Credito Inmobiliario (CI) is a privately held residential mortgage and finance company created by the merger of Credito Inmobiliario and Hipoticaria Terras. As a registered Sofol (a special-purpose, non-bank-regulated financial institution), CI originates, arranges, funds and services mortgage loans to individual home buyers and provides bridge loans to homebuilders throughout Mexico. EI sought an investment in the Sofol sector based upon the rapidly growing housing market, the unique market position of Sofols and limited competition for traditional lending sources in the affordable housing sector. EI monetized its ownership interest in CI through a private sale to a major U.S. financial institution in December 2005.
The housing industry is one of Mexico's fastest growing sectors, particularly as it relates to the financing of affordable homes. Growth potential is rooted in significantly underserved demand for housing: while annual demand for homes is approximately 750,000, as measured by household formation, only 350,000 to 400,000 new homes are built annually. Increasing purchasing power along with the country's strong home ownership culture continue to fuel ongoing demand. This unmet demand is largely the result of a shortage of available mortgage financing for buyers and construction financing for developers, and has created an estimated cumulative housing deficit of 6 million homes in Mexico. The Mexican government has made housing a top priority, driving efforts to build 750,000 homes annually by 2006, equal to demand and nearly double current production.