Rising Rates Unlikely To Affect Brazilian Property Sales
News Posted On: 24 May 2011
Brazil's third largest homebuilder says sales are unlikely to be affected by increased borrowing costs so long as the interest rate is kept below 14%. Duilio Calciolari is the new chief executive officer of Gafisa SA. which is Brazil's third largest homebuilder, and doesn't feel there should be any significant impact if rates go up to 14% to control inflation.
The bank has already raised interest rates to 12%, but employment is extremely strong and banks are becoming ever more willing to finance mortgages. An estimated 9.1 million Brazilians intend to buy property this year, all of which bodes extremely well for Gafisa.
The unemployment rate in Brazil hit a record low in December at just 5.7%, and was 6.5% in March which is the lowest ever recorded rate for that month. The Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff recently said that the economy is near full employment.
However as the economy continues to expand, the rate of inflation is also accelerating and is now running at 6.51% which is the highest rate since 2005 and above the target range set by the government. A recent central bank survey of 100 economists revealed that most expect the interest rates to end the year at 12.5%.
Mortgage lending grew by 51% in 2010, compared with a 2.6% decline in the US and a 12% increase in Mexico. Property prices have risen significantly since 2008, with prices increasing by 113% in Rio de Janeiro and 91% in São Paulo. In spite of these hefty increases Calciolari doesn't think the housing market is at any risk of a bubble and the prices are just a structural correction due to the increasing mortgage market.
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