The State of Mexico’s Housing – Recent Progress and Continued Challenges

Chris Herbert, Eric Belsky, Nicholas DuBroff

W12-8: In 2004, Fundacion CIDOC commissioned the Joint Center for Housing Studies to prepare a report assessing The State of Mexico’s Housing, which was a follow up to an earlier report of the same name supported by Infonavit in 1997. The report provided a snapshot of housing conditions in Mexico and identified key challenges facing the nation in providing decent, affordable housing for all Mexicans. These challenges included the need to expand the scale and scope of mortgage lending through the quasi-public agencies Infonavit and FOVISSSTE1 while also increasing private sources of financing largely through the efforts of the Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal (SHF); to improve land use planning and infrastructure financing; and to greatly enhance housing market information and the legal infrastructure for market operations.

Over the last decade Mexico has made significant advances in meeting many of these challenges. Through a combination of operational and financial improvements to Infonavit (by far the largest source of loans in Mexico) and FOVISSSTE, advances in the structure and operation of housing and mortgage markets more generally, and stable macroeconomic conditions, government and industry have worked together to finance homes to larger segments of the population while also bolstering national economic growth and enhancing the livelihoods and wellbeing of families and communities across the country. Production of new homes has increased dramatically and financing options were greatly expanded for previously-underserved markets, including the resale and home improvement markets, as well as households unaffiliated with the major housing funds Infonavit and FOVISSSTE. Furthermore, while Mexico was not immune to the impacts of the recent economic downturn, much of the housing sector has weathered the global recession fairly well.

However, despite these advances, the demand for affordable and decent housing still far outstrips the supply. In addition, there is a need to improve the institutional coordination and capacity across the different agencies and governmental levels necessary to help address these problems. 

This working paper is available in both English and Spanish.