El adaptable mercado inmobiliario de América Latina

Nueva York – A medida que las consecuencias de la crisis de las hipotecas de alto riesgo en Estados Unidos se propaguen a los mercados globales, ¿estará en peligro una de las tendencias más positivas en América Latina –la expansión de los mercados de crédito locales, que ha ampliado de manera espectacular las posibilidades de adquirir una vivienda propia en toda la región?

Los grandes bancos e instituciones hipotecarias multinacionales han llegado a los mercados de América Latina y ofrecen servicios financieros que permiten a los prestamistas manejar mejor el riesgo. Los bancos están aprovechando creativamente los envíos de dinero de los trabajadores migrantes, los hogares de más de una familia y otras fuentes potenciales de ingreso y solvencia que antes no se tomaban en cuenta. Igualmente, el crecimiento del microfinanciamiento ha puesto capital a disposición de los prestatarios que hasta hace poco no se consideraban solventes.

Hasta ahora, el efecto directo de la crisis de las hipotecas de alto riesgo en los mercados hipotecarios de América Latina ha sido limitado. En México, el mercado de vivienda de bajo y mediano ingreso ha crecido rápidamente gracias a la creación de un mercado de títulos hipotecarios residenciales en 2003. Según la publicación Asset Securitization Report (Informe sobre la titularización de activos) nada más en el último trimestre de 2007, los emisores mexicanos vendieron títulos respaldados por hipotecas por un valor de 1.5 mil millones de dólares –una proporción significativa de los 4.4 mil millones de dólares pendientes—con apenas una pequeña disminución en los precios como reflejo del riesgo a nivel mundial. Los mercados chilenos también han permanecido relativamente tranquilos.

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