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Ghana sets aside US $51m for abandoned housing projects

The government of Ghana together with local banks have set aside US $51m to finance abandoned housing projects in the country.

During the state of the nation address, President Nana Akufo-Addo addressed the concerns on the abandoned projects stating that his administration will complete the WA, Tamale and Koforidua housing projects, started by the Kufuor administration in 2006.

The president also added that the US $180m Saglemi Housing Project, started under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is high on their priority list in 2019. The 5000 housing units was expected to cater for the low and middle-income earners in the country.

Freda Prempah, the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing on the other hand said that the government is establishing the value for money on the project and reconciling the number of houses built with the schedule of payments made, and accelerate delivery.

Bridging housing deficit

Ghana faces housing deficit in excess of 1.7 million housing units and completion of abandoned housing projects helps bridging the gap. The government of Ghana plans to bridge the housing deficit by delivering a minimum of 85,000 housing units annually for the next 20 years.

The former Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Eugene Boakye Antwi  voted to set aside US $184m has been to establish a mortgage and housing finance and will be seeded with at least US $18m every fiscal year over the next 5 years. He further added that real estate developers are willing to pre-finance the buildings as long as the government offers a guarantee.

Source: Constructionreviewonline

Namibia to construct 1590 Housing units at Swakopmund

The government of Namibia has availed land that will pave way for start of construction of 1590 social and debt-financed houses at the coastal town, to ease the housing shortage at the town.

According to Marketing and Communication Officer of the Swakopmund Municipality, Aili Gebhardt, the Municipality has issued the the serviced land to 39 small contractors and issued out tender for the supply of building materials. Each contractor will build  40 houses, 16 being credit link houses and 24 social houses.

60% of the houses will be under the Build Together programme while the remaining 40% will be debt-financed. The cost of the credit-financed houses will range between US $13,000 and US $35,000.

“We have signed contracts with the recipients and instead of getting a loan, they will get the keys of complete houses which they in turn will be responsible to pay off. Applicants will have to obtain financing from any financial institutions.,” said  Aili Gebhardt.

The contractors contracted to build the houses are, Magnetize Investments, Bay Engineering and Construction, Alfresco Developers,

Matutura Investment, Hadago Investments, Guther’s Maintenance, Namibia Property Group, Haler Investments, Kashona Properties, PD Bricks

& Property, Ongoshi Trading Investment, Selkan Enterprise, Trencon Pty Ltd, Versatile Trading, Oiputa Investment, Yoshi Trading Pewa

Business Solutions, JDVK Trading Enterprises, Delta Group Holdings, NCO Investments Number Eight, Ehangano Building Construction, Life

House One Investment, Dalt Investment, Kenneth Investment, Embamba Investments and Dappa Estates.

Source: Constructionreviewonline

 

LSDPC, firm target middle-income earners for Ogudu project

In a renewed bid to cushion effect of housing shortage in Lagos, a new housing project is being considered at the Ogudu Government Reserved Area extension, Alapere, Lagos.

The project, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative is at the instance of the Lagos State Property Development Cooperation (LSDPC) and Direct Construction Nigeria Limited. The housing development called ‘The Avenue Estate’ hinges on the urban renewal drive of the Lagos state government and is situated in an expanse of land of about 17,000sqm at the Ogudu section of the Alapere/Oworosoki expressway.

It consist, 48 units of four bedroom semi detached duplex with one bedroom boys quarter and facilities which will include, five A-side football field, gymnasium, swimming pool, children play ground, 24 hours electricity, good drainage system, water treatment plant, central sewage system and other facilities.

Due to a reduction in the supply of luxurious and contemporary quality housing in the mainland as a result of increasing demand, which has led to many relocating to the Island to seek for desired homes, LSDPC in partnership with Direct Construction Limited is set to change the narrative.

The location is strategic and the most convenient connecting points between the mainland Lagos and the Island Lagos.

Specifically, the location offers the best of serene and secured environment while the designs and structures are tailored made as well as allow for a workable deliverable price as agreed between the subscribers and the developer.

Average unit of the housing will occupies about 174Sqm floor space of livable area, typical ground floor and first floor. Each semi-detached house has car park space for up to three to four cars.

According to sources, mortgage facilities would be made available through the Lagos Building Investment Company Plc (LBIC) for intending subscribers.An official of LSDPC, Olusola Martins said the project aimed at providing houses for residents who falls within the middle as well as those in the upper income class of the population.

He told The Guardian that subscribers would be introduced to mortgage facilities to enable them have access to finance and purchase their units.

He said, “The target buyers are the middle classes; we are also looking at the upper middle class as well. The project is embarked on, to provide more houses for Lagosians.

We have arrangement with mortgage houses that would also provide mortgage for buyers.

“When people come, we introduce them to mortgage houses that can give them mortgage so that they won’t need to bring out the whole money from their pocket”.

Price for unit is offered at an introductory price of N65, 000,000 for outright sale and a twelve months installment payment plan. The delivery period for the project is 12months.

Source: Guardian

Egypt to construct over 40,000 housing units at New Administrative Capital

The government of Egypt is set to construct over 40,000 housing units in the new administrative capital by the end of June 2020.

Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Essam al-Gazzar said that the project is being implement by the Ministry of Housing and is divided into eight neighborhoods, including villas, and mixed housing in the third district, Capital Residence.

Housing project

The project include construction of 23,412 housing units, 952 villas and 2,050 mixed housing units in the third district, Capital Residence while the fifth district, the New Garden City with an area of ​​about 1,000 acres will have 23,000 housing units consisting of residential apartments and villas, in addition to an area of ​​residential towers with mixed use in the lower floors with about 2,000 housing units and two hotels.

Moreover, the Ministry of housing plans to complete the first phase of a water treatment plant, five international schools, a restaurant complex and a mosque, as well as the government district and the investment zone for the New Administrative Capital.

Largest park in the world

Essam al-Gazzar also added that the  Ministry has scheduled to complete the implementation of the central gardens project at the “Capital Park” which is more than than 10 kilometers long and has an area of more than 1,000 acres, making it one of the largest parks around the world.

“The central park of the New Administrative Capital will provide greater opportunity for community interaction between the capital’s residents and other residents in its wider scope, and is park is expected to host more than two million visitors annually,” said Gazzar.

The park will also serve as a catalyst for encouraging a healthy life, in accordance with global rates including environmental value, green spaces, and areas for physical activities and recreation.

Source: Constructionreviewonline

The Untold Story of the slow growth of the Nigerian Mortgage Sector

Most Nigerians outside the financial system who have interest in the country’s mortgage sector have always heard that the sector’s slow growth find explanation in the inaccessibility and unaffordability of mortgage loans due to high cost of funds reflected in high interest rate, and demand for high equity contribution from borrowers by lenders.

 But there are more to the causes of the slow growth of this sector which are almost always not talked about. Essentially, little or no note is taken of these other contributors to this slow growth among which are the huge stress which mortgage lenders pile on borrowers and the often non-existent partnerships which some of the mortgage lenders deceive home seekers into believing that they have with developers,  giving the borrowers baseless hope and false impression that they are just a few steps away from home ownership.

Part of the statutory functions of primary mortgage banks (PMBs) and mortgage institutions generally, is to provide housing finance or loan to those who need same to build, buy or renovate existing houses. But, in more cases than one, those who apply for loans from these lenders hardly get them and where they do, they are often subjected to harrowing experiences through near-impossible requirements that leave the borrowers stressed out and almost frustrated.

Many have been cajoled by developers into subscribing to their houses through mortgage only to get in and find out that the invitation is a mere cover shielding the stress and pain in accessing   loans for their dream houses. “My experience with one of these lenders is better imagined than expressed”, says Israel Okafor, a staff of an oil company who applied for mortgage loan from one of the PMBs.

Okafor explains that he was “deceived” by the PMB into believing that it was in partnership with a developer who was building over 500 housing units of various house-types at relatively low prices for  mid-low income earners. “The PMB told me that it was also financing and marketing the estate and, at the same time, providing mortgage for prospective buyers. My attraction was not as much in the financing and marketing aspect as it was in the comparatively low interest rate of 17 percent and 10-year loan repayment period which the bank dangled to me”, he said.

According to Okafor, the bank demanded just 20 percent equity contribution from him for any of the housing units that he wanted to buy from the estate selling for between N5million and N8 million per unit, adding that as a demonstration of his readiness to take up the mortgage and buy the house, he made an equity contribution in excess of 30 percent of the cost of the house.

“Over six months down the line, the developer, the mortgage bank and I have been on a Round Robbin, occasionally stopping at the middle of nowhere only to discover that, in all of this, it has been motion without movement. It has been one story after another”, he fumes.

Ayodeji Adediji, is an ex-banker who worked with one of the big names in the industry, but resigned because “I want to do my own thing and see what impact I can make on the economy from this point”.

He also has a similar experience, differing only in the approach adopted by his own lender who, he said, has kept his N5 million which he paid as equity for the house he wants to buy from a developer who is also in another phantom  partnership with the same mortgage bank.

“As I speak to you, my money has been with the mortgage bank since the past eight months; I am told it is in escrow account in which case it is not yielding any interest for me; the developer is very slippery and insincere with delivery date for the estate. Every day, like a fraudulent referee, he shifts the goal post. By the last count, he has shifted the delivery time three times and still counting”, he lamented.

A banker, who does not want his name mentioned also shared his experience, saying he came close to losing his money to developers over unrealistic delivery dates, lamenting that on each occasion, his money was given back to him after he had nurtured and came close to realizing a home ownership dream.

People with these experiences will hardly ever seek mortgage facility, nor will they encourage any of their relations or friends to have same experience and this is a major factor that can slow the growth of the mortgage industry.

Not too long ago, in a move aimed to address the housing problems in Nigeria, some notable  PMBs and real estate developers entered into another strategic partnership aimed to provide housing and mortgage for prospective home buyers. That partnership which, it was hoped, would in 24 months deliver a residential community comprising 554 housing units is yet to make any impact.

This is a worrisome development that may continue to stultify the growth of this all important sector. The setting up of both the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the National Housing Fund(NHF) were well intentioned, but their operations have left them mired in mucky waters with poor capital base.

CHINA HOME SALES SLOW, BUT REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT REBOUNDS IN 2019

Growth in sales of real estate in China fell to 2.8 percent during January and February 2019 compared to the same period a year ago, with the value of new property sales during the two months totalling RMB 1.28 billion, according to data released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The slowdown in the value of real estate being sold was a drop of 9.4 percentage points from the 12.2 percent annual growth pace recorded in December 2018, and may help to explain recent government moves to open up China’s monetary taps while local authorities begin to loosen sales policies and allow cheaper mortgages.

The change in government direction seems to already be understood by developers, who increased the amount invested in the real estate sector by 11.6 percent in January and February compared to the first two months of last year — the biggest surge in commitments to the sector in five years.

Sales Growth Slides

The NBS’ latest data indicated that, in addition to the declining growth in the value of homes sold, property sales by floor area fell 3.6 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2019, declining to 1.41 million square metres. That slide in the amount of space transacted came after the volume of square metres sold had grown by 0.9 percent in December.

China real estate sales

China’s real estate sales growth by value (in blue) slowed by 9.4 ppt in Jan-Feb. Source: NBS

The volume numbers included a dip of 3.2 percent in the residential sector, excluding subsidised housing, while sales of office and retail properties declined 15.7 percent and 13.6 percent by volume respectively.

Overall sales of real estate during the period reached RMB 1.28 trillion, with residential sales posting 4.5 percent growth, office sales dropping by 6.2 percent and retail property sales falling by 9.4 percent, according to the government statistics.

Local Governments Loosen Policies

The slowing sales of homes, and the dependency of Chinese local governments on land sales for the majority of their revenues, appears to already have led to changes in how real estate rules are implemented in many cities.

“Local authorities, feeling that price growth has now come under control and wanting to encourage transaction volumes in support of local market and cash-strapped developers, are selectively loosening some of the more stringent restrictions while banks are starting to reduce the cost of financing in selective cities,” analysts from property consultancy Savills said in a research note issued in response to the latest government real estate statistics.

Some southern cities, such as Guangzhou, along with Heze in Shandong province, have been loosening curbs on the property market since late last year amid slowing sales and bearish sentiment.

Despite the changes happening at the local level, China’s Minister of Housing and Urban Rural Development, Wang Menghui, vowed this week to avoid a “big rise and big fall” in property prices.

Investment Surge Follows Liquidity Boost

The slowdown in China’s real estate sector, which is responsible for 20 percent or more of the country’s economy according analyst estimates, may have already been recognised by top decision-makers who have pumped liquidity into markets this year.

China property investment

New property investment jumped by the biggest margin since 2014. Source: NBS

The NBS data showed that property investment in China rose 11.6 percent in the first two months of the year, compared to the same period a year earlier, up from the 9.5 percent growth reported for the 2018 full year.

Total investment in the sector reached RMB 1.21 trillion during January and February, after China’s central bank lowered the reserve ratio requirements at the nation’s banks by an average of 100 basis points during the first week of January.

That RRR cut, the fifth such reduction in the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve in a one-year period, had the effect of freeing up around RMB 779 billion for new lending.

In the nation’s subsequent real estate investment surge, commitments to the the residential sector accounted for 72.1 percent of the total and represented an 18 percent increase in investment compared to the same period the previous year. The trend marked the strongest growth for the January-February period since 2014, when it rose 19.3 percent, according to Reuters.

The NBS said that robust investment in the property sector was due to steady housing prices and an increase in new construction starts.

Source: JAN KOT

Lagos building collapse: Aisha Buhari visits victims in hospital

The wife of the President offered her condolences to the victims of the incident, which claimed the lives of no fewer than 20 people, including school children.

Mrs Buhari, who took time to visit women and children wards of the hospital, prayed to God to grant the families that lost loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.

One of the victims and teacher in the school located in the collapsed building, Miss Easter Samuel, expressed her shock over the incident.

The 19-year-old teacher, who was receiving treatment in the hospital, prayed to God not to experience such unfortunate incident again.

The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Gani Kale, said 10 children were admitted in the hospital after the incident.

According to him, three out of the patients have been discharged, having certified their medical fitness.

Kale said there was no case of referral to another hospital.

The wife of the President was accompanied to the hospital by a former military administrator of Lagos State, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen, among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Mother Who Lost Two Children In Lagos School Building Collapse Commits Suicide

A mother, who lost her two children in the recent Lagos school building collapse, has committed suicide after she receiving news of the death of her children.

According to Newsmen, the traumatized woman who gave birth to the two children, who were between the ages of six and four, through Caesarean Section (CS), is said to have bought a bottle of insecticide called ‘Sniper’ and drank all of it.

“Nobody knew what she wanted to do with the Sniper. But a few minutes later we saw the bottle beside her where she was sleeping. By the time people got there she was already dead,” a neighbor, who craved anonymity, said.

Woman caught burying half-sister in shallow grave after beating her to…Sympathizers thronged their house to condole with the husband and family members.

Meanwhile, a mother, Yetunde, whose son was injured, has been too traumatized by the sight of the boy lying critically on the hospital bed, that she has not sat down for over nine hours.

She was seen moving from one corner of the Lagos Island General Hospital to the other in search of the prescribed drugs and other things demanded by the doctors.

The boy survived the injuries and his two legs are in Plaster of Paris (POP).

Source: WithinNigeria

Rent controls won’t solve London’s shortage of affordable housing stock

The topic of introducing rent controls in London crops up time and time again in our industry. But it’s been hitting the headlines again lately, as Sadiq Khan has pledged to cap rent in the capital as part of his 2020 re-election campaign.

The Mayor hasn’t explained precisely what he means by rent control yet. There are two main forms he could opt for: introduce rent stabilization to prevent sudden rent increases, or impose a blanket rent cap that limits how much a landlord can charge overall.

Various forms of rent controls already exist in many cities around the world. Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf have all banned rent increases in property potshots, while roughly one million homes in New York have their rent stabilized to prevent sudden spikes. Oregon is also poised to be the first state in the USA to impose statewide rent controls.

In fact, if Khan is successful in his bid it wouldn’t be the first time that rent controls have been imposed in the United Kingdom.

A shortage of housing during WWI saw the introduction of rent controls in the UK and subsequent legislation retained rent controls in some form or the other until deregulation under Thatcher.

More recently, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been using their devolved powers to introduce rent caps in some areas and types of tenancies.

Making life more affordable for Generation Rent

London’s private rented sector has been growing rapidly in recent years and now accounts for 30% of all London households. Some predict that by 2030 that number will climb to 40%.

But rent prices have also risen far quicker than wages and for the typical Londoner the majority of their income goes on rent.

In the areas of East London we work in, we’ve seen the average 2-bed skyrocket to over £1700 a month in rent. To buy a 2-bed will also easily set you back around £500,000 – with the deposit amounting to the cost of a whole property elsewhere in the UK.

The likelihood is that many Londoners – especially the young and lower income earners – will rent for way into their 40s and beyond. This is a totally new phenomenon, so it makes sense to adapt and to take steps to protect tenants’ rights.

Ideally, some form of rent control would make London more affordable for those who live and work in the city and give tenants greater security.

But will it actually work in practice?

The cultural component of housing in the UK and London

If rent controls already work in other cities and countries they could work in London too, right?

Unfortunately, it’s more nuanced than that. Drawing simple parallels between countries ignores the fundamental and historical differences between national property markets.

Take Berlin, for example. Arguably, rent control works quite well in Berlin. However, that’s largely down to one key cultural difference: Germans don’t rent in order to buy down the line, they choose to rent as a way of life. As a result, Germany’s home ownership rates are among the lowest in the developed world.

This in turn means that the property market is far more stable than in the UK, where home-ownership is considered a long-term goal for many.

It also means that tenants make up a large proportion of the electorate and so there’s a greater level of pressure on the government to impose strong tenancy protection laws throughout the whole housing system. For instance, it’s common to find fixed tenancies for five or 10 years in Germany.

So applying rent caps in London won’t be enough to solve the city’s housing issues. If the Mayor wants the Berlin-model, rent controls would need to be rolled out alongside improved tenant rights across the board.

Existing and would-be landlords will be put off the sector

The National Landlord Association has been understandably critical of the Mayor’s proposals. It points out that capping how much landlords are able to let their properties for will reduce rental yields and potentially drive many ‘good’ landlords out of the sector.

We’ve seen this play out for our landlords over the last two decades. In the early to mid-2000s, a third of our sales in East London were for buy-to-let properties; now that number sits closer to 10%. Back then, landlords could expect a rental yield of 10%, whereas now they can expect 3-4% on average.

The impact of rent control is basic supply-and-demand economics.

As investing in buy-to-let becomes less lucrative, more and more landlords will leave the private rented sector and move their money into other income-generating projects, like stocks and shares. With fewer landlords in the sector, the supply of rented properties will dwindle.

Middle income earners who are currently renting may well be able to leave the private rented sector too, since more rental properties flood the housing market and drive prices down. But even so, the demand for private rental properties will still outstrip supply.

What’s more, with social housing in short supply, the risk of homelessness among low income earners may rise. This means that the very government intervention intended to give greater housing security might have the exact opposite effect.

Lack of affordable housing stock

The crux of the housing issue in London is not that there’s a lack of stock – there are a million properties being advertised on Right move right now. The issue is that there is a shortage of affordable housing stock.

Artificially suppressing rents in the private rented sector won’t fix the root of the problem – it may even exacerbate it.

London needs more investment in affordable social housing, alongside stronger protection for tenants in the private rented sector and incentives to keep ‘good’ landlords in business.

Regardless of any individual’s political leanings, as an industry we’d love to see a housing policy work in the long term for the many, not the few.

The Mayor of London’s well-intended proposals, however, may have far-reaching and unintended consequences.

Demolition o f Dilapidated Structures Begins in Lagos

The Lagos state government has started pulling down buildings marked for demolition in Lagos Island.

Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) are currently demolishing some houses at Freeman street in Ita Faji.

The development comes two days after a three-storey building on Massey street in the same area, caved in.

Twelve people, including nine children, were killed in the incident while 50 were rescued.

When he visited the area after the collapse, Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, said some landlords had been resisting the demolition of defective buildings.

He said this time around, the government was prepared to pull down such structures.

“We have been carrying out a lot of integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we bring the structures down,” he said.

Source: CityPeopleNg

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