Mexico Sets First Fixed Rates With Inflation Receding: Mortgages

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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