Mexico to reduce restrictions on foreign property investment?

The country’s lower house of congress voted to loosen the current regulations this month, according to new reports. The proposed change would allow overseas investors to buy property on the coast directly, rather than through a company.

At present, Article 27 of the constitution means that foreigners looking to buy land within 31 miles of the coast – and 62 miles of the national border – must carry out the transaction through a real estate trust or a registered Mexican company and then lease it an on annual basis.

49,000 international investors have bought property on the beach between 2000 and 2012, despite these conditions. The new proposals could see that figure increase significantly, providing a boost to the country’s housing sector. Indeed, while holiday homes are popular across Mexico, the coastline is the most in-demand area.

“This is about eliminating the middlemen who, through trusts, corporations and front men, have made a living off the constitutional ban,” Congressman Manlio Fabio Beltrones of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party told the Associated Press .

“It is a question of encouraging tourism investment and creating local jobs.”

However, the change still needs to go through several stages of official approval before being passed into law. Watch this space.