Photo: Building permit
About 13 million houses, or 45 percent of the total housing stock in Mexico, lack titles and were built without permits, with many of the dwellings located in high-risk areas, Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development Secretary Carlos Ramirez Marin said.
The lack of notaries in Mexico is one of the biggest obstacles to recording property titles, a problem that is especially acute among low-income households, Ramirez Marin said.
“Among those in the country’s wealthiest population, some 87 percent live in a house with the title in order, while among the poorest population, barely 50 percent have a title to their property,” Ramirez Marin said in an address to the Mexican National Notaries Association.
President Enrique Peña Nieto overhauled the old Agrarian Reform Secretariat, creating the Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development Secretariat to deal with the problems of “territorial regulation, legal use of the land, urban development and housing,” Ramirez Marin said.
Mexico must expand the activities of notaries to regulate land use and fight tax evasion, the secretary said.
Argentina has 21 notaries per 100,000 residents, Spain has seven notaries for every 100,000 people and Mexico barely has three per 100,000 residents, Ramirez Marin said.
The situation is particularly bad in states with high levels of inequality, “while Campeche has 10 (notaries) per 100,000 people, Guerrero only has one,” the secretary said.
Officials are working with public notaries to find ways to give citizens greater access to their services, Ramirez Marin said.