BORDERNOW Staff Report
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the dynamic on Chihuahua’s real estate, with mixed results. While some subsectors are thriving such as the housing, industrial, and warehousing, others like malls and entertainment venues were negatively impacted.
Leopoldo Mares Delgado, president of the Chihuahua Chamber of Real Estate Owners (CAPRIN), said the real estate sector is changing, but Chihuahua is prepared to attract more investment and boost real estate. Mares Delgado shared his thoughts:
What is your workplan at CAPRIN?
CAPRIN’s activities are focused on procuring just and efficient conditions in the real estate sector, so that our members can carry out their activities in a streamlined and productive way. We build close, long term relationships and collaborate with all levels of authorities as well as with public and private organizations, and strive to contribute on attaining a fair and sustainable development of the city of Chihuahua, improving the quality of life of all citizens by increasing its competitiveness, making it attractive to foreign and local investment and promoting its environmental care.
What is the status of the real estate market in Chihuahua?
Unlike other sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic because of the shutdowns, real estate and particularly the housing market have performed better than expected because of the preexistence of inventories, and the fact that families and investors have more time to access real estate web pages to find and acquire their estate, while there has also been a wide availability of attractive interest rates. Banks and the mortgage sector, maintained rates f r o m 7 . 5 % a n d 10.5%, depending on the client’s profile.
In general, the sector suffered an impact ranging from 15% to 25% of its performance, with more extreme cases for very specific and distinct decisions. The retail sector suffered deeply because of the mandated shutdowns. Other sectors, like telecommunications, health and supermarkets, as well as shipping and logistics, were among the ones that most benefited from this situation.
The beginning of 2021 has seen more reopenings of local or regional businesses in the northern states, taking advantage of spaces left available by the competition. Good operators adjusted their business models and operations and have returned to capture a market eager of coming out from confinement.
How will this new normal impact your sector?
It’s going to change a lot. Many new projects are coming despite the fact that with this new federal government there is not much clarity or incentive to invest. Mexico is a country that has great opportunities. New investment is coming, and we are seeing it mainly in Juarez.
One of the problems we have in the city of Chihuahua is that we do not have much structured industrial land. We do have land, but we don’t currently have industrial parks big enough to attract large-scale investments, such as an automotive assembly plant or something similar in size. There are two industrial park projects currently in planning: one in the north and one in the south. We hope that these projects will help us to detonate large scale investment in Chihuahua. Industry has an enormous potential and will surely be the one to recover more quickly; we must not only be ready with land and infrastructure, but with an intelligent and aggressive promotion strategy.
Moreover, many companies have found that productivity didn’t decline with their workers at home. On the contrary, productivity increased by 20%.
Besides manufacturing, what other industries can come to Chihuahua?
We have the necessary logistics and infrastructure like roads, railways and international courier flights to detonate e-commerce. In Chihuahua, a very large Walmart distribution center has already been established, also one for OXXO and ALSUPER is expanding its own to be the largest in the state. We can import goods easily through the Pan-American highway and make shipments to the whole country. It’s an opportunity niche for Chihuahua. There are many e-commerce players that might find it interesting to invest here.