Rapid economic growth in South Asia, urbanization, and a rising
middle class have created considerable pent-up demand for housing and
housing finance. More than 14 percent of low-income South Asians have
no home. In response, South Asia’s dynamic housing and housing
finance markets have grown at rates of around 30%, but are still
limited to upper-income groups. The contribution of housing and
real-estate sector to overall economic growth, social uplift and
employment is considerable.
Housing and housing finance services have the clear potential to
expand to middle- and even lower- income families. This requires an
improved land administration, strengthened legal framework for land
titling, registration, and foreclosure, better market data provision,
and promotion of long-term funding for mortgage lenders and developers.
Innovative traditional mortgage products and Islamic finance could
match demand in underserved market segments.
This report, a first regional effort on the topic, examines housing
shortages in South Asia, as well as outlines shortcomings of the market
for home mortgages. Information on good practice and country-specific
examples are presented on enabling builder/developers, mortgage
lenders, land administration, as well as foreclosure and other relevant
regulations, to strengthen home ownership in South Asia. Special
emphasis is accorded to low-income housing solutions.
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