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Mortgage in India

The Mortgage Financing industry was estimated approximately at US $ 18 billion in India. The mortgage industry is undergoing a change as the market is dominated by banks in the direct housing finance sector. Though the housing finance industry in India is growing for the past few years still financing through the organized sector continues to account only for 25% of the total housing investment in India (Source: LIC Housing finance).

The top players in this industry are housing finance companies, commercial (local as well as foreign) banks, cooperative banks and other non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). Presently Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) is the market leader followed by State Bank of India (SBI). The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Housing Finance Limited also have significant market share. The industry sources has reported that, 8 to 10 percent of the market share that foreign-owned banks have in the industry, Citibank has 5 percent share, followed by Standard Chartered and HSBC with about the 3 to 5 percent.

The formal mortgage finance sector continues to elude the lower income groups. The twin problems of affordability and accessibility that hinder the progress of housing in South Asia need to be addressed. For this, governments have to withdraw from direct participation in the housing and housing finance sector and instead need take on the role as facilitators to create the enabling environment to encourage private sector capital. Further efforts of the government are required to strengthen foreclosure laws, land records need to be computerised and archaic land laws especially rental laws need a complete overhaul. Small steps such as encouraging credit bureaus, introducing mortgage insurance, allowing real estate mutual funds and creating a favourable environment to facilitate foreign direct investment in housing will help stimulate the housing finance sector. The road is long but not untenable.

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