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Chilango Exodus: How Rent Changed in CDMX During the Pandemic

By Francisco Andragnes - Homie


By Francisco Andragnes | CEO - Wed, 04/13/2022 - 09:00

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Economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on almost all economic sectors. House rentals have not been an exception. Changes in lifestyle, drops in income, salary adjustments and even the possibility to work remotely have changed the market dramatically. Although this circumstantial change has had a negative impact, we’re in a recovery process that has helped Homie to increase our operations nationwide.

Can changes in mobility be analyzed in this period? How can we know if there actually was a migration?

Official Data

One of the biggest problems is the lack of official and reliable data that can help us know if chilangos have changed their residence during the pandemic. The latest data available came from the 2020 census, which mentions that 557,000 people left the city, while 308,000 arrived between 2015 and 2020. This means that between 2015 and 2020, almost 250,000 people left Mexico City. However, INEGI’s analysis period does not include the entire pandemic lifetime.

Chart provided by the expert: 23 percent of chilangos left the city to join their family, while 15 percent left for work.

Recreating Migration

Due to the lack of official data, our Data Science team (led by Carlos Calderón) has been conducting a supply and demand analysis to determine if there actually was migration in Mexico City. Using our data and data from the rental market, it was possible to detect

an atypical supply and demand shock that could be explained as people leaving their houses and beginning to look for new places to live. This analysis makes it possible to identify three periods of possible chilango migration:

March-September 2020: Given the uncertainty, the number of properties on the market increases, so the supply of real estate increases; however, there are indicators of low demand.

September 2020-February 2021: People start looking and soon the number of available properties drops considerably. Simultaneously, people keep searching and there are fewer and fewer available places. This is the moment in which the possible migration occurs.

February 2021-present: People have practically not moved from their homes, so migration has begun to stop. We are in a period of demand recovery.

Chart provided by the expert

This migration period resulted in changes in the rent profile. Specifically, before the pandemic, the neighborhoods with higher demand were those that were closer to offices, with high economic activity, higher rental prices and, in most cases, a higher lifestyle. However, today, people are looking more for rentals in more affordable neighborhoods, away from business offices, as they adapt to simpler lifestyles.

Understanding the migration phenomenon and changes in trends allows us to better understand the house rental market and, therefore, continue to maintain Homie's leadership in Mexico.


Autor: Francisco Andragnes

Co-autor: Carlos Calderón

Photo by:   Francisco Andragnes

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