In July 2020, MIGA issued guarantees that will help grow the low-income housing portfolio of Caja de Ahorros (CA). CA was established by the Government of Panama in 1934 with a social mission to encourage good savings habits, offer financial education programs, and contribute to solving the country’s housing deficit by providing mortgages.
Panamanian families that are eligible for the loans will be able to start building equity and a stronger financial future.
Newly constructed homes line a street in Panama. MIGA’s Caja de Ahorros project aims to bolster housing finance for homes like these for the country’s low- and middle-income population.
Most of the mortgages are expected to be on homes with values between US$40,000-US$80,000.
The proceeds of the MIGA-guaranteed loan facility will be used by CA for mortgages on newly constructed homes.
A recent IFC study finds that new homes can create jobs both directly from contributions through construction, and indirectly through financial services, manufacturing, and the growth of SMEs due to upstream and downstream linkages.
Economic activity in the housing sector affects savings and consumption. Each housing unit financed can be expected to make a net positive value-added impact on GDP.
Roughly 50% of CA’s loans in this segment are provided to women or women-headed households, which plays a role in reducing Panama’s gender gap in homeownership. Today, only 29% of homes in this country are owned by women or women-headed households.