Housing News

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Millennials Will Propel the U.S. Housing Market in 2020

Millennials are anticipated to drive the U.S. housing market forward in 2020 more than ever, with large cohorts expected to either purchase their first home or decamp from city to suburb and trade up, according to an economic forecast published by realtor.com on Wednesday.

The group of individuals born between 1981 and 1997 “are reaching key life milestones” in 2020—4.8 million of them are turning 30, a time when many people purchase their first homes—and are expected to take on more than half of all mortgages next year, outnumbering Generation X and Baby Boomers combined, according to the report. The eldest of the millennial generation, meanwhile, will turn 39 next year—often a point when people look to move from the city to the suburbs for family-friendly amenities.

The takeaway is that millennials of all ages will help keep overall buyer demand robust in 2020, especially for entry-level homes, according to the report. This year saw the potential buyer pool grow nationwide due to the aging millennial population as well as low interest rates and rising rents. In 2020, buyers may benefit from flat home price growth, which is forecast to increase just 0.8% nationwide. Prices will decline in a quarter of the 100 largest cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco, the report predicted. In addition, mortgage rates are likely to average 3.85% throughout the year, bumping up to 3.88% at the highest point.

But while it may be easier to qualify for a home next year, it could be more difficult to actually find one, the report says, because the continued low supply of inventory will constrain buyers, especially at the entry level. Part of the reason: New construction in 2019 was largely isolated to upper-tier housing, according to the report. (Realtor.com defines “upper-tier housing” as properties roughly $500,000 and up, but the exact figures vary from market to market.)

Sellers, meanwhile, will need to adjust their expectations and perhaps their asking prices as the market balances out, tipping favor toward buyers. Those who do accommodate local market conditions can expect to be rewarded by steady demand, the report predicts. Existing home sales are expected to tick down 1.8%, to 5.23 million next year.

From Penta: Future Returns: The Case for Convertible Bonds

Luxury Outlook

In the luxury segment, defined as the top 5% of the price range in a given market, both sales volume and prices have softened throughout the U.S. in 2019. That’s expected to continue into 2020, realtor.com’s senior economist, George Ratiu, said in an interview Wednesday.

“This year marked a turning point for the luxury market, where we saw softening in large part because the supply of new homes in that market has been ramped up,” he said.

At the same time, eager would-be sellers have been moving to list their properties in hopes of taking advantage of the price appreciation that’s built up over the last six years, he said.

Supply of luxury homes will continue to outweigh demand, listings will spend linger, and in some cases, sellers will make big price cuts to move the inventory, Mr. Ratiu said.

The slowdown can be partially attributed to the country’s demographic shift, as buyers under 40 flood the market, Mr. Ratiu noted.

“Many of them are saddled with student debt, and it’s a stretch to expect that they are going to pick up a lot of the slack at the upper end of the market,” he said. Anyone who has wanted to buy luxury property and could afford it has probably already bought one, he added.

Worries the country could be heading toward another recession have been floated this year, but that isn’t likely in 2020, the realtor.com report says. The economy will, however, show signs of softening, and the pullback in business spending is expected to lead to a slowdown in consumer spending, according to the report.

One big uncertainty in 2020 is how the U.S. presidential and congressional elections, will affect the housing market. Although there’s not a direct line between the election and the housing market, “business optimism and investments, along with consumer confidence and spending do influence economic output, and can also influence housing activity,” the report notes.

“Rising uncertainty about the economic outlook will dampen consumer enthusiasm about spending, leading to a decline in sales and an increase in homeowners’ tenure,” the report says.

Source: mansionglobal

Ghana Property Awards 2019

Some industry players in the country’s real estate, property and construction sector have been celebrated at this year’s Ghana Property Awards ceremony for their outstanding contribution to the sector. The annual event, which is the 12th edition, was organized by the Property Express Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Housing.

The 2019 edition of the annual Ghana Property Awards was a glittering ceremony, which came off on Friday, November 29 at the Accra International Conference Centre. This year’s event was under the theme, “Strengthen the Bedrock of Ghana through Green Development”.

Being the 12th edition, the event recorded a higher number of attendees as compared to the previous editions. CEOs and management of real estate companies, financial institutions, construction companies and individuals graced the occasion. This shows the expansion of the sector as many new firms have joined.

The president for GREDA who doubles as the CEO of PS Global Limited, Mr. Patrick Ebo Bonful was the Chairman for the event. He called on all to have a total change in our socioeconomic lifestyles and also rely on locally produced building materials which have proven to be more durable. “There should be a total change in our socioeconomic lifestyles if we are to make any in-roads in the area of GD (Green Development).

Social Equity should drive our policy and be the bedrock of our building and construction development plans”, he said. Mr. Bonful also mentioned that GREDA has submitted a proposal to the Government of Ghana to spearhead the provision of mass affordable housing in the country. He urged that many households should be encouraged to use solar energy and reducing taxes of imported solar systems can do this.

In her speech, Irene Agyenkwa, the Director of Ghana Property Awards pointed out that Sustainability is key in the Real Estate Industry and the solution to the thin line between green development and profitability “lies in between with a focus on green solutions, effectiveness, quality, durability and pricing”. She further stated that Ghana Property Awards made a proposal that individuals and real estate developers should be given the permission to trade the excess solar energy they own. Irene said,

“Solar energy should not be just seen as a means of saving money on energy bills but with the right framework, it can generate, store and trade energy, saving and earning income, for home owners and investors alike”.

Speaking at the event also was the representative of the special guest of honor for the event, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Works and Housing. The Ministry encouraged the real estate industry to do more through the use of clay, wood and local building materials in order to reduce cost. To enrich the stakeholders input in devising a technical document that will guide economic and development controls, Hon.

Samuel Atta Akyea has launched the Building Regulation Technical Document. The Ministry of Works and Housing hopes to strengthen its relationship with all industry players.

Awards and Winners

To be eligible for nominations, projects must be supervised by an architect, surveyor or engineer with a proof of an insurance policy.

The Awards were grouped into three categories; Residential, Commercial and Special Awards.

Winning the Hall of Fame Award, Mr. Eric Ebo Acquah, CEO of Blue Rose Limited said he was excited and honored to receive this special award. He revealed that, in the coming years, his company seeks to build more affordable houses for the people of Ghana.

Mr. John Otumfuor Watson of Mayfair Estates, after taking the award for Residential Developer 2019- Upper Income mentioned his company has maintained this award since 2016 and they wished to put up the tallest building in the country hopefully next year.

Speaking on behalf of Construction Planners Ghana Limited (CPL), which won the Best Residential Developer 2019 – Middle Income, Jeffery Osei Boateng, mentioned that his company really deserved an award and it would have been heartbreaking not receiving any award at the event.

The newly introduced award for this year was the Real Estate Club Students Writing Competition Awards which were picked by Mr. Derick Frimpong Boateng from KNUST (2nd Runner Up), Mr. Alexis Yeboah from Ashesi (1st Runner Up) and the winner was Mr. George Agyei Nyarko Junior from KNUST. George Agyei Nyarko Junior, a final year Architecture student said he was glad his hard work had paid off and hopes the points he made in his article will be addressed in the country.

About the Ghana Property Awards

Ghana Property Awards is an annual event organized by the Property Express Group in Ghana to give due recognition to excellent performing firms in the Real Estate, Property And Construction sectors, hotels and financial institutions who support the sector.

The maiden edition of the Ghana Property Awards was held in 2007 and since then has become an annual program. The main objective of the program is to boost excellent standards and promote confidence in the sector. It also seeks to protect and maintain the interest of stakeholders in the industry. This awards ceremony also brings industry players together and offers a meeting platform for them to discuss business opportunities.

The 2019 Awards team added new and innovative categories with the intention of spurring on new entrants and increase competition. The awards were grouped into 6 categories, each category having at least 4 awards.

Winners list below:

Award winners

Best Residential Developer – Upper Income Prestigious 2019 – Goldkey Properties

Best Sustainable Engineering and Elevator Firm of the Year 2019 – ARG1

Up Coming Property Brand of the Year 2019 – Bijou Homes

Innovative Mortgage Product of the Year 2019 – GHL Bank

Hall of Fame 2019 – Blue Rose

Quality Property Firm of the Year 2019 – Waylead

Best Students Article 2019 – WINNER George Agyei -Nyarko Jnr – KNUST

Best Students Article 2019 1ST RUNNER UP – Alexis Yeboah – Ashesi University

Best Students Article 2019 2ND RUNNER UP – Derrick Frimpong – KNUST

Best Residential Developer –Upper Income 2019 Mayfair Estate Ltd

Best Residential Developer – Middle Income 2019 – CPL

Best Residential – Lower Income 2019 – Adom City Estate

Best Residential Developer- Apartment 2019 – Goldkey Properties

Best Eco Green Development – Atelier

Bespoke Green Company 2019- Ghana – Yecham Property Consult

Best Mixed-Use Development 2019 Goldkey Properties

Biggest Estate Development 2019 Ghana – State Housing Company

Private Biggest Real Estate Concept 2019 – Appolonia City

Best Hotel Development 2019 – Outside Accra – Red Mango Hotel and Apartments

Best Real Estate Management and Advisory Service Company 2019 – Broll


Source: Property Express Group

LafargeHolcim Set to Provide Affordable and Sustainable Housing Solutions in Africa

LafargeHolcim is increasing its commitment to providing low-carbon and affordable housing solutions in Africa by adding further production capacity for its Durabric soil-stabilised bricks. As part of its 14Trees joint venture with CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, the new plant located in Malawi will industrialise LafargeHolcim’s Durabric solution, a soil-stabilised brick that is sold on mass scale in sub-saharan Africa. 14Trees is now also being introduced in other African markets including Kenya and the Ivory Coast.

Miljan Gutovic, Region Head of Middle East Africa, said, “Today, less than 10% of the population in Africa can afford the cheapest newly built house. LafargeHolcim, with its unique innovation capabilities, has developed a range of construction solutions to make houses more affordable for the majority while improving the environmental footprint of those buildings. With additional production capacities, we are now able to offer these solutions beyond Malawi and increase our positive contribution further.”

Durabric is one good example of efforts to take sustainable solutions to scale. Since 2016, 14Trees has worked with the construction sector in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa, to make Durabric the technology of choice in the country. Within the first three years of operations, 2 million bricks have been sold, saving over 4000 trees and avoiding over 15 000 t of CO emissions.

Burnt clay bricks, which remain the most used building material in Malawi and several other countries, involve heavy consumption of firewood due to the need to fire the clay that is used to make the bricks. Malawians burn around 850 000 tpy of fuelwood in the process of firing bricks. Solutions such as Durabric provide viable alternatives.

Durabrics can save 14 trees for each simple house built compared to fired bricks, thanks to a production process that uses a mixture of soil, sand, cement and water without firing. They are three times stronger than traditional bricks, result in one-fifth of the CO2 emissions compared to common bricks, are up to 20% cheaper per square metre of wall and are more resistant to heavy rainfall.

Complementing the Lilongwe based factory, the new plant is located in Blantyre, the country’s business hub and second largest city. In addition, 14Trees has also launched two mobile plants that will be able to serve rural communities. Those mobile plants cut transport costs and at the same time provide employment for local villagers, often providing them with their first ever salary.

14Trees has also developed a turnkey house solution with Durabric, delivering one-bedroom homes in 12 weeks for less than US$20 000 and offering home-owners credit in collaboration with local banks.

Source: worldcement

Lagos, Abuja missing in world’s top 100 most visited cities

There is no Nigerian city that featured in the ranking of 100 most popular cities with international visitors in 2019. Not Lagos, not Abuja. But  Egypt’s  Red Sea resort town Hurghada, Johannesburg in South Africa and Marrakech in Morocco made the list.

Dubai, the favourite destination by some Nigerians is 7th among  the top 10. Hong Kong despite its crisis in the last few months is number one, followed by Bangkok, Macau, Singapore, London, paris.

India’s capital Delhi, Turkey’s commercial capital of Istanbul and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur make up the rest of the Top 10 most visited cities in the world, according to the rankings published today, by  UK-based market research consultancy Euromonitor International.

Dubai received  16.3 million international arrivals, beating Istanbul, Kuala Lampur and New York with 14.7m, 14.1m and 14m visitors.

“Dubai continues to lead the [Middle East] region in terms of numbers of arrivals, despite a flat growth rate during 2018,” the report said. “A free transit visa for two days for Dubai and Abu Dhabi helped to sustain arrival numbers.”

Saudi Arabian cities, such as Mecca or Makka, Riyadh and Medina are in the top 50 destinations. Mecca is No. 20, Medina 23, Riyadh 49th. Damman is 64th.

Johannesburg tops most favoured destination in Africa. It is 54th in the ranking, followed by Marrakech at 75th. Egypt’s tourist city of Hurgada is 82nd.

Globally, inbound arrivals are expected to grow 4.2 per cent this year to 1.5 billion trips in 2019. Euromonitor’s list shows tourism in Asia is outpacing other regions.

Asia accounts for 43 of the top 100 cities, rising steadily since 2013, because of higher income levels and the increasing number of Chinese as well as millennial travellers from Asian economies boosting intra-regional travel.

Europe is the second biggest region that travellers visit in 2019, however, London dropped two places to fifth position because of uncertainty around Brexit. North America performed well, but most American cities slipped in the study because of competition from Europe and Asia.

Euromonitor’s list includes 13 Middle Eastern cities with the region posting an 8.7 per cent rise in tourist arrivals and 9.1 per cent increase in tourism earnings year-on-year in 2019.

Euromonitor’s research covers 400 cities around the world to examine international visitors who stay in the country for longer than 24 hours and less than 12 months. These arrivals include all purposes of visit, such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives. It excludes those in employment, who study abroad, military personnel, transportation crew, and people displaced because of war or natural disasters.

The 2019 rankings were calculated using estimated arrivals figure based on part-year data.

Source: Pmnewsnigeria

9 Easy Steps to Negotiate Out of a Bad Loan

Every now and then I meet people howling about their debt burden and how it’s making life difficult for them. Some of the loans are consumer loans used to buy a car, finance a pet project or even pay for house rent. I have always believed that your loan repayment per month should never be more than 40% of your salary or monthly income.

Anything more than that sets you on the path of financial crisis as the risk of default is mostly higher. But how then does one get out of financial crisis related to the burden of loans? I will attempt to give tips. As usual we will depict a real life situation for better guidance

Example: Wale decided it was time to take a loan since landing his new job in 2016. He borrows N2.6m to buy a tokumbo car and the balance to pay for a new 3 bedroom apartment he just moved to. He earns a take home salary of N200k a month and currently pays N80k to the bank as loan. He also spends on average N80k monthly in living expenses such as feeding, transportation, wardrobe, entertainment etc. leaving him with N40k as savings.

Suddenly his company faces a financial situation and decide to slash salaries and cut staff strength. Fortunately or unfortunately Wale is not sacked but told to take a pay cut of N60k dropping his monthly take home pay to N140. He suddenly finds himself in deep financial waters as his loan repayment is now more than half his take home pay.

He currently owes the bank N1.3m (excluding future interest) after paying back half of the loan which was about N3.8b (including principal of N2.6m and interest). Since taking his pay cut in November 2018 he has defaulted twice in repaying his loan as his expenses almost doubled after getting married. The banks have written him severally and have now decided to act. What should Wale do?

Step 1Don’t be afraid and never get depressed.

In a capitalist society even the richest of men owe. In fact they owe billions and are often soothed rather than chastised when the bank man comes. The main reason for this is that no bank wants litigation (even if the outcome will favour them). So, as much as you are in deep financial mess they also are. In Nigeria, banks tend to fire small loan borrowers with also sort of threatening letters, like warning that they will write your employers, seize your car or any other collateral assets etc. At the end of the day, an amicable solution is always better preferred.

Step 2Ask yourself honest questions

Can I sustain this lifestyle? Should I sell my Car to repay part of the loan? How much can I really repay the bank within the current circumstances? All I really need to do is either repay the loan out-rightly, get a new job or simply just reduce the amount I pay the bank monthly. The following steps will be based on my decision to reduce the amount I pay to the bank monthly.

Step 3. How much can I possibly pay the bank now?

When Wale was taking home N200k he was paying N80k as loan or 40% of net income. To remain at 40% of that figure, he will need to pay the bank N56k monthly leaving him with N84k. Since he is newly married he believes he needs at least N100k monthly to meet up with the demands of marriage even if it means him not saving. Therefore, the needs to pay the bank N40k monthly, that is half his original pay.
Step 4Acquaint with loan realities

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATIONNow that you have decided how much you can afford to pay the bank, the next step is to determine what that means in the overall context of the loan. If you owe N1.3m and you wish to repay N40k monthly at an interest rate of 20% then the no of years you are looking to complete the loan will now be 4 years or 47months.

What this essentially means is that the loan which was to last 4 years will now extend to 6years. Remember Wale had paid for 2 year and had 2 left and to accommodate his N40k repayment, he needs to add two more years. This move whilst a cash flow relief will bring additional interest cost almost 100% of the loan value at the end of the payment.

You could also decide to adopt a progressive repayment rather than a uniform one. That is pay N40k for the first year and N60k the next and N80k till the loan is liquidated. This method does the twin job of giving you temporal relief while anticipating an improved cash flow and also helping contain the high interest cost associated with longer tenors.

Step 5: Approach your bank

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATIONNever get shy about telling your bankers your financial predicaments. Remember your success/failures is directly proportionate to theirs so its always in their best interest when you show intent to repay their loans. Set up a meeting with them at a place of your convenience, make sure its a discussion over lunch or drinks as that creates a friendly environment.

Tell them your plans in the clearest form and give an impression its a honest and well thought out now. Make them understand its a win win situation and actually benefits the bank more as they get more cash flow. Don’t be ashamed to tell them you just got a pay cut and as such don’t have a choice but to do this.


Even if you never had a pay cut but just have financial constraints, make them understand what your predicaments are and how a restructuring of the loan is the best option. They may come with their own proposals for a way out which may or may not be better than yours. Whatever the case just remember than your guiding principle is the cash available to you after you debt service.

Step 6: Forward an official letter to the bank:

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATIONAfter you must have concluded negotiations with your account officers, you should now write them officially requesting for a restructuring of the loan. The tone of the letter can look like this. The response time for banks typically varies depending on the efficiency of their operations. Based on that, it is often advisable that you follow up from time to time especially via emails. Emails are good record keepers as such is mostly preferred as a communication took.

Step 7: Post Restructuring

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATIONOnce your offer has been approved, the bank will give you a restructured facility with terms and conditions. Make all efforts to read the fine prints as banks notoriously embed details in it. Ensure you look out for the following

  1. Tenor – Make sure it’s the number of years/months you agreed with the bank.
  2. Interest Rate – Always check interest rates especially if they are tied to benchmarks. Sometimes they tell you it’s “subject to market conditions” or “MPR plus 12%”. Whatever the case, they are simply telling you interest rates can go up (hardly down). Make sure your offer rates are competitive. To make sure, consult your accountant or friends in other banks.
  3. Fees – Fees are often over looked when it comes to loans, whereas they are also a cost. When you are restructuring, the banks typically will charge you a “restructuring fee”, “management fee” and facility fee”. Restructuring Fee is a one off payment and can range from 0.25% to 1% of the loan. Always negotiate for 0.25% or even zero. It is possible if you make them understand you can’t afford it. Management Fees are paid every year and is a flat percentage of the outstanding principal. They can tell you it is 1% of the Loan or 0.5%. Facility Fee is also similar to the restructuring fee. However, this is mostly charged for a new loan. Whatever the case strive for a total Fee that will NOT cost you more than 0.5% per annum.
  4. Security – Make sure the security (collateral) they are asking for is what you agreed with them during negotiations.
  5. Caveats – There are usually loads of clauses and caveats that are found under “Other Conditions”. It can be burdensome to read but since its your but on the line, I suggest you read them. Particularly the clause that refers to early repayment. Some banks charge you if you decide to repay all or part of the loan before it is due. Make sure this clause says “you will not be charged for early repayment of all or part of the facility”. Who know, you might land a lucrative job and decide to pay off the loan.

Step 8: Endorse the new offer

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATIONSign a copy of the offer and keep an original as well (with the signature of the representatives of the bank).

Step 9: Think about another job

BAD LOAN NEGOTIATION Start to look for another job or find a way to improve your financial situation. Even with the relatively affordable cash payment Wale has to make, he still has less disposable income available to him. As such a debt burden is something he needs to get out of his life. That will only be put to bed by an improved stream of cash flow.

Conclusion – Whilst these are basic steps to guide you, it is advisable that you consult Accountants, Lawyers when negotiating with a bank. Never be afraid to negotiate your way out of the pains of debt. Be smart and think rich.

Stanbic IBTC Attracts Highest Capital Inflow to Nigeria in Q3

Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has emerged as the financial institution that attracted the highest amount of capital investment into Nigeria in the third quarter of 2019.

This was contained in the Nigerian Capital Importation report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and according to the report, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC attracted $1.630 billion in Q3 2019, which equates to 30.38 percent of the total capital inflow during the same period.

The Nigerian Capital Importation Q2 report earlier released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics in September, 2019, also revealed that Stanbic IBTC PLC attracted 30.34% of the total capital inflow into the country.

Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, stated that the report identifying the bank as facilitating the highest amount of capital inflows reflects the immense contribution of the financial institution to the Nigerian economy. He added that the bank would continue to take the lead in the facilitation of business transactions that would inject foreign capital into the country.

The report reflected that the total value of capital imported into the country as at Q3 2019 was $5,367.56 million. A breakdown showed that the largest amount of capital importation by type was through portfolio investments which amounted to $2,999.5 million (55.88%); while Other Investment accounted for $2,167.98 million of total capital. Foreign Direct Investment made up $200.08 million of total capital imported in Q3 2019.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Capital Importation Q3 2019 Report outlines Nigeria’s economic outlook, showing the total value of capital inflow into Nigeria. While Lagos State emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria in Q3 2019 with $4,976.40 million, the United Kingdom was the biggest source of capital investment into Nigeria during the third quarter. The value of capital inflow into Nigeria was $2,011.14, representing 37.47 percent of the total capital inflow.

Source: businesspost

How to Tap into the Enormous Potential in Green Buildings

A new report by the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, highlights how investors can tap into the enormous potential in green buildings.

The report, Green Buildings: A finance and policy blueprint for emerging markets, notes that by 2030 in emerging markets alone, green buildings will offer a $24.7 trillion investment opportunity, which will spur economic growth and accelerate sustainable development. Across Asia and the Pacific, which will house half the world’s urban population by 2030, there are particularly promising areas for investment, with an estimated $17.8 trillion worth of investment opportunities, primarily in residential buildings.

“The floor area of the buildings that dot our skylines is expected to double by 2060,” notes Alzbeta Klein, the director of climate business at the IFC. “The majority of this construction boom will occur in emerging markets, particularly in middle-income countries experiencing high population growth, rapid urbanisation, and income growth. Green construction is one of the largest investment opportunities of the next decade that can spur low-carbon economic growth and create skilled jobs for decades to come.”

The report highlights the clear financial benefits investors, banks, developers and owners, including governments, can expect when entering the green building market. Green buildings command substantially higher sale premiums – up to 31% more – and sell more quickly than traditional buildings. Furthermore, green buildings maintain higher occupancy rates – up to 23% higher – than conventional buildings and offer higher rental income.

By consuming less water and electricity, operational costs are up to 37% lower than traditional buildings. When green features are incorporated early in the building design, the cost of green construction can range from savings of half a percent to 12% in additional costs.

Additionally, the report notes that green buildings can be a strong driver of economic growth, generating upwards of nine million skilled jobs in both the renewables and construction sectors by 2030. Currently, green buildings account for just 8% of the construction and renovation sector, indicating a vast potential for growth.

Catalysing green building markets

The report offers a uniquely private sector perspective on the investment potential in emerging markets and how to realise this potential, according to IFC. It draws on IFC’s almost decade-long experience investing $5.5 billion in green buildings, as well as lessons learned helping governments to design and implement building codes to catalyse green building markets.

In addition, IFC has designed its own certification system designed for emerging markets, EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies), which is available in more than 150 emerging markets. IFC’s Green Buildings programme is implemented in partnership with the governments of Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK, as well as with ESMAP, the EU, and GEF.

By 2030, other regions besides Asia and the Pacific will offer significant opportunities as well:

  • In Latin America, green housing construction will create an estimated $4.1 trillion investment opportunity in green buildings.
  • New green buildings in Eastern Europe and Central Asia will attract almost $881 billion in investment opportunities, likely much smaller than investments required to retrofit old buildings.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, cities will account for most of the over $1.1 trillion regional investment opportunity in green buildings as demand increases for resilient housing to combat water and heat stress.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, cities will double in population by 2050, providing a $768 billion investment opportunity to green future construction until 2030.

IFC’s report highlights best practices by and for investors, banks, governments, developers, and owners, and provides an investment blueprint for scaling up green buildings across emerging markets. Shifting lending and investments towards green buildings will allow investors to take advantage of this significant investment opportunity. It will also help build stronger real estate investment portfolios resilient to financial, regulatory, and reputational risks associated with the transition to low-carbon economies.

Governments stand to benefit financially from the transition to green construction, and the shift will also help them meet their social and environmental objectives. Globally, 28% of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use in buildings, making them an important part of helping governments to achieve their climate change targets.

Source: esi-africa

Ghana: Housing Ministry Proposes National Housing Fund To Tackle Deficit

The Ministry of Works and Housing is currently exploring the possibility of establishing a National Housing Fund that will serve as a financing mechanism towards the provision of adequate affordable housing programme.

The fund, is expected to provide a dedicated source of financing and serve as a guarantee to leverage, and also off-take private sector investment and construction of affordable housing units.

A Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Barbara Aisha Ayisi who represented the Sector Minister, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea at the opening of the 127th Board Meeting and Retreat of the Shelter Afrique, announced on Tuesday in Accra.

Shelter Afrique is the pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.

Ms Ayisi said the Ministry was planning to push the idea of the Housing Fund through Cabinet and later before Parliament for members to discuss and adopt it so it could be established.

She said such a fund is believed to be the key to unlocking Ghana’s prospects for affordable housing, adding that many of the successful cases in the delivery of mass affordable housing programmes had been founded on the existence of a dedicated housing financing arrangement.

She was speaking on the theme: “Implementation of Institutional and Legal Frameworks: the Key to successful Affordable Housing Programmes”.

She explained that a national housing fund would also help in establishing a sustainable affordable housing supply system that meet the housing needs of Ghanaian workers, and not only the rich in society.

She said through the various partnership programmes, the Ministry intended to gradually close the two million housing deficit in Ghana within the next eight years, adding that the Ministry was currently doing some redevelopment involving housing for security services and redevelopment of other areas including Nima.

The Deputy Minister expressed the concern that rapid growth and increasing urbanisation, continued to make shelter one of the most critical challenges confronting developing countries.

She, therefore, expressed the government readiness to explore all available opportunities that would help close the huge housing gap in the country.

Mr Nghidinua Daniel, Chairperson of the Shelter Afrique Board, said the conference was to help the Board to “touch base” with key stakeholders and partners, especially the government of Ghana, which is a founding member of the Company.

He said the issue of affordable housing was not “an issue only for the government” but for all other stakeholders, and that was why Shelter Afrique, had decided to confer with key stakeholders in housing, finance and development, including members of academia, financial institutions as well as estate developers, who were already in the housing business.

“We need research and development, we need to find innovative ways of how to scale up housing and make it more affordable”.

He said already, the Company had invested a total of 55.6 million dollars into the housing sector in Ghana, some in technical training, some as loans for local banks to invest in the sector and some through partnerships with government in its provision of housing units.

Mr Ishmael Ashitey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, decried the issue of the lack of decent accommodation for workers of the country, saying that where there were even housing units, they were made so expensive beyond the means of the ordinary Ghanaian worker.

He said it was regrettable that estate developers only target those living abroad, foreigners and the high-income bracket earners, instead of permanent salaried workers in the country.

“The houses are also priced in dollars in a cedi economy out of the reach of the average worker. This may potentially create severe inequality within the society”.

It is time we took the necessary steps to correct the current trend lest all our hope of using pension benefit and cedi to secure a mortgage or house would be a mirage”, Mr Ashitey said.

Shelter Afrique partners, 44 African Governments, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company, to build strategic partnerships and offering a host of products and related services to support the efficient delivery of affordable housing and commercial real estate.

Source: modernghana

Housing Deficit: Recapitalize Bank to N500 Billion, FMBN Tells FG

The Federal Mortgage Bank Nigeria (FMBN) has disclosed that it would need increment in its capital base in order to bridge the housing deficit in the country.

According to The Nation, Ahmed Musa-Dangiwa, Managing Director of the bank, represented by the Group Head (Risk Management), Mr Kabir Yagboyaju, in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on Tuesday at the 9th Annual Public Lecture of the Forum of Heads of Federal Government Establishments, Ekiti State Chapter, titled, “National Housing Fund: Justification, challenges and prospects,” stated that the housing deficit in Nigeria was estimated to be between 17 and 20 million.

Considering the humongous gap in housing in Nigeria, which is put at between 17 – 20 million, there is a need to shore up the capital base of FMBN,” said Ahmed Musa-Dangiwa.

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Mr Musa-Dangiwa stated the proposed capital increment of the bank’s capital base would be to the tune of N500 billion though the bank’s authorized share capital stands at N5 billion with only N2.56 billion paid up. He added that the Federal Government needed to treat the recapitalization of the FMBN as top priority.

Meanwhile, the FMBN boss disclosed that in spite the shortcomings of the National Housing Fund Scheme, it was still the most affordable housing initiative in the country, adding that it needed all the support it could get to improve the performance of the scheme.

It must be placed on record that the National Housing Fund Scheme remains the most cost-effective means for affordable housing delivery in Nigeria, the support of stakeholders especially employers and labour is needed in improving the scheme’s efficiency,” Ahmed Musa-Dangiwa said.

The FMBN was established in 1956; it was first the Nigeria Building Society (NBS) before the Federal Government, by Indigenization Act (1973) acquired the NBS and consequently renamed it the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria. The bank’s major operation is to supply the mortgage markets with sustainable liquidity for the advancement of homeownership among Nigerians anchored on mortgage financing.

Source: nairametrics

Hedge Fund Billionaire Buys Florida Mansion for $111 Million, Setting State Record

  • Hedge fund billionaire Steven Schonfeld and his wife bought a sprawling Palm Beach estate for $111 million.
  • The 6-acre estate, sold by hair-care mogul Sydell Miller, has more than 70,000 square feet of living space, with 11 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms, a bowling alley, salon, spa, ice cream stand and candy parlor.
  • The sale beats a record for the state set this summer, when an estate owned by the late Broadway producer Terry Allen Kramer sold to an unknown buyer for $110.3 million.

Hedge fund billionaire Steven Schonfeld and his wife bought a sprawling Palm Beach estate for $111 million, making it the most expensive home ever sold in Florida.

Schonfeld, founder of New York-based Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, closed Tuesday on the 6-acre estate known as La Reverie, according to a spokesman.

The estate, sold by hair-care mogul Sydell Miller, has more than 70,000 square feet of living space, with 11 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms, a bowling alley, salon, spa, ice cream stand and candy parlor. It had been listed for $200 million.

The sale beats a Florida record set this summer, when an estate owned by the late Broadway producer Terry Allen Kramer sold to an unknown buyer for $110.3 million.

Schonfeld, his wife and three kids will use the home as a vacation property and don’t plan to move from New York, according to a spokesman. The family also has a $90 million estate in Old Westbury, New York, as well as an apartment on Manhattan’s Park Avenue and a penthouse in Palm Beach’s Bellaria luxury condo building.

La Reverie will instantly give the Schonfelds a top trophy property in one of the richest enclaves in the country. Built in 2001, the French-style megahome is located on an exclusive stretch of Palm Beach called Billionaire’s Row, which starts at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and includes the estates of other titans of finance, including Ken Griffin, Paul Tudor Jones and Steve Shwarzman.

La Reverie stretches from the ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, with 350 feet of beachfront and 233 feet on the waterway.

Even with the $111 million price tag, the Schonfelds are still planning to do some work on the home. It will be designed and decorated by Michelle Gerson Interiors and Schonfeld’s wife, Brooke.

The deal went into contract this past summer, but closed Tuesday, according to the spokesman.

The sale is the latest sign of a strong real estate market in southern Florida, as a growing number of retirees from the Northeast flock to the Sunshine State.

The new tax law, which caps state and local tax deductions, has also led to reports of a growing number of wealthy taxpayers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut moving to Florida to lower their tax bills. Average sale prices for single-family homes in Miami set a record in the third quarter of $330,000. Prices for luxury homes in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Boca Raton were all up more than 20% in the quarter.

Florida real estate brokers said the start to the prime winter-selling season has been one of the strongest in years.

Source: cnbc

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