History of Real Estate in Mexico


Between the years 1517 and 1822 Spain held claim to the Mexican land. In 1822 Mexico declared independence from Spain but wealthy foreigners, the Church and the upper class Mexicans continued to lay claim to much of the land. Also during the 19th century, Mexico lost about 1/3 of their country to Texas in 1845, and in 1848 the territory that became California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming were purchased for $15,000,000.

In 1854, through the Gadsden Purchase, the U.S. acquired the rest of what is now Arizona and New Mexico. In 1917, the Mexican Revolution began and with it came the loss of over one million lives. From this came the Federal Constitution which imposed new laws and restrictions on foreign ownership (resulting in the “restricted zone”) and ownership of lands by the Catholic Church.

With this constitution, México began the process of subdividing large property holdings (50 million acres in all) belonging to the Federal Government into smaller parcels. This provided the Mexican farmers with a beneficiary interest in the land. Entitled under the Agrarian Law, these government parcels, known as “ejidos,” are recorded in Mexico City. The ejidatarios (farmers) can live, farm, homestead and construct dwellings on the property but they do not own it. These farmers have the use and benefit of the land, but they do not have title to it and therefore can’t sell, lease, subdivide joint venture, contribute, mortgage or encumber the property.

In 1992, realizing the value of the ejido land and the development potential that would be created by allowing the owners to sell or lease the property to non-Ejido members such as foreigners, the Agrarian Law was passed. In other words, ejido owners had the right to take the land that they didn’t own, remove it from federal control, place it in the public land registry and convert it to private property thus allowing them monetary benefits.

Today, thousands of acres are being removed on a daily basis from the Ejidos and are added to the public lands and being sold or leased.

(Editors Note:  The Ejido Laws regulate the privatization of Ejido land. Be sure and hire an experienced closing agent or real estate attorney to oversee the privatization process)

For more information contact Evelyn Joye Pepper, Broker RE/MAX Los Cabos ,San Jose del Cabo, BS 23400, Office Phone - (624) 122-1020, info@remaxloscabos.com.