The Managing Director of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank (ITMB) Olabanjo Obaleye has said it was difficult for mortgage industry to make a meaningful impact without government`s firm commitment to relax the policies surrounding property rights, perfection, and transfer in terms of time and cost.
He stated this during the unveiling of new logo and brand direction of the bank in Abuja. He said that the new logo was designed to reflect the bank`s core mandate which is easing access to shelter with the tagline “creating shelter and wealth.”
He noted that for the housing deficit to be reduced, financial inclusiveness through home ownership affordability programme followed by well thought out plans and actions must be implemented.
According to him, for the price of houses to reduce; interest rate must be affordable, cost of perfection must be next to nothing, land acquisition must be seamless and affordable and process of foreclosing on defaulting mortgagors must be timely.
He said, “Despite our challenging environment, we have unshaken belief in mortgage instrument to promoting home ownership, eradicating poverty, reducing corruption, creating employment and giving meaning to lives of Nigerians. We shall continue to take advantages of the positive opportunities that are embedded in our challenging environment by providing unsurpassed mortgage services to our customers and stakeholders in line with best practices within our regulatory framework.”
Mr Festus Adebayo, Managing Director, International Housing and Construction Ltd., says the annual Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) seeks to complement the Federal Government’s efforts in providing affordable houses to Nigerians.
Adebayo, who is the convener of the annual Abuja International housing show, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
The 12th edition of the programme scheduled to hold from July 14 to July 19, would feature experts in the housing sector to address the demands of housing deficit in the country.
Adebayo noted that there was a need to look at the sources of financing construction of housing to make life meaningful for Nigerians.
He said that the theme of the 12th edition is: “ Everyone Deserves a Home” would critically examine ways in which stakeholders would interact to ensure every Nigerians own a home.
Adebayo said that in the past 11 years, the platform had carved for itself an international reputation in the course of finding lasting solutions to shortages of housing in Nigeria.
“Abuja housing show has become a platform where those thinking of how to have a home have their dreams actualised.
“ It has also become a credible platform where people network, promote their businesses and make housing available at affordable rates.
“Abuja International housing show has been doing all these with the support of its partners drawn from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank, professional bodies among others,“ he said.
He said that all these were aimed at complementing the Federal Government’s efforts in providing affordable housing.
Adebayo added that the 12th edition of the programme would leverage on the gains of previous editions by focusing more on the growth of the housing sector. He noted that that the issues of affordability of houses, interest rate, access to land, green housing and local building materials would be discussed to give Nigerians access to own their houses.
He called on the Federal Government to do more in the area of housing affordability and availability.
Adebayo further urged the government to take a clue from the governments of India, Singapore and Malaysia on how they were able to address their housing challenges.
He said that would help to improve on better ways to get it right in the provision of housing to the Nigerians.
Buying a home is overwhelming for most first-time buyers. It’s the biggest purchase most people will make in their lives, and the process is like no other financial transaction.
Because of their unfamiliarity, first-time buyers often sabotage their home searches by making easily avoidable mistakes along the way. With the help of real estate agents, lenders and title insurers who have worked extensively with first-time buyers, we have collected a list of typical blunders. Avoid them and you will be well on your way to a smooth home-buying experience.
Mandy Mills, a real estate agent with Compass, passed along some general advice, as well.
“Find an agent who will educate you on the process before you get in the car, so that you understand the steps of the process,” she said. “A lot of people will put you in the car and start showing you things. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, that can make an overwhelming situation even more overwhelming.”
Waiving the inspection “We never would recommend buying a house without doing a home inspection,” said Derrick Swaak, managing broker for the McLean office of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. “But what we do see . . . is doing a pre-home inspection. With the seller’s [approval], going in and inspecting the house, making sure there’s nothing alarming. So you’ve done the home inspection, then you make the offer and you can exclude the home inspection contingency because you’ve already had a professional go through the property. That is done all the time, particularly in a really hot market.”
Failing to get preapproved for a mortgage “Going through a preapproval process with a reputable lender should be done very early in the process,” said Steve Wydler of Wydler Brothers Real Estate. “It can be a huge waste of your time looking at homes that you can’t afford. It’s also difficult emotionally to ‘dial down’ on price.”
Know the difference between prequalified and preapproved. Prequalified is an informal conversation with a lender. Preapproved is a formal process that involves an application, lots of documentation, and an extensive check of your financial background and credit.
“Get preapproved the moment you start thinking about buying a home,” said Craig Strent, chief executive of Apex Home Loans. “It’s free and can easily be renewed.”
“Another big mistake [is] not allowing a lender to check your credit ahead of time for fear that the inquiry will drag your score down,” he said. “Better to find out upfront if there are any issues so you have ample time to deal with them.”
Spending more on a house than you can afford “Just because one can borrow up to a certain amount doesn’t mean one should,” said David Howell, executive vice president of McEnearney Associates. “There are often expenses associated with owning a home — small home improvement projects, purchase of furniture, etc. — that can be easy to overlook when securing a mortgage.”
Neglecting to consider additional expenses “Consider potential monthly association dues if you are focused on condos or co-ops,” said Marc Ross of Compass. “These fees historically increase 1 to 5 percent a year. Also, if your search is for a detached, single-family house, are you budgeting for potential repairs down the road? Set aside a monthly amount similar to a condo [fee] for these potential expenses.”
Besides your monthly mortgage payment, you’ll need to budget for property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utility bills.
Using the seller’s agent “Agency matters. The listing agent’s job is to negotiate the best possible price/terms for the seller,” said Hans Wydler of Wydler Brothers Real Estate. “Letting the listing agent ‘help’ you with your offer is like letting your ex-spouse’s attorney dictate your divorce settlement.”
It’s also unwise to think you don’t need an agent.
“Sometimes buyers will say, ‘I am a lawyer and I negotiate million dollar deals every day. I don’t need help from a real estate agent,’” said Donna Evers of Long & Foster. “Heed the old saying, ‘A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.’ All buyers should realize they can get emotional when they are trying to negotiate their own purchase. Home-buying is a very specific transaction that is not like other sales and purchases.”
Letting emotions inﬂuence your decisions Feelings about a home can blind buyers, causing them to overpay. Perhaps they fell in love with a house that is out of their budget, or they got caught up in the heat of a bidding war. Or conversely, they are so exhausted and discouraged by the process that they settle for something that isn’t right for them.
“A good agent can help you navigate the emotional roller coaster of buying a home and make informed, reasoned decisions,” Steve Wydler said.
Avoid trying to find the perfect house or the better deal.
“We liken buying real estate a lot to dating,” Mills said. “You know when you find that right person. You don’t keep looking for other people. Being able to act on a gut feeling even if you’ve only seen three or four houses, knowing this is the one. It’s often the one that gets away.”
Going with the ﬁrst lender or agent you ﬁnd “It is always a good idea to shop for services,” said Joe Gentile, president of Federal Title. “Often buyers don’t realize that there can be significant differences in costs as well as service. They should check online reviews and obtain written quotes to compare.”
“A subpar lender, agent or title company can cause major problems and stress, and in some cases, actually scuttle the purchase,” Hans Wydler said.
Making a big purchase or switching jobs before loan closes Lenders pull credit reports just before settlement to make sure a borrower’s financial situation hasn’t changed. A big purchase can jeopardize your closing.
The Supreme Court has voided the Igbo law and custom, which forbid a female from inheriting her late father’s estate, on the grounds that it is discriminatory and conflicts with the provision of the constitution.
The court held that the practice conflicted with section 42(1)(a) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution. The judgment was on the appeal marked: SC.224/2004 filed by Mrs. Lois Chituru Ukeje (wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje) and their son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje against Mrs. Cladys Ada Ukeje (the deceased’s daughter).
Cladys had sued the deceased’s wife and son before the Lagos High Court, claiming to be one of the deceased’s children and sought to be included among those to administer their deceased’s father’s estate.
The trial court found that he was a daughter to the deceased and that she was qualified to benefit from the estate of their father who died intestate in Lagos in1981.
The Court of Appeal, Lagos to which Mrs. Lois Ukeje and Enyinnaya Ukeje appealed, upheld the decision of the trail court, prompting them to appeal to the Supreme Court. In its judgment last Friday, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal, Lagos was right to have voided the Igbo’s native law and custom that disinherit female children.
Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment, held that “no matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her later father’s estate.
“Consequently, the Igbo customary law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate is breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian.
“The said discriminatory customary law is void as it conflicts with Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution. In the light of all that I have been saying, the appeal is dismissed. In the spirit of reconciliation, parties to bear their own costs,” Justice Rhodes-Vivour said.
Justices Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Claral Bata Ogunbiyi, Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs and John Inyang Okoro, who were part of the panel that heard the appeal, agreed with the lead judgment.
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank (ITMB) has declared a Profit before Tax (PBT) of ₦260,922,465 to maintain its record of profit for the past 12 years.
This was contained in a Press Release issued at the end of the Bank’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja.
The Bank’s gross earnings grew by 2.5% from ₦861 million in 2016 to ₦883 million in 2017. Operating expense however increased by 6.6% from ₦491 million in 2016 to ₦523 million in 2017 as a result of increasing cost of doing business in the country.
The release added that the tough operating environment orchestrated by the Country being in recession in 2017 impacted greatly on the income of most households which affected purchasing power, savings and investment which culminated in a reduction in the PBT and PAT as against the previous year.
The release also noted that the company is also proposing to pay a cash dividend of 2K per ordinary share and 7K for preference share to shareholders translating to a total of ₦125.4 million.
The dividend declared means that Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank has declared dividend for the fourth year running as a listed company and for the 12th consecutive year since 2006 making it the only Mortgage Bank in Nigeria to achieve the feat.
ITMB has significantly increased its shareholders’ funds from less than ₦50m in 2003 to over ₦5 billion and maintained an unbroken record in terms of consistency in dividend payment to shareholders for eleven years running.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Gida Mustapha, has call for a comprehensive social housing roadmap to tackle the huge housing deficit in the country and entrench policy sustainability in the sector.
He made the call on Wednesday when he received the board members of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in his office.
According to him, the provision of affordable and low-cost houses to citizen is a primary responsibility of government because it is a social investment that should ease housing challenges.
Andrew Agyo Uhwe of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) said in a statement that the SGF observed that over the years this objective has not been realized because of policy somersaults by the successive administrations and urged that since government was a continuum, all developmental policies of the agency should be sustained and not discarded.
While reiterating the determination of the present administration to redress the huge 17 million housing deficit, by ensuring that a million houses were built across the country every year, the SGF assured that the administration would do the needful to accomplish the task.
He therefore urged the management of the FHA to take stock and come up with a policy that would ensure that their assets generated are commensurate with revenue, and are not a burden.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Board, Senator Lawal Shuaibu said they were in the Secretariat to brief the SGF on the activities and challenges of the agency and to seek for support and intervention in key areas of concern.
He said that in the 45 years history of the authority, government had made huge investment of over a trillion Naira in housing projects.
A Housing and Construction Expert, Mrs Lola Onwubalili has advised local manufacturers of building materials to invest in scarce building materials in the country to guarantee availability and local content.
Onwubalili, an Architect and Team Leader, Osun State National Housing Programme (NHP) made the call on Wednesday when the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Suleiman Zarma inspected the NHP site in Abere, near Ede, Osun.
Zarma was on an assessment tour of the Federal Government’s roads, housing and power projects in the South-West Geo-Political Zone in the company of some top ministry officials.
Onwubalili, also the Deputy Director, Architectural Services in the ministry, noted that such investment would boost more locally sourced materials and prevent foreign patronage.
She explained that though from the inception of the programme, they have relied on the use of locally manufactured materials but certain materials were difficult to access or sourced locally.
The expert noted materials like sanitary and lighting fittings and the locks, adding that investors could utilise the opportunity to produce these materials for patronage.
“The cables, doors, windows, tiles, water cistern, marble, kitchen sinks, including the roofing sheets are all locally made.
“But some materials like the toilet fittings, lighting and sanitary fittings and the locks were not manufactured in Nigeria and we have to use imported ones.
“It is a very huge investment opportunity for Nigerians who are willing to go into manufacturing such products, there is need for investors to go into such businesses because there is a prospect.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that complying with the use of Nigerian products and indigenous workforce is a directive from the ministry aimed at promoting local content.
However, she noted that about 2,500 indigenous workforces including skilled and unskilled labourers as well as artisans have been employed and benefited from the programme.
Onwubalili further said that the 68 housing units with 12 contractors would be completed in July, while water infrastructure and electrical project were 90 and 30 percent completed respectively.
She complained of security challenges such as cases of burglary and one attempted armed robbery attack in the site thereby calling for total fencing of the site for security reason.
Zarma, however, commended the Team Leader and the progress of work done so far and the delivery of the projects in the state, adding that the housing construction was a big success story.
Zarma stressed the need to tackle the security challenges rather than calling for fencing of the project.
“We are trying to build a community; we want the community to integrate with the larger community out there so we do not want to build barriers.
“Security is a big challenge but it is not about walling, we will look out for other options and what to do to tackle that the challenge.
“We will look at other ways of securing the premises rather than walling. The money to the wall can give us more housing units that Nigerians desire, fencing, for now, is not in our thinking.
The NHP in Osun state, situated in Abere, Ede North Local Government Area of the state
NAN reports that the minister had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun where he highlighted the objective of the inspection in the state.
Zarma also inspected the rehabilitation of Osogbo-Ilesha road being handled by Horizon construction Ltd at 80 percent completion and rehabilitation of Gbongan-Iwo-Oyo road.
He also inspected the construction of Ojutu Bridge in Ilobu, Osun being handled by Preconsmith construction Ltd. at 23.65 percent completion.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has blamed the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria on policy somersaults by successive administrations.
Mustapha stated this, while receiving delegates from the Federal Housing Authority, according to a statement signed by Andrew Uhwe, Director Press, OSGF, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He urged the FHA members to come up with a comprehensive social housing roadmap to tackle the huge housing deficit in the country and entrench policy sustainability in the sector.
He said: “The provision of affordable and low-cost houses to citizens is a primary responsibility of the government because it is a social investment that should ease housing challenges.“But over the years this objective had not been realised because of policy somersaults by the successive administrations.“Since government is a continuum all developmental policies of the agency should be sustained and not discarded.’’
The SGF reiterated the determination of the present administration to tackle the huge housing deficit, by ensuring that a million houses were built across the country every year.
He applauded the productive efforts of Nigerians in Diaspora through their remittances to the economy.
He added that these remittances could be invested in beautiful estates for those in diaspora to halt the problem of fraud and abuse of trust by their friends and relatives.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, said the visit was to brief the SGF on activities and challenges of the agency and to seek for support and intervention in key areas of concern.
He stressed that in the 45 years history of the FHA government had made huge investment of over a trillion naira in housing projects.
He lamented the challenge of poor budgetary funding and requested that states assist the agency with suitable lands where they could build and sell.
He solicited for the amelioration of their estates ravaged by ecological problems requesting that the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government coordinates the diaspora city project.
…ground-breaking ceremony for June, project to be completed within 12 months
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, through its housing arm Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) has sealed a deal for the construction of 1,800 housing units in Benin City, with MIXTA Africa, a private property development company to boost the housing stock in Benin City, the state capital, through a Joint Venture Partnership.
The deal was sealed during a meeting between the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, EDPA and MIXTA Africa’s team, at the Government House, on Tuesday, in Benin City. Obaseki said the State has acquired 100 hectares of land in Ikpoba-Okha and Uhunmwode local government areas for the housing projects.
He stated further that there are other sites proposed within the Benin Industrial Park and the New Town. He assured that “the state government will provide the infrastructure for the project to ensure quality and affordable homes for our people.”
The governor said the ground-breaking ceremony for the housing project will be done by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in June. “The plan is to provide accommodation for residents and indigenes at home and abroad. The project will provide opportunities for businesses in the State and create new jobs,” he explained, adding that EDPA has been strengthened by a new law.
“This is one in a series of similar projects that will be done by the State through EDPA. The success of this project is key to housing delivery. The housing project will boost local businesses in the state as some of the materials to be used for the project, such as ceramics, steel, roofing sheets will be produced locally in the State. We want to use the project to develop the supply chain of inputs that are locally produced in the State to grow our local businesses.”
He said the State government is in talks with civil servants on how members of the unions can access the National Housing Fund for mortgages and benefit from the housing project.
He said that the State is also working with the Federal Mortgage Bank on the possibility of providing mortgage for civil servants to enable them key into the opportunities the housing project offers.
The Managing Director, MIXTA Africa, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balogun, said the first phase of the project will commence in June and will be completed within 12 months. Ashiru-Balogun said MIXTA Africa has a record of over 10,000 housing units developed across Africa and has decided to partner with the State because of the Obaseki led- administration’s drive for developmental projects, adding that there are different payment plans being considered including a 24-month interest free payment plan.
He added that “MIXTA Africa is discussing with financial institutions to see how arrangements can be made to provide longer tenured financing payment plans. We recognise the market and we will offer affordable housing. The governor has indicated that we use the project to create jobs.”
Present at the signing ceremony was the Executive Chairman of EDPA – Isoken Omo, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, amongst others. Related
Access to housing is one of the key commitments agreed to by world leaders in the UN’s New Urban Agenda (NUA), which sets a new global standard for sustainable urban development, and which is expected to help governments and peoples rethink how they plan, manage and live in cities.
The NUA was endorsed by the 68th Plenary Meeting of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly held on December 2016 with affordable housing as a key part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 of building sustainable cities and communities.
However, the Nigerian Government is struggling with the challenge of providing, at a meaningful scale, high quality affordable housing to the people as a result of insufficient funds. But Nigerians, just as everyone else across Africa and the world, have an inalienable right to affordable housing as a panacea to the challenges of secure, habitable and affordable habitat.
As housing backlogs continue to increase exponentially across the continent of Africa, the need for investment in this area has become one of urgency. Given that Nigerian (and African) cities continue to grow as the level of urbanization increase at near-exponential levels driven by high rate of rural-urban migration (from 39.94 per cent in 2006 to 49.4 per cent in 2017), there is a heightened the need for affordable housing. This has drawn the interest of investors, financiers and developers towards the housing sector. Because the perception of what is affordable varies significantly from one city to another, from one state to another, and from one income group to another, the only feasible attempt at explaining affordable housing is broadly defining it. Analysts have defined affordable housing generally to include housing solutions that are priced and financed in a way that ensures low-income occupants can also satisfy their other basic needs.
Even though the scarcity of affordable housing affects all segments of the society, it is usually the low-income earners that are most affected. Given that the Nigerian urban housing market primarily targets high-income earners, this significant part of the Nigerian population excluded from formal housing provision. Furthermore, low-income households in the country face a number of obstacles in their quest for decent housing. These barriers include weak individual purchasing power, poor access to housing finance, unavailability of complementary goods such as land and infrastructure, and inadequate housing supply to meet the actual needs of the urban poor.
BENEFITS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING INVESTING
Affordable housing offers double rewards of economic growth and poverty alleviation, and no matter the impact financiers or investors seek to create, they can reach a consensus on issues bordering on returns and impact.
Investors can reap substantial benefits from Nigeria’s growing housing finance sector. With the burgeoning spate of urbanisation in the country, the demand for affordable housing will remain strong, both for rental and purchase. Moreover, As the mortgage market does not yet meet the breadth of the population who might afford a mortgage, and as most households still find it difficult to finance their housing independently from savings or non-mortgage credit, investors can look for a mechanism that will allow them to provide the needed housing to the people at friendly prices while they make acceptable returns on their investments. Nigeria in 2016, faced significant economic crises arising from depressed oil prices, foreign exchange fluctuations and GDP contraction. This further dealt a shrinking blow to the prospects of realising the affordable housing dreams. The Nigerian real estate sector accounts for 7.52% of the Nigerian economy; housing budget stands at N41 billion with meagre progress in the FGN’s envisioned production of one million standardised affordable houses.As stated by the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria has a housing deficit estimated at between 17 to 20 million housing units and a 900,000 annual unit deficit increase, with a potential cost of about N6 trillion.
In order to meet this supply gap of 23 million units by 2020, 2.6 million homes needed annually. Bullish estimates suggest that only 200,000 units are currently built annually. This gap should be sufficient to trigger investors’ interest in this sector.The FGN launched a National Housing Fund Programme under the Social Investment Fund which was set up to increase the access of Nigerians to affordable housing and home ownership.
INVESTORS IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING SECTOR
International Housing Solutions (IHS)
International Housing Solutions (IHS) is a global private equity investor leading investment into the affordable housing sector in sub-Saharan Africa, has created a fund, HIS Fund II, which will target affordable and energy-efficient housing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. IHS has built an enviable reputation of providing 27,000 new homes and also focuses on adding value by providing easy access to opportunities previously unavailable to the middle class such as security, transport cost reduction and access to quality education through strategic positioning. The first fund is South Africa Workforce Housing Fund, a $230 million fund and the second fund(HIS Fund II) has already attracted approximately $180 million in capital majorly targeted to South Africa and Sub-Saharan countries.
Lafarge Africa, through LafargeHolcim, focuses on providing a range of affordable housing solutions tailored to the local challenges and needs of the populace. They offer microfinance program for affordable housing which included access to microcredits via partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) amongst others, construction solutions like roofing solutions and modular housing templates for bit-by-bit construction and technical assistance through the assistance of LafargeHolcim advisors.
CALL TO ACTION
Affordable housing – sometimes also called social housing or mass housing – is both a social and an economic issue that has featuredprominently in most discourses bordering on mass housing. Affordable housing should not be a top priority policy of the government alone, but should also be made a focus area by private investors, such that the essential needs of all stakeholders will be significantly addressed and aid UN’s vision and efforts to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. A number of investors have noted the need for housing for critical mass of the Nigerian people and have already made some level of investment in the real estate sector.