Central and Eastern European Mortgage Finance
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SEE Mortgage Finance Project

The Urban Institute

Institute for Market Economics (IME)

USAID

Project Overview

The Southeast Europe (SEE) Mortgage Finance Project, sponsored by USAID's Office for Economic Growth, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, is being carried out by the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., assisted by the Institute for Market Economics, Sofia, Bulgaria. Please contact CEE@CEEmortgagefinance.org for further information.

The project has four key — and closely related — activities: mortgage market assessments of SEE countries, a conference on mortgage on mortgage market development in SEE, an ongoing Working Group which discusses priority issues in improving SEE mortgage finance, and maintenance of this website.

Country Studies

The Urban Institute carried out assessments of the mortgage markets in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania in the fall of 2002 to provide background information for the conference, "Developing Secondary Mortgage Markets in Southeast Europe". The authors are Sally Merrill and Carol Rabenhorst of the Urban Institute and Paul Sacks, MNS Advisors.

The studies were undertaken following a "Template for Mortgage Market Assessments" developed specifically to guide such reviews. The Template is found under Laws and Tools.

Subsequent studies have included an assessment of the legal infrastructure of the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia, an assessment of the mortgage market in Serbia, and an assessment of the real estate and mortgage markets in Bosnia.

SEE Conference - Bucharest

The Southeast Europe Conference "Heading Toward International Best Practices" was held in Bucharest, Romania on April 5-6, 2006. Over 175 persons participated, drawn from the entire SEE region, as well as from Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova. Speakers were drawn from SEE, the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Germany, Russia, and Poland.

The Conference discussed the various models of funding mortgage finance used worldwide and the key issues facing development of effective primary and secondary mortgage markets in transition nations. Topics discussed included better credit risk management, streamlining origination and servicing, credit enhancements in the primary and secondary markets, different mortgage loans products for different risk profiles, and secondary market funding techniques from throughout Europe and the U.S. The Conferences section of the website includes a description of the SEE Conference - Bucharest, the agenda, and speaker presentations.

SEE Conference - Sofia

The Southeast Europe Financial Sector Conference — "Developing Secondary Mortgage Markets in Southeast Europe" — was held in Sofia, Bulgaria on February 4 and 5, 2003. Over 200 persons participated, drawn primarily from the countries of Southeast Europe1, but also including participants from the U.S., Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. Speakers were drawn from SEE, the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Germany, and Poland.

The Conference discussed the various models of funding mortgage finance used worldwide and the key issues facing development of effective primary and secondary mortgage markets in transition nations. The Conferences section of the website includes a description of the SEE Conference, the agenda, speakers, participants, conference proceedings, and speaker presentations.

SEEMFN Working Group

Following the Conference, an SEE Mortgage Finance Network Working Group was established: the Southeast Europe Mortgage Finance Network (SEEMFN) Working Group, to help determine the next steps in mortgage market development for SEE and how local practitioners, USAID, multilateral donors, and international financial institutions might be of assistance in these activities. The Working Group includes representatives from Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Germany, and the U.S., as well representatives from USAID, IFC, and EBRD. The SEEMFN Working Group meets semi-annually. Three meetings have now been held: in Sofia in May 2003, in Bucharest in December 2003, and in Croatia in May 2004.

Follow-on projects, reports, and activities will be reported in this site as available. For more information on the Working Group contact CEE@CEEMortageFinance.org.

Website

This website (www.CEEMortgageFinance.org) has been established to serve a number of purposes: access to the SEE conference and working group materials, studies of mortgage markets in transition countries, networking among practitioners and policy makers in SEE and CEE, a forum for the results of ongoing activities in mortgage market development, and links to other relevant websites. This site will be updated as new information becomes available. If you wish to offer submissions to the website, please contact CEE@CEEMortgageFinance.org.


1. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and Kosovo.