KARACHI: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Thursday said it will invest Rs500 million for the construction of affordable houses in Pakistan.

In a press release, IFC said it is making an equity investment of up to Rs500m (about $3.2m) in Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company Limited (PMRC) to catalyse affordable mortgage financing to help to address a critical gap in affordable housing.

“The number of people living in towns and cities is expected to double between 2030 and 2040. Pakistan is facing a high demand for affordable housing. The current housing deficit in Pakistan stands at 10m units and is expected to grow by 700,000 units per year,” the press release said.

“Despite the growing demand for housing, Pakistan’s level of mortgage lending is 0.3 per cent – which is significantly far lower than South Asia’s average of 3.4 per cent,” it added.

IFC’s support to PMRC will help increase the overall availability of mortgage financing for homeowners. At present, the sector’s growth is hindered by an acute absence of long-term, fixed rate funding.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020