Housing is a basic human need. Yet lack of adequate housing is one of the biggest challenges facing emerging markets today.
IFC is a leading international investor in housing finance, reaching clients in 46 countries. We pioneered the asset class, and our housing-finance investments span more than 30 years. Our goal is to help clients seize opportunities in housing finance, which has an estimated global investment potential of as much as $700 billion (Source: McKinsey).
A vibrant housing sector – in addition to helping to provide shelter – is vital for economic growth. Housing is a strong job creator. Studies show that for every home built, at least three jobs are created both directly through construction, real estate and finance and indirectly through manufacturing and services.
IFC works through financial institutions to build mortgage markets and increase access to finance for property construction and mortgages. IFC helps to create sustainable housing markets through direct investments and by working with financial institutions and regulatory agencies to improve the environment for housing.
Drawing on lessons learned from the global financial crisis of 2008, IFC focuses on investing in commercial banks and certain specialized financial institutions to increase the supply of mortgage finance and encourage global best practices.
IFC is also constantly developing new products and services in housing finance to help improve the livelihoods of those we serve. These products include microfinance housing finance, housing finance tailored for women, products compliant with Islamic finance and “green” mortgages.
To help fill the financing shortfall, IFC provides both direct investments and also seeks to attract third-party capital. We also take a leadership role to encourage investors to return to the market by encouraging more sustainable practices from the institutions in which we invest.
In fiscal year 2013, IFC had a committed exposure of $1.22 billion in 169 housing finance projects, and implemented 19 advisory programs around the world.