to real estate speculation, as well as other phenomena, what we are going to see is this growth of irregular settlements,” she indicated.

The Yucatan Times