Cemex's Dominican chief: interest rates still too high for homebuyers

Byswb

Updated Tue, 09 Jun 2009 00:00:00 GMT

The president of Cemex Dominicana on Monday said despite that Dominican Republic's cement price is among Latin America's lowest, the local banks' high interest rates makes it hard for the country's most impoverished sectors to acquire homes.

Carlos Jacks said for a buyer or investor a local bank's interest rate is the main challenge, because construction materials such as rebar and cement don't have the impact to prevent them from acquiring a home.

He said cement ranges from 4 to 10% of the social cost in the construction of a house, for which in his view the high interest rate is the problem in buying a house. "The impact of the cost of a house is determined by the high interest rate, this means that what a person does when they decide to invest, is on the interest rate."

Jacks, who noted that cement prices have had an inflation of 6% in Latin America in the last 9 years, advised that the construction sector is an area which demands more creativity, since the country uses around three million tons per year.

The Cemex executive spoke during the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Santo Domingo Technological University  (INTEC).