Photo: Joye ~
San Miguel’s rise in popularity has been attributed to its “colonial charm, friendly community, and nostalgic architecture” by Robert Gaudet of Palms International Mexico. Indeed, tourism has jumped 32 per cent in the last year. Real estate interest, though, has jumped even higher, by 85 per cent in 2013. and is forecast to climb a further 30 per cent in 2014.
Buyers are predominately both wealthy Mexicans and Americans – 18 per cent of San Miguel’s residents are expatriates – and traditionally focus on the downtown area, but now a growing number of international investors are looking outside of the town towards luxury gated communities.
“Luxury gated communities such as the area’s newest and largest Ventanas de San Miguel located just a few minutes from downtown offer open spaces, tranquility and modern amenities like golf courses, spas and tennis,” explains Gaudet, “all things you wouldn’t find inside the walls and busy cobblestone streets of San Miguel’s Centro neighborhoods.”
San Miguel’s latest surge in tourism has been fuelled, Gaudet suggests, partly a recent report in Conde Nast Traveller, which voted it the Best City in the World for 2013, highlighting its “quaint atmosphere, free of billboards and traffic lights” and its romantic remembrance of old Mexico.
These gated communities offer the exact opposite of this lifestyle, but are often much more affordable, with some even set to offer fractional ownership, adds Gaudet.