Banking institutions have added new options to their loan portfolios, such as funding for improvements and to buy a used house.
"Oscar Sequeira, coordinator of Statistics at the Construction Chamber of Guatemala (CGC), said that interest rates are down worldwide due to policies pursued by central banks and that has had an impact on reducing the level of fees charged for housing finance", reported Elperiodico.com.gt.
Giovanno Contreras, manager of Grupo Financiero ViviBanco, said the demand for mortgage loans recorded by the banking system has increased.
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In light of rumors over possible changes to mortgage conditions, Nicaraguan real estate developers are asking the country's banks not to go through with them because they would affect the sector’s growth.
Alberto Atha, president of the Chamber of Builders of Nicaragua (Cadur), said that a rumor is spreading that some banks will increase interest rates on mortgage loans by between one and two percentage points and the premium could be increased by 15 %. "We are convinced that such a move would affect and stagnate the growth process that the industry is experiencing." ... although the changes are not yet official, they are holding talks with banks asking for these measures not to be applied in the immediate future. "
The financial system, set against a surplus of $1.5 million in liquidity, offers better credit conditions.
Expediency in the approval process, lower interest rates, and extended payments terms are some of the incentives they are offering.
La Prensa publishes in its web portal: "As an additional service, applicants have the option to consolidate all their financial obligations into a single account."
Up to June banks had only provided financing for housing projects worth $14.36 million, while in the same period last year it had already reached $32 million.
"The new housing projects can be counted on the fingers of one hand," said the executive director of the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction Industry (Casalco), Ismael Nolasco, adding that the drop is a reflection of an industry that is not investing in large housing projects because it has seen any demand.
Despite the crisis, prices remained stable and now a recovery in sales is detected.
The decline in interest rates is a key factor in improving the dynamics of the housing market, allowing operators to look at 2011 with optimism.
Lorena Alvarez's article in Elperiodico.com.gt, reported that Oscar Sequeira, of the Department of Statistics of the Construction Chamber, believes that "the end of the second half of this year could represent a growth of 10 to 20 percent from the first 6 months because in the last quarter there is a greater demand for housing.”