Reducing the housing deficit and having quality cities is one of the world's priorities. Colombia is not far behind, and to achieve this have been made recent announcements that put the country and our region at a historic moment to buy housing. The Government, the construction sector and the financial entities are working together so that the citizens can fulfill the dream of owning a house.

By: Martha Moreno Mesa
Manager Camacol Bogotá and Cundinamarca

The right to decent housing is enshrined, among other international instruments, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 25.1) and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 11.1). For UN Habitat, "housing is one of the basic social conditions that determine the equality and quality of life of people and cities."

Figures from this agency indicate that in 2013 more than 860 million people living in precarious settlements, compared to 725 million in 2000. The study "A space for development: housing markets in Latin America and the Caribbean", published by the IDB in 2012, concluded that the region faced a "Considerable and growing housing deficit". For that year, "one in three families in Latin America and the Caribbean - a total of 59 million people - lived in inadequate housing or built with materials technically inadequate or lacking basic services. Nearly two million of the three million families that are formed each year in Latin American cities are forced to settle in informal housing, as in marginal areas, because of an inadequate supply of adequate and affordable housing. "

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Colombia is not far behind, Bogotá and Cundinamarca face problems very similar to those of large Latin American cities, due to the permanent internal migrations and coming from other countries of the region that respond to different phenomena.

However, despite this scenario, we can say that the situation we currently have in the capital and in the municipalities of the department is progressively improving, among others thanks to the public policies that are bringing benefits to buyers, and the the construction sector has been working alongside the development of urban megaprojects, contributing to a much more complete and better quality housing offer. This is not to mention the importance of employment generation and growth to the economy that the sector contributes.

President Juan Manuel Santos recently announced the extension of interest rate subsidies to 40,000 new the years 2018 and 2019, and extended the price range for its application up to 321 million pesos. subsidy that represents 2.5 percentage points of the interest rate of the mortgage loan. These housing loan benefits can translate into low financing rates, which will directly impact approximately 544,000 potential households. This coupled with the reduction of fees by banks makes this a very good time to buy housing.

Now, the current projects have the best conditions of recent times, not only in price, but in quality. Its contribution to the construction of quality cities, and to an integrated urbanism makes it clear that the construction companies are doing a serious, responsible and committed work with the development of the cities and the improvement of the quality of life of its inhabitants. >

These and other reasons undoubtedly make this the best year to acquire housing. According to the follow-up we have done to the figures, households had never found such low housing prices in the market. We invite you to continue betting on making dreams come true and to continue to build a better quality of life for all.