(Adds details in paragraphs 3-7)
SAO PAULO Feb 8 The Brazilian government will
send a bill to Congress proposing a fine on homebuyers who
cancel the purchase of a property be limited to 10 percent of
the value of the house, a source with direct knowledge of the
matter said on Wednesday.
Brazilian homebuilders have been hurt by soaring
cancellations amid the country's worse recession on record. In
the absence of legislation, Brazilian courts have sometimes
ruled in favor of homebuyers being refunded all or part of their
down payment if they cancel a house purchase.
According to the source, the National Monetary Council,
which regulates the financial system, will discuss an increase
in the price threshold for properties eligible to be financed
through deposits in the workers' severance fund FGTS.
Under the plan, the threshold for eligible properties would
be raised to 1.5 million reais from 950,000 reais. The measure
would affect home purchases in the states of São Paulo, Rio de
Janeiro, and Brasília, said the source, who spoke on condition
The rise in the limit, valid until September, is a temporary
measure that will consume between 400 million reais and 500
million reais from the FGTS, the source said. For homebuilders,
it is an opportunity to reduce inventories, associations
representing those companies told Reuters.
Brazil has seen a shift in policy from focusing on
low-income housing under leftist former President Dilma Rousseff
to broader support for a construction industry struggling with
Earlier in February, Reuters reported the government's plans
to dedicate an additional 500 million reais of the FGTS workers'
severance fund to home financing, and a plan to raise the price
threshold of eligible homes nearly 60 percent to as much as 1.5
(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by
Daniel Flynn and Alan Crosby)