With few sources of housing data in Latam, MIT’s Urban Economics Lab will use La Haus’ data from four years of helping people buy and sell homes to understand housing issues in Mexico and Colombia

MEXICO CITY & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and La Haus, the leading proptech company in Spanish-speaking Latin America, today announced their agreement to develop joint research that analyzes the challenges and possible solutions to housing issues in Mexico and Colombia.

Dr. Albert Saiz, Associate Professor of Urban Economics and Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will lead the project. Dr. Saiz was director of the MIT Center for Real Estate from 2014–2018, and today is director of MIT’s Urban Economics Lab.

Reliable data and information about the housing market in Latin America — where 100 million people live in informal housing — is extremely difficult to find. Most countries do not store housing data in the public record, and until recently the real estate industry was fragmented and often informal, with no one entity storing reliable data.

However, La Haus has been collecting data on thousands of transactions across 11 cities in Mexico and Colombia for the past four years. MIT will rely on this data to analyze these countries’ housing markets in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. MIT and La Haus hope the resulting research will shed new light onto issues like housing quality in Latin America’s massive urban environments. The research will provide a foundation of information to help governments and public servants make informed decisions about zoning regulation, urban planning and other housing issues.

The Urban Economics Lab at MIT focuses on studying economic activity and economic trends in cities. The Lab uses analytical models and big data to understand what makes cities thrive or decline, how housing values are formed and oscillate, and how local politics and social phenomena manifest in the context of increasing global urbanization.

“For a century, the lack of reliable data about the housing market in Latin America has resulted in policy created by guesswork. Thanks to technology, that is starting to change. La Haus has collected a treasure trove of data that will lead to the kind of research we haven’t been able to do until now. This will not only be academic work; we want it to be a step toward public policy that could improve the access to high-quality housing for the large population of Latin Americans who struggle to access proper housing,” Saiz said.

“This research is another step in building a solid road to democratizing access to quality housing for millions of Mexicans and Colombians. The path toward transformation needs several players who understand the ecosystem, and we are honored to play a part in MIT’s research, and thrilled to contribute to solutions to the many challenges of the housing and real estate industry,said Rodrigo Sánchez Ríos, Co-Founder and President of La Haus.

About La Haus

La Haus is transforming the real estate industry in Latin America through technology, data and world-class service, bringing consumers an end-to-end marketplace that eliminates many of the roadblocks that home buyers and sellers face in Latin America. La Haus makes homeownership more accessible in Latin America, where lack of access to transparent information impedes the ability to buy homes. The company launched in 2017 and today operates the portals lahaus.com in Colombia and lahaus.mx in Mexico. La Haus has created the first digital products that ensure high-quality and de-duplicated listings while empowering clients to purchase real estate via a fully digital experience.

La Haus operates in 11 cities, including Mexico City, Bogota, and Medellin.


Katie Curnutte