Everyday I walk my dogs, we walk on “gold.”
This is a new definition of “gold.” In 1848 it was the California Gold Rush. In 2023, it’s land from Tijuana through Rosarito to Ensenada. Land on the ocean or on hills with an ocean view.
The world’s longest peninsula — Baja California — stretches 775 miles from the San Diego border south to Cabo San Lucas then turns east and north to the Colorado River estuary. The Sea of Cortez is on the east and the huge Pacific on the west.
The peninsula is split into two Mexican states, Baja California Norte (population 4 million) and Baja California del Sur (population 800,000).
Mountains split the peninsula in two. They range from sea level desert on the east to the snow-covered 11,000 feet high San Pedro Martir Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the west.
There’s gold in those mountains — for real. A huge gold mine is on the gulf side. But the new gold is not underground; it’s on the surface. Specifically, it’s oceanfront build-able land, of which there are 1,500 miles of to consider.
But the most build-able property is close to San Diego. And we have data, thanks to enterprising Tijuana real estate professional Luis Bustamante. He organized a “statistics day” and invited real estate professionals, government officials, and bankers to a working lunch. All were given forms to plug in numbers; from those numbers Bustamante did the math, and calculated the value of this Baja gold.
Sales of single-family residences, condominiums and undeveloped land for 2022 on the coastal strip from Tijuana through Rosarito to Ensenada came to an astounding $390 million.
Who were the buyers? An amazing 90% were Americans, with four-fifths from California. It’s not surprising when you consider the bargains. The average sale prices were $245,000 for a single-family home and $275,000 for a condominium.
There’s more to come. Already various government offices have issued 864 single-family construction permits for 2023, along with 1,149 condominium permits and 1,586 new lots. Sales should exceed a $1 billion this year.
Yes, not everything happening in Baja California is great, nor is it in the rest of Mexico. The Matamoros kidnapping recently dominated the news. The Washington Post claims 550 Americans are missing in Mexico.
But millions of American tourists visit Mexico every day, and 1.5 million people cross the Mexican border every day. Hundreds of thousands of Americans live or work in Mexico. More than a million Americans seek medical attention in Mexico and save 40% to 60% of what the same treatment costs in the U.S.
Many Californians between 45 and 55 years of age are heading south to buy beachfront homes they can’t even imagine buying in California. In the Tijuana-Rosarito-Ensenada corridor they can buy a three bedroom hi-rise condo on a sandy Pacific Ocean beach for a fraction of what one would cost, say, in Florida.
And no bugs, mosquitoes or alligators.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine veteran, political consultant, prolific author and host of the Contreras Report on YouTube and ROKU.