The primary buyers for real estate in Mexico are, of course, Mexicans. But there is a thriving real estate market as well for Americans and Canadians that either live in the country full time, or enjoy escaping colder northern temperatures during the winter by having a second home in Mexico.
The most popular beach destinations for Americans and Canadians are Los Cabos/Baja, Cancun/Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit. There are other regions that are popular, but these three tend to dominate the market. Not only are their expat communities larger, but there are also more airlift links to major cities in Canada and the U.S.A. Within the interior of the country San Miguel Allende and Lake Chapala (just outside of Guadalajara) are definitely the most popular areas for Canadians and Americans.
In the U.S. and Canada people are used to using a MLS system (multiple listing service) to find the home or property they may be looking for. Unfortunately the MLS system has been very difficult to establish in Mexico. Only two regions have managed to do so, and have been operating successfully for more than thirty years.
For the Los Cabos/Baja region the MLS can be accessed at www.baja-mls.com. It covers basically all the communities at the end of the Baja Peninsula and nearly all real estate agencies are part of the system.
For the Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit regions the MLS can be accessed right here at www.mlsvallarta.com. It covers the market for Puerto Vallarta, Costalegre, the interior around Mascota, and along the coastline of Riviera Nayarit. And most real estate agencies and developers are part of this MLS system.
Another interesting aspect of these two market places are that both sell real estate in U.S. dollars, at least the real estate that caters more to tourism real estate. These are two markets that have been working with Canadians and Americans for many years, quite successfully, and have many professional experienced real estate agencies and agents to choose from, who speak both English and Spanish.
A recent report by ABC News discusses a different type of "surge" at the border, one that may not be as visible, but it's been happening over the last few years. They discuss the record number of U.S. citizens who are moving to Mexico to retire.