“The loss of employment in the United States and the impossibility of paying rents over a thousand dollars a month has prompted many families to change their residence to Tijuana, where they can pay rents between 400 and 600 dollars,” reports the Tijuana daily El Mexicano.
According to real estate agents, in the past few months there has been an increase in emigrados (Mexican residents with legal permission to work in the U.S.) who have moved to Tijuana in search of a house. By paying cheaper rent, the hope is that they can improve their financial situation. Even though Tijuana rents are high compared to the rest of Mexico, those who have lost their jobs can still afford to rent here with their unemployment insurance, said the report.
Meanwhile, the influx of emigrados is having a negative effect on Tijuana residents, who are also looking for less-expensive places to live during the economic crisis.
“They are trying to change to more economic housing whose rents are fixed between 250 and 300 dollars a month, but emigrados are renting many of these available homes,” according to El Mexicano. Real estate agents told the newspaper that when they show an emigrado a home that rents for 500 or 600 dollars a month, “for an emigrado, that’s cheap because over there on the other side you’re talking about thousands of dollars.”
Because of the effect of emigrados' on the housing market, real estate agents have adopted a new policy to protect themselves from the fluctuating value of the peso (currently about 13 pesos to the dollar): they are fixing prices in dollars instead of pesos in new rental contracts.