The International Housing Association (IHA) released a report Jan. 22 outlining the similarities and differences that the housing industry and home buyers encounter with housing finance in different corners around the world. “ How Housing is supported Around the Globe,” was unveiled during Global Industry Day at the International Builders’ Show’ s (IBS) International Central.
Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Housing Association and 2016-2018 IHA Chairman, leads the IHA working group on Housing Affordability that developed the initiative. The group gathered input from 11 of IHA’ s member countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Norway, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan and the United States.
The report offers insight to assist other countries in evaluating the way housing finance is provided in their own countries in order to help increase the number of residents able to purchase a home. Rates of homeownership vary greatly around the globe, and one of the biggest challenges to homeownership is access to housing finance.
Some countries have well-established financial systems and private banking institutions that offer long-term finance options, while others have very limited private finance options to help home buyers. Some countries also have short time frames for the repayment of loans, while others allow long periods of time for repayment, giving families time to save and, eventually, own their own home.
Top housing finance options covered in the report include: mortgage availability and time frames, financing institutions and locations, first-time buyer assistance, outright homeownership, shared equity programs and additional financing.
“ We unveiled this report as a way to shine a light on an important issue that affects so many individuals on a global level,” said Lee. “ We hope it offers a way to address part of the larger picture of housing affordability that we see in so many of our member countries.’
IHA members face many shared challenges on the issue of housing affordability and the factors that surround it, including housing finance, as well as the increased costs of housing production, decreased public funds for housing, increased supply shortages and workforce shortages.
The group continues to look for potential solutions to the challenges of affordability and will pursue further dialogue at its annual meeting in March in Washington, D.C.
View the full report online.