Infonavit has a portfolio of several thousands of mortgage foreclosed properties. These properties concentrate disproportionately in several municipalities, so the way and the time Infonavit chooses to dispose of them will have a considerable effect on these communities. Beyond the specific approach Infonavit takes on placing its foreclosed properties back on the market, the only monitoring these dwellings receive centers around the legal procedures needed to claim the collateral. No further analysis is performed on this portfolio and the spatial dimension of the issue is hardly being considered. At the moment, Infonavit is unable to locate with reliable precision its foreclosed dwellings.
In past years, Infonavit packaged and auctioned off its portfolio without ever knowing the exact location of each house. Infonavit sold approximately twenty thousand dwellings by this process every year –more than any other developer in the country.
In 2019 the auctions ceased, and it was decided that the properties would be reintegrated into the market in a responsible way. The team at Infonavit that handles the portfolio is now planning, alongside local authorities, site specific strategies to use these dwellings. However, there is still no systematic analysis being performed on the portfolio. At a different scale but possibly related, Mexico has acknowledged since 2010 a serious vacant housing crisis –which also concentrates considerably in some municipalities. Although in the first analysis performed by our team we found no correlation between the vacant homes and our foreclosed portfolio, Infonavit’s role in this matter is unquestionable.
The project consists in turning a database that has been used solely for tracking the legal status of foreclosures into a tool that helps Infonavit dissect its portfolio, identify the clusters of foreclosed dwellings and establish correlations with other internal or external processes.
At the moment there are approximately 12,000 houses that have concluded the foreclosure process and that can be now placed back in the market. The number of housing units that are at some point of the foreclosure process is vastly larger.
Understanding where these properties are and how many there are in a certain district would make our responsibility towards certain communities much clearer. Doing it while the legal process develops would reduce the time these houses sit idle imposing negative externalities on their neighbors. Learning if there are traits on neighborhoods, properties or creditholders that increase the probabilities of foreclosure would help Infonavit improve its credit standards. Putting in place a system of data management and interpretation, with the needed internal protocols, is crucial to achieve this.
Subdirección General de Planeación y Finanzas (Infonavit's Planning and Finance Department), Subdirección General de Administración de Cartera (Infonavit's Portfolio Management Department)
Javier Garciadiego, Mariana Lugo, Alejandra de la Mora