Mexico Housing Hits U.S. Investors as Plan Collapses

December 6, 2013

Bloomberg, 12/6/2013

Photo by Flikr user LyfetimeThree years into her home-ownership dream, Martha Orozco has had enough. Stuck in a government-sponsored complex called Parque San Mateo that’s two hours away from her $8,000-a-year job as a hospital secretary in Mexico City, Orozco sees only broken promises and blight all around her.

The program has been a disaster. Hundreds of thousands of homes are now derelict after buyers such as Orozco concluded they were located too far from city centers and moved out. Developers, their profits assured by government guarantees, built houses faster than municipalities could connect them to water systems and power grids.

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Mexico Follows U.S. in Foreclosures Crushing Builders

April 2, 2013

Mexico CityBloomberg, 4/2/2013

Just as the U.S. emerges from the worst of its foreclosure crisis, Mexico’s is getting worse. Home repossessions more than doubled last year to a record 43,853 from 2011, according to Infonavit, the state-backed lender responsible for about 70 percent of home loans in Mexico, as the past decade’s expansion in government-subsidized housing backfires and adds to a glut of empty homes weighing on the nation’s beleaguered builders.

Efforts to build thousands of properties on low-cost land beyond city limits has led to unpaid mortgages as workers shun commuting costs and return to urban living, according to the government. With abandoned homes mounting, Infonavit has ramped up home seizures by acting on unpaid taxes instead of delinquent loans, reducing its transaction time to about four months from more than two years, the lender said.

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Mexico Sets First Fixed Rates With Inflation Receding: Mortgages

April 23, 2012

Bloomberg-Businessweek, 4/23/12

Mexico’s largest mortgage provider plans to offer home buyers fixed-rate loans for the first time, as the two-decade long inflationary hangover from the country’s Tequila Crisis fades.

A legal overhaul will let Mexicans who finance their homes with state-controlled Infonavit, the company founded in 1972 to give workers access to home financing, get the 30-year mortgages for the first time as soon as June. The lender, which has made about 4.4 million loans since 2001, also plans to issue mortgage-backed securities in pesos next year to match income with obligations, the first such sales since 2004.

President Felipe Calderon’s government is taking advantage of the second-lowest inflation rate among major Latin American economies to start providing the loans as it moves to tame a housing shortage afflicting 8.9 million families. Inflation has declined to 3.73 percent from 52 percent in 1995 when the peso’s devaluation sparked capital outflows across the region.

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