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MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction

Federico Cerdas

CEO, Global Businesses & Skyhaus

Bio

Federico Cerdas is co-founder of Global Businesses Inc. (2002), CRDS Holdings (2016), and Cobra Development Fund (2018). Additionally, he created two brands to represent his group in the sector: Skyhaus focused on homes for sale; and Viveh focused on rental housing. He graduated as a mechanical electrical engineer from Tecnológico de Monterrey and has a master’s degree in business management from IPADE. He participates regularly in the most important forums of his sector in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Miami, London, and Mexico City, among others.

"This is an underserved market that we are starting to develop products for."

With extensive expertise in building vertical residential developments in Mexico City, Skyhaus has the know-how and experience to take advantage of the upcoming boom in demand for homes.

Why are residential projects for rent an underserved market in Mexico?

This is an underserved market that we are starting to develop products for. For 2023, there are three things that we want to do: consolidate 13 existing projects plus eight more that we are set to add to our portfolio. There will be five residential projects for rent, as well as three residential projects for sale. This typically comprises large buildings with many units located in crowded areas and on main streets. We will divide these traditional companies in 300-unit apartments distributed throughout various different projects in order to diminish the impact on the community. We will focus on smaller more ecological buildings. We are focusing on Mexico City currently.

How much interest do you see from international funds in Mexican real estate?

It depends on the fund because there are mixed feelings toward Mexico. If the fund has already invested here, it knows the local advantages. When a fund has not had experience here, it is hard to win their attention due to negative risk perception. Mexico has a young population. There are many underserved markets, in addition to the residential sector, due to the lack of local expertise. Foreign investors with a competitive product can go far in the absence of major competition. The third thing is that the funds understand that the long-term vision of our country goes beyond any one political administration. The business community is thinking 10-12 years from now. Mexico is still the best country to operate in. We held an event gathering funds from the US, Canada, Europe, Singapore, and the Emirates and will hold another in 2023 to raise awareness. I also want to create Fibra Sky, a multifamily platform, because you need to have the assets in place in order to raise money at the stock market. It takes several years to launch a FIBRA.

What housing market demand trend do you predict for Mexico City?

In terms of numbers, demand will rise because there is a huge deficit in the construction of new units. The current government stopped issuing permits for a period of time that stalled the production of new housing. This places Skyhaus in an ideal position as we were able to continue developing during this time. We are seeing a big demand for residential projects that are for sale or rent, or multifamily market. This is the perfect window for us to gain market share. We want to continue producing the same product, namely 90-100sqm apartments in middle-class areas. We will also add co-working areas to the projects so that people are able to have meetings when not in their offices. Our focus will remain on optimum locations and quality design and construction.

What would be your advice to a firm keen to enter the market?

First, everything is about partnerships. Foreigners who want to invest in Mexico or any other country must identify the best partner, who should have three things. First is expertise in the market. In our case, we are a residential developer, engaged in vertical housing in Mexico City. The more specific the expertise, the better. The second is someone who has satisfied all the administration procedures in place that help them to comply. The third is having someone capable of effective communication. Maintaining a partnership is not easy; dialogue rather than dispute is essential in a partnership.

What main advantages do you offer?

First, we have that expertise. Second, we are vertically integrated to be a one-stop solution for all project-related issues. We have our own sales department and construction department; in short, everything is under one umbrella, which makes for great efficiency. The third thing is our ability to continuously build bridges, by which we are able to create out-of-the-box solutions to common problems, which most companies cannot.

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