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Housing and Construction Sector

Overview

 

2010

2011

2012 (estimate)

Total Market Size

70.28

83.37

86

Total Local Production

78.63

81.09

83

Total Exports

33.86

35.34

37

Total Imports

36.35

37.94

39

Imports from the U.S.

26.35

27.53

29

Figures in USD Billions based on official information, meetings and statistical data from the next sources: SHCP (Secretariat of Treasury and Public Finance), INEGI Import/Exports statistics, Mexico Central Bank (Banco de Mexico) Import/Export statistics, Secretariat of Economy, BANCOMEXT, CMIC (Mexican Chamber for the Construction Industry), CNEC (National Chamber for Consulting Firms), CONAVI (National Housing Commission) and CANADEVI (National Chamber for Housing Development).

Construction

According to official figures presented by Mexico’s Central Bank, the National Institute for Statistics and Figures (INEGI), the Mexican Chamber for the Construction Industry (CMIC), the National Chamber for Consulting Firms (CNEC), and the Secretariat of Treasury and Public Finance (SHCP), the Mexican construction industry grew 4.4% in 2011.

Mexico’s goal is to be ranked in the top 30 of the world Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Index. They have developed a new strategic plan that will steer the country into raising the coverage and quality of its infrastructure by 2012. According to that index, Mexico was ranked 71st out of 133 countries in 2009-2010, with the following rankings:

Airports: 56th, Railways: 66th, Ports: 82nd, Highways: 57th, and Telecommunications: 65th.

The aim of the National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) for 2012 is to increase economic growth as well as permanent job creation by developing transportation, communications, water and energy to convert Mexico into one of the main logistic platforms and promote regional development and tourism. Regarding the financial requirements for 2012, US$194.3 billion are split as shown below:

US$33.1 billion: Private Investment

US$8.7 billion: National Infrastructure Fund (FONADIN)

US$5.3 billion: National Development Bank (BANOBRAS)

US$147.2 billion: National Budget

This investment is not only to spur the economy, but also to address the lack of infrastructure investment projects in the past, and the importance of works to support the competitiveness of the country. The Mexican construction industry aims to grow 4.6% during the present year, based on the NIP for 2012. Key infrastructure projects sponsored by the government and large private projects developed and executed by local and foreign investors (shopping malls, retail stores, industrial plants, distribution centers, mixed-use buildings, housing and other small projects) will be the best opportunities for investment during 2012.

The total value of the construction sector in 2011 was USD $83 billion. Much of this (48%) was allocated to PEMEX investment projects, followed by the building of houses and multi-use buildings (16%), and then highway construction (12%). The Mexican states that received the majority of investment were Estado de Mexico (18%), Mexico City (17%), Nuevo Leon (14%), Jalisco (8%) and Veracruz (7%).

Housing

Under the current administration all housing initiatives and projects throughout Mexico are considered to be a priority. All government levels in Mexico are working closely to strengthen the housing industry in order to solve Mexico’s housing deficit of over 5 million units countrywide. All housing agencies, both government and private, are promoting projects and seeking private investment in order to counter the country’s housing deficit.

The housing initiatives announced by President Calderón will impel the housing industry in the short and medium term. These initiatives will support Sare, Urbi, Ica, Ara, Geo and Homex, the largest housing developers, as they aim to accomplish the housing plans of the present Administration. Some of the initiatives are: a) Support the 6 million workers not affiliated with the two Mexican housing funds, Infonavit and Fovissste, b) A subsidy of USD $700 million for houses valued between US$12,000 and US$25,000, c) More subsidy for green housing projects (up to 20% of the mortgage), among others. Based on these initiatives, housing firms consider that their construction plans will grow 8 percent during 2012.

Inflation affected construction costs by nearly 9 percent in 2011, according to the Index of Prices to the Builders from the Banco de Mexico. An inflation rate of 5 percent is expected in 2012.

For U.S. firms interested in entering Mexico’s construction industry, one of the best options is to sign a joint venture agreement with a Mexican housing developer or construction firm that is active in the housing industry. Mexican companies’ knowledge of the market, and the labor and legal aspects involved in this industry is invaluable to U.S. firms.

Green Building

Similar to other emerging economies, Mexico is moving towards “green” or friendlier environmental activities. The construction industry has embraced the green building movement. Mexico has joined the World Green Building Council (WGBC). Mexico is learning from the European, Canadian and United States’ best practices and occasional missteps to reap the cost and health benefits of green buildings. It also can show other countries how to use simple, moderate-cost strategies from its own longstanding building practices to achieve green building advantages.

Mexico has a tradition of architecture that favors environmentally sensitive, small-footprint building practices and designs. However, policy efforts to promote green buildings are relatively new and generally focused on the housing sector. Mexico’s National Housing Commission (CONAVI), INFONAVIT (the largest housing fund for workers in Mexico), the Mexican Chamber for the Construction Industry (CMIC), the National Chamber for Consulting Firms (CNEC), the National College for Architects, the Mexican Council for Sustainable Edification and the Association of Firms for the Saving of Energy on Construction and Buildings are documenting green practices and working to define criteria for green buildings and homes. Additionally, INFONAVIT has created a “green mortgage” program, supported by mandatory employer and employee contributions.

Although green construction in Mexico continues on a growth trend, the actual numbers for the sustainable construction remain small. Currently Mexico has only five buildings with LEED certification and over 80 in the LEED certification process. Nonetheless, rating programs, market surveys, and anecdotal evidence indicate tremendous growth in this field. Projects include real estate branches for tourism, marine, thematic and recreational parks, golf courses, residential areas and housing, town planning, and industrial and commercial. Without widespread performance data and agreed upon performance benchmarks for comparison, no method exists to determine precisely how many buildings are green. Like many other countries Mexico will continue supporting these green initiatives for the construction and sustainable development sectors. Several investors and developers are moving towards into the construction of green buildings, some of them will be LEED certified and others will be eco-friendly buildings.

Best Products/Services

Mexico offers solid sales opportunities for American manufacturers of housing and building materials. Materials with the best current sales potential are:

Description

HS Code

U.S. Market Share

AC systems

841582

83%

Air filters for AC systems

842139

67%

Aluminum doors, windows and frames

761010

75%

Bulbs for incandescent lamps

701110

52%

Clear glass with UV protection and thickness over 6mm

700490

95%

Kitchen cabinets and fixtures

940340

25%

Prefab construction systems

940600

30%

Solar panels for lighting

854140

15%

Solar water heaters

841919

15%

Steel doors, windows and frames

730830

62%

Toilet articles of porcelain or china

691090

27%

Tubes and pipes – copper

741110

85%

Opportunities

Concessions, PEF (projects funded by the Federal Government), PPP’s (private public partnerships), and Highway Assets (projects supported by FARAC funds), are the most utilized tools that the Mexican government is using to promote private investment in infrastructure projects. These projects are supported by the Mexican government funding institutions, as well as international funds such as BANOBRAS (National Public Works Bank), FONADIN (National Fund for Infrastructure Development), local and foreign banks, the North American Development Bank, Interamerican Development Bank, World Bank, OPIC, USTDA, ExIm Bank, and USAID.

In December 2012, Mexico approved a new Public-Private Partnership Law (PPP Law), which allows the government to enter into infrastructure and service provision contracts with private companies for up to 40 years. The Public-Private Partnership Law provides more legal certainty to private investors through an equal distribution of risk. This harmonizes existing state public-partnership models into one federal law. All investors will be allowed to participate in bidding processes, except for some restricted sectors, according to the existing Foreign Direct Investment Law.

The largest housing developers listed on Mexico’s stock market announced an expected 8% income growth in 2012. Representatives from Mexico’s main housing stakeholders (ARA, GEO, HOMEX, URBI, SARE and ICA) said that the housing sector in Mexico will continue its growth and that the best market in the housing industry exists for houses between USD $26,000 and $50,000. Additionally, the low-income housing between $12,000 and $25,000 USD will grow due to Federal, State and Municipal incentives to support this sector of the Mexican population.

Although the housing sector will not be affected, the global economic slowdown and the electoral year will probably hit other segments of the construction industry in Mexico. Estimated effects include the delay or postponement by the Mexican government of some major infrastructure projects due to the increased cost of products, including cement, steel bar, and glass.

Resources

National Chamber for Housing Development: http://www.canadevi.org.mx

National Housing Council: http://www.conavi.org.mx/

Mexican Chamber for the Construction Industry: http://www.cmic.org

National Chamber for Consulting Firms: http://www.cnec.org.mx

Construction and Housing Development Center: http://www.cihac.com.mx

National Institute for Geography and Statistics: http://www.inegi.gob.mx

Institute of National Housing Fund for Workers: http://infonavit.gob.mx

Secretariat of Communications and Transports: http://sct.gob.mx

For more information on the housing and construction industry in Mexico, please contact:

Mr. Adrián Orta

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service - Mexico City

E-Mail: adrian.orta@trade.gov