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How Innovation In Real Estate Is Encouraging Growth

As the Indian economy evolves, value-creation opportunities in real estate will exist as much in capturing the consumption-growth upside as in pursuing strategies of specialisation. The last decade has seen significant investments in real estate and real estate-related infrastructures -1.93 %, as investors braced for growth and development. The next phase of growth will be driven as much by value-added real estate strategies as by capital market innovation in real estate financing.

Mapping real estate by larger secular trends would give us fascinating insights into the real pockets of demand. Some of the broad secular trends we see are rising income profiles, a gradually larger pool of senior citizens with life expectancy increasing, increased retail consumption (both online and offline) and increasingly high consumption of data, among others. Not only have these trends created the need for specialised real estate, but also the need for greater partnerships between service, providers and real estate investors.
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Real estate strategies will have to go on to add value through a broad array of services through partnerships and astute asset selection. For example, warehouse real estate space has received significant investments over the past few years. The question is: How will the market evolve as demand further picks up?

The key to warehouse businesses is twofold. Firstly, scale up from being purely real estate providers to “solutions providers” Such
Such warehouse businesses should have the capacity and know-how to cater to an increasingly large and fragmented user-base with technology, real estate and supply-chain expertise to help support the business ecosystem. While this trend has started already, the future holds greater promise and investment returns, if done well.

Secondly, for warehouse businesses and platforms, it is essential to keep building on the spoke and hub model. Large-scale warehouses, linked to dispersed smaller catering to increasingly quicker delivery times is how it is going to be in the future.

Another sector where the real estate partner can provide both real estate expertise and relatively inexpensive access to capital to the service provider will be healthcare. Assets such as hospitals and high-end laboratories need access to significant real estate. Usually, either the hospital acquires the real estate or rents it. There is potential going forward for institutional platforms to purchase land to be leased to hospitals. The key to the strategy mentioned above versus piecemeal renting of hospital land is the ability of the platform to source capital at a significantly lower cost versus what the hospital chain can do.

The healthcare real estate focused platform may able to do so for a variety of reasons such as having access to a pool of investors with a lower cost of balance sheets and better credit ratings. Both the factors will provide a lower cost of capital. Additionally, for platform investors, a diversified pool of real estate assets does lower the risk profile through diversification, which in turn reduces the cost of capital for healthcare real estate asset.

Such innovative real estate strategies will be vital to fuel the next phase of growth for real estate-heavy sectors such as healthcare. The ability of healthcare providers to focus on healthcare services and have a less demanding debt-burden will be a significant value creator in the ecosystem. Real estate-focused investors, funds and, eventually, healthcare Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) will provide a liquid capital base with which to scale business.

Ultimately, investor-access to platforms that allow for some degree of secondary market liquidity will further help reduce the cost of capital for businesses. A combination of innovation in real estate and the “capital structure” that drives the real estate will be significant business drivers.

The previous strategy or some modified version of it will apply to many of the new sunrise sectors. A sector such as datacentres is also a component of a differentiated real estate strategy, whereby a combination of technological capacity combined with real estate acumen will drive the data centre real estate play. In an economy such as India with a structural demand, value creation opportunities abound.

A word of caution: A thorough analysis of demand-supply dynamics will be critical for long-term success. Given the very nature of real estate, both macro and local factors have a significant influence on investment returns. Past experience suggests that when local factors are ignored, investment returns can be adversely affected even with positive macro fundamentals.




Afreximbank signs MoU with Russian Railways and Russian Export Centre

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian Railways and the Russian Export Center (REC) to cooperate in implementing export and investment projects in the railway sector in Africa.

Under the terms of the MoU, the parties will undertake mutual consultations on export and investment projects abroad and by jointly developing project financing schemes in the sector.

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Afreximbank president Benedict Oramah signed the deal on behalf of the bank in Russia while Oleg Belozyorov, director general of Russian Railways, and Andrey Slepnev, director general of REC, signed for their respective organisations.

Oramah said Africa needed investments of $20-billion a year in the rail sector in order to bring it up to required level.

He said that Afreximbank’s role was to find partners that would help it to deliver the necessary investment and that the signing of the MoU would enable Russia to participate in the opportunities that existed in Africa.

Slepnev said the agreement was a demonstration of practical collaboration among the institutions and expressed confidence that it would bear fruit.

Russian Railways is reputed for developing and advancing technologies and techniques for effectively managing railway systems.


10 massive projects the Chinese are funding in Africa

China is Africa’s biggest and strongest ally and in recent years has pumped millions of dollars into the continent, funding one mega project after another.

At the close of the 2018 China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in Beijing, the world’s second biggest economy announced that it had set up a new $60 billion kitty meant for Africa’s development as part of a raft of new measures to strengthen Sino-Africa ties.

The fund, which is broken down into several parts, will be channelled to projects aligned to the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative covering telecommunications, construction of roads, bridges and sea ports, energy, and human capacity development.

Considering that, here are ten million-dollar projects in Africa which are standing today and others are in the pipeline thanks to Chinese money.

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  1. Railways projects

At least five African countries have had their railway systems funded by China: Kenya, Ethiopia, Angola,  Djibouti,  and Nigeria.

Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence, Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, was funded by China at an estimated cost of R57.2 billion.

In Ethiopia, China has funded two railways projects; Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit and Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway.

  1. AU Headquarters

The Chinese-built and financed African Union Headquarters.The R3 billion African Union headquarters located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was fully funded and built by China.


  1. ECOWAS Headquarters

In March 2018, West African regional bloc ECOWAS signed a deal with China to build their headquarters at Abuja at a cost of R475.7 million ($31.6 million).


  1. Ghana’s Bauxite Exploration

In 2017, Ghana agreed to a R150 million bauxite exploration deal with the government of China aimed at further exploiting the West African country’s vast solid mineral deposits.

  1. Angola’s Caculo Cubaca Hydropower plant

In 2017, Angola signed a deal with China for the construction of the Caculo Cabaca Hydropower project in Dondo, Angola.

The project is worth R67.7 billion and is set to produce 2,172 megawatts of electricity. The project will take about seven years to complete.

A similar project is ongoing at the Kaleta hydroelectric facility in Guinea, worth R3.8 billion, with China funding 75 per cent of the project.


  1. Congo’s Special Economic Zone

China will be investing in the Republic of Congo’s Special Economic Zone. The zone will be build in Pointe Noire in what China calls a “direct investment” and not a loan or gift.


  1. Nigeria’s Edo State Oil refinery

Nigeria and China signed a deal to build an oil refinery in Edo State at a cost of R30.1 billion.


  1. Zambia’s cement factory

China is responsible for a number of projects in Zambia including the China National Building Material which was recently launched by President Lungu. The project is worth R7.5 billion ($500 million) and will be completed in two phases.


  1. Egypt’s new city

Shanghai-listed developer China Fortune Land Development is set to invest up to R301.1 billion to build an upmarket residential district, an industrial zone, schools, a university and recreational centres in a new city in Egypt.


  1. Zimbabwe’s new parliament

Before President Robert Mugabe was ousted, China presented the former head of state with a million dollar gift: a new parliament.The new parliament building, a donation from the Chinese government, was expected to be built in Mount Hampden about 17 km from the capital, Harare, at an expected cost of R2.1 billion.

SOURCE: businessinsider.co.za


Global construction industry to reach an estimated $10.5 Trillion by 2023-Report

The Growth Opportunities in the Global Construction Industry report has indicated that the  global construction industry is expected to reach an estimated $10.5 trillion by 2023, and it is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2019 to 2023.

The future of the global construction industry looks good with opportunities in residential, non-residential, and infrastructure. The major drivers for the growth of this market are increasing housing starts and rising infrastructure due to increasing urbanization and growing population.

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Emerging trends which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the construction industry include increasing demand for green construction to reduce carbon footprint, bridge lock-up device systems to enhance the life of structures, building information systems for efficient building management, and the use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites for the rehabilitation of aging structures.

Construction industry companies profiled in this market include China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China Railway Group Limited, China Railway Construction Corporation, Vinci SA, and Grupo ACS.

Within the global construction industry, the residential segment is expected to remain the largest segment. Financing for residential construction projects has become available with improvements in market fundamentals, like lower interest rates. The residential segment is expected to show above average growth during the forecast period.

Asia-Pacific is expected to remain the largest market during the forecast period mainly due to increasing urbanization, higher expenditure on infrastructural development, and affordable housing projects.

SOURCE: businesswire.com

US to provide $300m funding for Kenya Geothermal project

Kenya is set to receive US $300m from Cyrq Energy, an American company specializing in renewable energy production, for the construction 330 MW geothermal power plant in Suswa, Narok County, in south-western Kenya.

Nicholas Goodman, President and CEO of Cyrq Energy, confirmed the reports and said that a feasibility study has already been carried out on the site and regulatory approval request has been sent to the competent authorities.

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“The first phase of the project will be financed internally, with a mix of equity and debt, while long-term debt will be guaranteed for the other phases of the project,” said Nicholas Goodman

The CEO further added that the company plans to start producing 75 MW within two years of the Kenyan authorities’ approval. The overall project is set to take an average of 3 to 4 years before completion after which electricity is first sold to the utility firm -Kenya Power under a long-term 25-year power purchase agreement.

Mr. Nicholas Goodman and independent experts from the company assessed the geothermal resources available through a drilling programme and a study ranging from preliminary design to installation of the power plant, planned before the beginning of the project

Upon completion, the project is expected to further boost Kenya’s capacity which already ranks as the leading geothermal energy producer in Africa.



Dangote bids for Kenya’s ARM Cement

Africa’s richest man and owner of Dangote Cement ,Aliko Dangote, has revealed to be among bidders for Kenya’s struggling ARM; a cement maker company currently under the administration of accounting firm Price water house Coopers (PwC).

The business man, without naming the acquisition target; which in his opinion fits the ARM company, said he is in talks over buying it. “There is a company which has operations in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda which we are in talks with to see if we can take it over,” he adds.

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ARM portfolio in Kenya includes a clinker and cement grinding plant in Kaloleni and a cement grinding plant at Athi River. The company also manufactures imports and sells cement in Rwanda through its wholly owned subsidiary, Kigali Cement Company. In Tanzania, ARM runs limestone, clinker and cement plants through its subsidiaries, Maweni Limestone Limited and ARM Tanzania.

The company has been facing a number of challenges due to severe electricity rationing, inadequate supply of coal and stiff completion in the market.This has resulted to a negative equity of US $23m meaning that current shareholders will suffer a major dilution if a takeover deal is concluded.

On their side, the PwC said the process of selling ARM or part of its assets was being handled by South African banking giant Absa, which was appointed as the transaction adviser.

“Various parties have been in contact with the administrators expressing interest in the company’s businesses and assets in both Kenya and Tanzania,” the administrators said in a report to ARM’s creditors.

More bids are set to be received until December 3, after which shortlisted firms will be allowed to start their due diligence, including interviewing management.

Dangote Cement, which has about a 45% market share in sub-Sahara Africa, has long held interest in venturing into Kenya – with plans underway to build two cement factories by 2021.

Dangote admitted that Kenya is on its priorities and said there are plans to build two plants of 1.5 million tones annually. If the deal sails through, Dangote will take over the manufacturing premises, well-established distribution networks, and mining licenses.

SOURCE:Bloomberg News

Housing sentiment falls to lowest in a year, as more say now is not a good time to buy: Fannie Mae

  • Consumer attitudes toward both buying and selling homes dropped, with the former falling the most of all the six survey components, a sizable 5 percentage points. It tied its second lowest reading in the survey’s history.
  • Fewer consumers now expect home prices to rise, echoing other surveys that have shown a drop in the number of people who think owning a home is currently a good investment.
  • Fewer consumers believe mortgage rates will fall back to recent lows.

What a difference a few seasons make.

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Housing sentiment fell to its lowest level in a year in October, according to a monthly survey by Fannie Mae. Consumer attitudes toward both buying and selling homes dropped, with the former falling the most of all the six survey components — a sizable 5 percentage points. That tied the survey’s second lowest reading in its history.

The data are a sharp turnaround from last spring, when confidence in the U.S. housing market was soaring, mortgage rates were relatively low and the economy was flying high.

Fewer consumers now expect home prices to rise, echoing other surveys that have shown a drop in the number of people who think owning a home is currently a good investment. Home prices are still gaining, but those increases have been shrinking each month: They’ve fallen below 6 percent annually for the first time in a year, according to the much-watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index.

Housing sentiment has been falling for the past several months, despite the fact that more consumers think the economy is on the right track. That component of the survey reached a new high.

“The contrast between the survey’s findings of weak homebuying sentiment and overall economic optimism mirrors what we’re seeing in the broader economy,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “While economic growth posted the fastest back-to-back pace in four years in the third quarter, residential investment declined for the third consecutive quarter, a first for the current expansion.”

Fewer people now believe mortgage rates will fall back to recent lows. In fact, rates have continued to rise over the last week, putting pressure on mortgage application volume.

Last week it fell to the lowest level in four years, as rates hit an eight-year high. Not only are potential buyers faced with weakening affordability, but there are still very few entry-level homes for sale. While supplies are finally rising for the first time in more than a year, they are coming off near-record lows, so there is still not a lot to choose from.

Adding insult to the supply injury, as mortgage rates rise, fewer homeowners may want to list their properties for sale.

“Who wants to give up a mortgage with a 3 handle on it?,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, as he referenced interest rates at or near 3 percent.

Source: Diana Olick


Know your rights as a Tenant

Tenant rights are more important than you probably realize and the first step towards protecting your rights as a tenant is to know what those rights are. Without knowing these rights, you put yourself at the mercy of landlords and caretakers in Nigeria

Before we delve into your rights as a tenant, let us start by establishing who a tenant is within the ambit of the law as well as the real estate space.

Who is a Tenant?

A tenant is a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord and is subject to the payment of rent. With this established, let us proceed to examine tenant rights and what they mean to you as a tenant in Nigeria.

  1. Right to Issuance of Receipt of Payment

As a tenant, it is important that you pay your rent but it is not considered proof of the existence of tenancy until payment is made. One of the reasons why it is an essential part of a tenancy is because it does the following:

  • It is first and foremost, a proof of payment
  • Helps the court calculate the precise time frame for a valid quit notice especially in a situation where there is no agreement
  • Needed to counter and clear allegations of your refusal or inability to adhere to timely payment of rent
  • The receipt of payment is an acknowledgement from your landlord that he/she received payment from you

The period of time that the rent paid is expected to cover. For instance, was the rent paid to cover a year, 2 years or 6 months?

  • The signature of the person receiving the payment must also be on the receipt.

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  1. Right to Written Agreement

Agreements can either be oral or written but experts advised that you should opt for a written agreement. A written agreement removes all elements of doubt and ambiguity around the intention of all parties involved (you and the landlord). This is backed by tenant rights.

According to the law, tenancy agreements above 3 years are mandated to be written while those lesser than 3 years can either be oral or written. Experts have however advised that even if your tenancy is for 2 weeks, you should opt for a written agreement. Details that should be included in a written agreement include:

  • Your name as well as the name of the landlord
  • Details of the type of property that is being rented out
  • The location of the property you are renting as well as the features that come with it
  • The period of time for which the rent will cover
  • The amount of money that is being paid as rent
  • The date payment was made
  • The modalities for an upward review of the rent
  • The duration of ‘quit notice’ to be served by the landlord
  • The person responsible for repair works within and around the property
  • The person who bears the responsibility for expenses like water, electricity and sanitation bills
  • A post office stamp should be affixed to make it acceptable in court as an evidence

Before a written agreement can be considered valid, both parties (you and the landlord) are to execute the agreement by signing and dating it with at least one witness each

You need to be careful with your written agreement because landlords are known to duplicate a single agreement and use this for all their tenancy agreements. The downside of this is that such an agreement leaves certain intentions unexpressed.

Stay on the lookout for agreements that are drafted by the landlord’s lawyer and handed over to you. Such agreements have a reputation of being confusing and unfavourable to you in the long run. What you want to do here is to have a property lawyer to help you look into such agreements to spot anything that has been planted there to work against you one way or the other. Your lawyer then advises you on what to add and what you need to pull out.

Never jump into an agreement orally or without a property lawyer to guide you. Don’t let your current relationship with your landlord becloud your judgement. Relationships can go sour, which can leave you in a difficult situation in the absence of an agreement that is legally binding on you and the landlord.

  1. Right to Occupy Rented Property in Peace

The moment you pay your rent and append your signature on a written agreement, you earn the right to occupy the rented property in peace. When you become a tenant, you have legal and equitable right over the rented space. Your tenant rights make you entitled to this.

This right is absolute and you can sue trespassers; your landlord or caretaker are not exempted from this. The landlord still owns the property and is free to maintain the property but this has to be done with your knowledge

Upon renting the property out to you, the landlord temporarily relinquishes his control of the property over to you up until the expiration of your tenancy. A landlord can only trample on your rights as a tenant when you are ignorant of such rights.

In a case where your landlord abuses this right, don’t hesitate to inform your property lawyer or the closest police station.


  1. Right to Valid Quit Notice before Eviction

As a tenant, your landlord is not legally empowered to throw you or your valuables out of his/her property without a valid notice to quit the property.

Before your landlord can get you to quit his/her property, there must be strict compliance with the Recovery of Premises Law and it has to be relevant. Your tenant rights makes you entitled to this.

According to the Recovery of Premises Law, a valid Quit Notice (Notice to Quit) must be written and served on you before your landlord can terminate your tenancy. The law is very clear on this.

The duration of the Quit Notice varies according to the conditions of your tenancy as seen below:

  • A one-year (or above) tenancy will require at least a notice of 6 months
  • A one-month tenancy will require a minimum notice of one month
  • A one-week tenancy will require a minimum notice of one week

  1. Right to a Compulsory 7 Days’ Notice to Recover Premises

Under the Nigerian law, you are entitled to a compulsory ‘7 Days’ Notice to Recover Premises.’ This notice comes from your landlord’s lawyer to notify you that the lawyer will proceed to court after 7 days of serving you this notice, recover the over- held premises on behalf of the landlord.

This 7-day notice comes after the expiration of the initial notice to you to quit the property. The additional 7 days’ notice serves to legally protect you from being forcefully ejected or humiliated. It also gives you sufficient time to quit the property.

Final Thoughts on Tenant Rights

Regardless of the neighborhood where the property you are renting is situated, the law is clear on what a landlord can and cannot do. Tenant rights are clear. To avoid being manipulated into appending your signature to dubious tenancy agreements that can come back to haunt you, consider hiring a real estate lawyer to protect your interest.

SOURCE: Privateproperty.com


Mortgage Rates in U.S. Decline in Early November

Most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey for November 2018, U.S. mortgage rates dropped slightly after last week’s increases.

Sam Khater, an economist, says, “While higher mortgage rates have led to a decline in home sales this year, the weakness has been concentrated in expensive segments versus entry-level and first-time buyer which remains firm throughout most of the rest of the country. Despite higher mortgage rates, the monthly mortgage payment remains affordable. For many buyers the chronic lack of entry-level supply is a larger hurdle than higher mortgage rates because choices are limited and the inventory shortage has caused home prices to rise well above fundamentals.”

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News Fact

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.83 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 1, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 4.86 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.23 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.29 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.23 percent.

Source: WPJ Staff

Five Things You Need To Know About Online Real Estate Marketing

For seasoned real estate professionals, online presence is essential to your success or failure when it comes to generating new leads and clients for your business.

Here are some strategies that professionals can use for online marketing in the real estate business.

  1. Use Responsive Web Design

Due to the continued rise of website visitors using mobile devices, the need for a mobile-friendly site becomes more important. This is why responsive web design is a must for a real estate business.

A responsive web design is simply a design that is fluid—as a visitor’s browser size changes, so does the design. This usually means that a site with the basic main column and sidebar design on a desktop will be displayed with the sidebar below the main column of content on a mobile device.

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Why responsive design? Studies and statistics show that sites with a responsive web design have higher conversion rates and increased sales.

And, of course, your potential clients will love the fact that they can visit your website from anywhere with any device.

 2. Create Local Content

Creating content that is helpful for home buyers and sellers is a must. Both buyers and sellers tend to spend a lot of time researching the buying and selling process, especially if it’s their first time.

It is also important to create content for the locations you cover. People moving to a new area will be interested in fun facts, statistics, schools, neighbourhoods, events, and so forth.

If your website offers them content on these topics, they will ultimately be introduced to your services.


  1. Ask for reviews

Ask for reviews, especially ones that could be extremely valuable for your business. Anytime you receive an email or phone call where a client expresses praise for your service, use the opportunity to ask them for a review. As an added bonus, you can copy and paste your best reviews on your website.  

4. Use beautiful cover photos

Cover photos on social networks can provide for a great marketing opportunity. A cover photo can be used to highlight a property for sale, or an upcoming conference/seminar

No matter what type of real estate business you are in, you can take advantage of cover photos. Be sure to also include a link for people to click on in the photo’s description so that people who click on the photo can get to the highlighted subject on your website.

The links should take people to the mobile app, the property, or the conference pages.

5. Answer questions

There are dozens of great places online where you can connect with potential clients by simply answering their questions. There are question and answer networks like Quora that allow people to ask questions about all topics, including home buying, selling, and relocating.

There are so many other online strategies, but with these five basic strategies, you can use them to maximum effect and generate more exposure for your real estate business.

SOURCE: Affa Dickson Acho with Agency Reports.

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