Caixa Econômica Federal announced this Thursday, 28, a stimulus package for the real estate market, a sector that has helped to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and which also represents an important support base for the government of Jair Bolsonaro. .
The focus is on the reformulation of the Business Plan, a line of financing intended for construction by companies, as anticipated earlier by Broadcast, Grupo Estado’s real-time news system. This type of credit has shrunk this year, unlike loans to individuals, which had a significant increase.
The state bank released BRL 21.4 billion in financing for the purchase and construction of real estate in the first quarter of 2022, considering only operations that use funds originating from the savings account. The amount was 32% higher than in the same period last year.
Credit for construction fell 1.2% in the period, to R$ 5.3 billion. The growth was driven by credit for acquisition, with an increase of 48.6%, to R$ 16 billion.
Caixa’s president, Pedro Guimarães, announced that the new Entrepreneur Plan will cut the amount of documents required for the release of resources by half, in order to speed up the granting of loans. The measure will take effect from May 18.
The promotional rate for contracting by the construction companies, of 3% per year plus the reference rate (TR), will be valid until June 30th. Then it should return to the level of 3.32% plus TR.
The construction companies will also have four indexing options in the financing contracts: TR, Savings, IPCA and CDI – similar to what already happens for individuals. Caixa will also facilitate financing for works in which land is donated by a public entity, a type of business associated with projects for needy families.
The news announced by Guimarães took place in an internet broadcast organized by the Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry (CBIC). The entity’s president, José Carlos Martins, praised what he considered Caixa’s “sensitivity” to the sector’s claims.
In an interview with Broadcast, Martins explained that the drop in demand from construction companies for financing is due to the perception that the population’s purchasing power has decreased with inflation and should cool down property sales in the coming months.
“The financing that entrepreneurs take today is to fund the launch of projects tomorrow. The fall in the Entrepreneur Plan shows entrepreneurs anticipating this situation,” he said. In his assessment, Caixa’s measures should help stimulate business again from now on.
Benefits for individuals
In addition to the nod to entrepreneurs, Caixa launched a package of facilities for individuals to buy real estate this year. In the new real estate credit contracts for this public, the bank will give a grace period of up to six months in the financing of both new and used properties, in all lines with savings resources.
In 2020 and 2021, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the bank offered breaks in active financing contracts for the same period. “With higher rates, we are compressing spreads, giving a six-month grace period, as we did two years ago, that is, we are helping society, helping companies, helping customers,” said Guimarães. According to him, Caixa came to pause 3 million contracts during the pandemic.
In the midst of a high cycle in the Selic rate, Caixa reduced in March the interest charged on the modality indexed to savings, from 2.95% to 2.80%. This was possible because there is a lock that limits the growth of the cost of financing. With the Selic above 8.5% per year, the yield is 0.5% per year plus TR regardless of the behavior of the basic rate.
Casa Verde e Amarela (CVA), which is dominated by Caixa, was left out of the shortfall. According to Guimarães, the granting of grace in this segment depends on the endorsement of the Board of Trustees of the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS), which supplies loans within the program. Guimarães and Martins stayed to discuss the matter with the council.
Caixa should reach up to R$ 170 billion in financing this year, considering the lines with funds from savings and FGTS. If confirmed, it will represent an expansion of 21.4%. In the first quarter, the amount reached R$ 34.4 billion, an increase of 17.8% in relation to the same period last year.
The president of Caixa also revealed that the federal government is studying an alternative to reactivate a housing program aimed at the most needy families, with incomes of less than R$ 2 thousand. This public was covered by the former tier 1 of Minha Casa Minha Vida and had resources from the Residential Leasing Fund (FAR) and the FGTS, through subsidies that practically represented the full value of the housing. But hiring has been stalled for years for lack of money.
“We are studying. We cannot speak yet because this involves other people (in other spheres of government)”, commented Guimarães during the broadcast. “A significant portion of the population does not even have R$ 50 reais to pay a portion. This part of the population needs full or very large subsidy”, he acknowledged.
On the other hand, he stressed that Caixa will not pay the bill. “Under this administration, we will never make an operation to lose money. An operation involving the FAR will only be done with a very clear subsidy”. Throughout the event, Guimarães repeated that his management is “mathematical”, that is, he works with a social bias, but he also wants to make money.