Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meaningful response to the global housing shortage

Reporting from MIPIM 2011 Day 3: "Participating in a Meaningful Response to the Global Housing Shortage."

We hear quite a bit these days about the moribund recovery in the U.S. housing market. There is often talk of oversupply and lack of demand for houses on the market. Yet globally, there is immense demand for even the most basic of housing. Global Housing Foundation (GHF) is a U.N. partner working to fill this need for basic housing around the world. Today at MIPIM, GHF sponsored a panel of industry players who are currently developing in markets that are perhaps a bit beyond the eye of the average institutional investor.

The biggest challenges to addressing the need better housing around the world, however, are lack of capital and the unwillingness of large capital sources to get involved in the markets where need is greatest. Some of that is due to issues around getting clean title to land (which is a dealbreaker), but oftentimes it is a simple belief that projects won't be successful. But it can be done, by building communities not just houses. And even though residents are poor, creating product that improves their lives that gets residents investing for the future.

Our coverage of MIPIM wraps up tomorrow with the "wrap-up keynote" presentation by Prof. François Ortalo-Magné and Philippe Tannebaum with IEIF on Friday.

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