You’ve probably heard something by now about the horde of Californians who’ve been leaving the state and moving to states like Idaho, Oregon and especially Texas. Because of the high property values in California, these people often move into the nicest neighborhoods in their new city or town of choice. And because there are so many of these transplants they often drive up the local property values. That’s not always appreciated by the locals.

Today the LA Times reports there’s a similar problem in Mexico City where Americans, many of them from California, are fleeing not just their state but their country in order to take advantage of the much lower property values in Mexico City.

The influx, which has accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue as inflation rises, is transforming some of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods into
expat enclaves.

In leafy, walkable quarters such as Roma, Condesa, Centro and Juarez, rents are soaring as Americans and other foreigners snap up houses and landlords trade long-term renters for travelers willing to pay more on Airbnb. Taquerias, corner stores and fondas — small, family-run lunch spots — are being replaced by Pilates studios, co-working spaces and sleek cafes advertising oat-milk
lattes and avocado toast.

And English — well, it’s everywhere: ringing out at supermarkets, natural wine bars and fitness classes in the park.

The reasons for the influx are mostly financial. The article notes that while $2,000 a rent won’t get you much in Los Angeles or San Francisco, that’s enough to rent a penthouse apartment in Mexico City. But at least some of the locals are sick of the Americans who are gentrifying the city.

Recently, expletive-laced posters appeared around town.

“New to the city? Working remotely?” they read in English. “You’re a f—ing plague and the locals f—ing hate you. Leave.”

That sentiment echoed the hundreds of responses that poured in after a young American posted this seemingly innocuous tweet: “Do yourself a favor and remote work in Mexico City — it is truly magical.”

“Please don’t,” read one of the kinder replies. “This city is becoming more and more expensive every day in part because of people like you, and you don’t even realize or care about it.”

A 38-year-old university professor labeled the trend “modern colonialism.”

“Mexico is classist and racist,” Bustos said. “People with white skin are given preference. Now, if a local wants to go to a restaurant or a club, they don’t just have to compete with rich, white Mexicans but with foreigners too.”

Anyway, the story says that most locals are extremely polite to the Americans who are moving in to their luxury apartments. But I guess it’s not just people in Boise, ID and Austin, TX who get fed up with Californians showing up with a lot of cash and no respect for the local customs. Unfortunately for Mexico City, the exodus from California isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.

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