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This paper surveys housing finance in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama. The development of a secondary mortgage-backed securities market in Costa Rica is very limited despite a broad legal framework, while in El Salvador it is nonexistent and in Panama has not grown due to high liquidity. In Costa Rica’s subsidy policy, core institutions responsible for housing policy act as facilitators of private agents. This contrasts with the dispersion of policy and institutional efforts identified in Panama and El Salvador. Government subsidies are especially directed to households where more of 90 percent of the housing deficit is concentrated. A solution based on public budgets is not sustainable, requiring an active role of the private housing finance sector. Increasing the purchase capacity of families and reducing the cost of financing are necessary conditions to reduce housing deficits.
This paper applies an analytical framework that identifies the types of market failures responsible for the underdevelopment of the housing finance system. The working hypothesis is that there is a correlation between the nature and scope of market failures, and the kind of public interventions actually implemented. Evidence seems to disprove the policy adequacy hypothesis. Nevertheless, it is enc ... (View publication)
This paper analyzes a large database provided by INFONAVIT, Mexico’s principal mortgage issuer, which contains information on borrowers’ repayment behavior. It finds that borrowers who received subsidies do not show higher default rates than borrowers who received no financial assistance. Borrowers receiving subsidies actually take longer to show their first default than borrowers not receiving su ... (View publication)
Housing for most Peruvians is improving but is still grossly inadequate. Nonetheless, public housing finance policies mainly involve programs that subsidize middle-income families and banks that lend to them. Research summarized in this paper indicates that financing will not be the main obstacle to improving housing conditions in Peru and that public sector efforts would be better aimed at dealin ... (View publication)
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