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5 Important Things Happening in South Africa Today

  • Ratings firm Moody’s expects load shedding to return and continue in South Africa, which spells bad news for municipalities’ credit ratings, as well as South Africa’s rating overall. In a new report, Moody’s has noted how electricity sales’ contribution to GDP has declined, with the expectation that it will continue to do so because of load shedding. It expects large power users will also migrate off-grid. [Fin24]

Source: businesstech

Good News for the Mortgage Business: Nearly all Homebuyers are Happy they Stopped Renting

Despite recent data from Freddie Mac showing that more than 80% of renters view renting as more affordable than buying a home, new data from Bank of America shows that the vast majority of renters who made the plunge into homeownership have no regrets about their decision.

In fact, the new report from Bank of America shows that 93% of people who bought a home are happier than they were when they were renting. The study, which is based on a national sample of more than 2,500 people, asked several questions, including “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?”

To that question, 93% of the respondents answered yes, while only 7% said no.

Beyond that, more than 80% of homeowners said they wouldn’t go back to renting.

According to the study, 88% of homeowners agree that buying a home is the “best decision they have ever made,” while 79% believe that owning a home has changed them for the better.

As for what contributes to homeowners’ satisfaction with their decision, a large percentage cited the “emotional equity” that’s built up when you buy a home as opposed to the financial benefits that are so often touted as tenets of the “American Dream” of homeownership.

According to the study, more than half of current homeowners define a home as a place to make memories, while 42% view a home as a financial investment.

Another emotional benefit is the relationship with family that is built by owning a home, according to the study.

The study showed that two-thirds of current homeowners believe their relationships with family and loved ones have changed for the better since they bought a home, while 78% are satisfied with the quality of their social life, which is much higher than the amount prospective homebuyers who say they’re satisfied with their quality of life (58%).

Another benefit of homeownership is that it allows buyers to both enjoy their hobbies and take up new ones.

According to the study, 82% of homeowners said they were satisfied with the amount of time they spend on their hobbies and passions since purchasing a home, while three out of four homeowners pursued new hobbies after buying a home.

So, beyond building up wealth and equity as a homebuyer, you can add quality of life and happiness up as benefits of homeownership, too.

Source: housingwire

Africa’s Richest Man Makes a $17 Billion Bid for Immortality

Aliko Dangote’s plan to reduce Nigeria’s dependency on fuel imports will carve out an even bigger slice of the nation’s $376 billion economy for his empire.

The best way to appreciate the scale of Aliko Dangote’s empire is to hitch a ride on one of his private jets. A half-hour after his Bombardier Challenger 605 takes off from Lagos Airport, it descends into a seemingly desolate area of Kogi State in central Nigeria, dusty fields and clusters of trees stretching to the horizon. Suddenly a tangle of exhaust stacks, silos, and kilns pierces the sky to the left of the aircraft as Dangote Cement Plc’s Obajana plant comes into view. It’s already the biggest in Africa, churning out enough sacks of cement to fill 1,000 trucks a day. A fifth production line now under construction will make it one of the world’s largest.

The cement plant and its two sister factories in Nigeria have long been the bedrock of Dangote’s fortune, Africa’s biggest. But Dangote’s future—and, as he likes to say, that of the entire continent’s economy—lies to the south on the Nigerian coast. About 40 miles east of Lagos, on more than 6,700 acres of former swampland bound by a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, contractors are putting the finishing touches on a fertilizer plant valued at $5 billion. Next to it, construction of a vast oil refinery—a $12 billion project—is under way.

If all goes according to plan, the complex will immortalize the 61-year-old Nigerian businessman as Africa’s most prominent industrialist, vaulting Dangote Industries’ annual revenue from $4 billion to about $30 billion, roughly 8 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. Oil industry experts such as London-based CITAC have questioned the project’s timeline, citing logistical and financial challenges. But Dangote insists the refinery, which will be Africa’s largest, is on track. “By 2020 I will finally dispatch oil,” he says during a January interview at his Lagos home.

Despite controlling the world’s 10th-largest oil reserves, Nigeria has only four aging, inefficient state-owned refineries, leaving it almost wholly reliant on imports for its fuel needs. Dangote says his massive refinery could end that dependency and lift electricity generation in a nation plagued by blackouts: “It will change the entire economy of Nigeria.”

The fertilizer plant, which Dangote says will come online in a few months, will be capable of producing up to 2.8 million metric tons of urea a year. “It’s probably the largest-volume urea plant ever executed at one time,” says Alistair Wallace, head of fertilizer research at Argus Media in London. Nigeria’s natural gas prices are the lowest in the world, meaning Dangote’s fertilizer will likely be profitable even in the competitive export market. “It will generate hard currency and bring in dollars. It will be a good look for the administration and for Dangote,” Wallace says.

Born into a wealthy Muslim family of traders in the north, Dangote incorporated his own business selling cement at 21. He shifted to manufacturing the building material in the 1990s, convinced his homeland, the world’s seventh-most-populous country, could meet its own demand for staples. Dangote factories churning out sugar, flour, and salt followed. A vertical integration push gave rise to other businesses, including oil, property management, packaging, and port operations.

Four publicly traded companies under the Dangote Industries umbrella account for about a third of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange. While shares of Dangote Cement tumbled 26 percent in the past year amid a sell-off in emerging markets, the fertilizer plant has helped boost Dangote’s net worth to $17  billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. (No value is attributed to the refinery in Bloomberg’s analysis because it’s still under construction.)

In many ways, Dangote’s ascent recalls that of Gilded Age tycoons such as Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt, who accumulated great fortunes as they created industries. While the emergence of a new generation of business titans that includes Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has drawn attention to rising income inequality in the U.S. and elsewhere, Dangote’s net worth is particularly disproportionate to the lot of ordinary Nigerians, almost half of whom live in extreme poverty.

Critics have attacked him for holding much of his wealth offshore and say he’s a shrewd monopolist who has plied his political connections to secure an advantage over competitors. They claim his market-dominating cement company squeezes local consumers with prices three times the global average while slashing prices in neighboring markets to crush rivals. A World Bank report published in 2016 found that African cement prices averaged $9.57 per 50-kilogram bag, compared with $3.38 globally. Dangote’s cement business has also been accused of exploiting a government-run investment promotion program to secure generous tax breaks.

Dangote shrugs off such criticism, while preaching the gospel of markets as the best way to narrow the divide between the haves and have-nots. “China in 30 years has taken almost 500 million people out of poverty,” he says.

Soft-spoken and unfailingly polite, he offers up his chair in meetings to guests and serves food for others during a lunch in an office conference room. But the courteous chief executive officer is also a hard-driving manager. “ ‘Not possible’ aren’t words he understands,” says Giuseppe Surace, chief operating officer of the refinery project, as our convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers sets off on a four-hour tour of the site. “In his own way, he is very tough.”

Nigeria’s $376 billion economy is, by some measures, Africa’s largest, but the operational challenges for companies are also outsize. The World Bank assigns the country a lowly score of 53 on ease of doing business (Kenya gets a 70, and South Africa a 66). Besides an overabundance of red tape and weak protections for investors, the country is perceived to be more corrupt than many of its neighbors. Nigeria’s chronic logistical logjams, infrastructure failings, and political risk are why CITAC says Dangote’s 2020 timeline for the refinery may not be feasible.

Even the so-called smart money has stumbled here. Five years after pledging to invest $5 billion in infrastructure alongside Dangote, Blackstone Group LP is in the process of exiting an African subsidiary called Black Rhino Group because of a dearth of suitable opportunities, a person familiar with the matter has said. KKR & Co. disbanded its Africa deal team in 2017.

Dangote, for his part, has decades of experience negotiating Africa’s pitfalls. Yet even by the continent’s standards, the refinery project could be characterized as a heavy lift. Dangote Industries bought the plot for $100 million at the end of 2013, but it ultimately took almost three years—and many truckloads of sand—to prepare the swampy ground for construction. The company erected a jetty and widened and reinforced roads to accommodate shipments of cranes and other equipment.

Dangote’s existing empire gives him advantages. The new refinery is a big customer of Dangote Cement, and the roads to and from the surrounding quarries are clogged with his trucks. Also, his timing was fortuitous. The project geared up during a recession, giving him more bargaining power over contractors keen to land work. Plus its location inside a free-trade zone means the complex should be better insulated from the Nigerian political scene, according to Dangote’s lieutenants. “We’re an island,” says Surace, an Italian who previously worked at oil services company Saipem.

Talk to ordinary Nigerians and plenty crack smiles at the mention of Dangote, who’s featured in internet memes, while a recent single by Nigerian singer Teni plays on his wealth. It’s the kind of name recognition any politician would envy. Results from Nigeria’s Feb. 23 general election, which was marred by delays, technical glitches, and violence that killed at least 39 people, saw President Muhammadu Buhari beat his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar. But Dangote, who’s long avoided playing political favorites and deflected questions on the election throughout the campaign, says he’s not interested in governing. “If I exit from business and go into politics, nobody can actually sit in Dangote Group and take the kind of risk that I can, because I’m the owner,” he says. “My real job is to see how do I transform Nigeria and Africa and to take this kind of risk.”

While Dangote has confined his business activities to Africa so far, he expects to expand beyond his home continent after revenue tops $30 billion. There’s not “capacity to be able to invest that kind of money just in Africa,” he says.

Signs of his burgeoning fortune abound. His namesake foundation spends as much as $100 million a year on projects such as hospitals and malnutrition, according to its CEO Zouera Youssoufou. Dangote’s offices feature photos of him with Bill Gates and Barack Obama, and he says he’s in the process of setting up a family office that will have outposts in London and New York. Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein is helping set it up and the unit will invest alongside the private equity firm, Dangote said. Rubenstein, who hosts a show on Bloomberg Television, declined to comment.

“It’s very much on paper now,” Dangote says.

He could even acquire that archetypal billionaire trinket: a professional sports team.

An Arsenal fan, Dangote says he’s prepared to stomach the multibillion-dollar price tag the English soccer club would command once the refinery is finished.

“I will go aggressively after Arsenal,” he says.

For now, though, his focus is on the vast project taking shape on the Atlantic coast.

The last time I see Dangote, it’s past midnight at his Lagos home. He’s sitting at the head of the dining room table, near a barely touched bowl of fish stew and a chunky Casio calculator. He turns his head, with closely cropped hair flecked with gray, toward the accounts in front of him.

He’s absorbed. Seconds tick by in silence, then minutes. Finally he’s satisfied. He signs off and—ever the host—patiently fields a few more questions before seeing me and his other guests out before heading to bed.

Waiting for my ride, I turn back and see Dangote, the $17 billion man, climbing the stairs.

He’s back on the phone, still working.

Source: bloomberg

Something Has Happened in South Africa’s Housing Market Not Seen Since 2011

The latest FNB Residential Property Barometer for September showed a slight improvement in transaction volumes alongside mortgage advances.

The FNB HPI remained steady in August, at 3.6% year-on-year, said FNB economist, Siphamandla Mkhwanazi. Year-to-date nominal house price growth remains around the 3.5% y/y mark, largely similar to the 3.6% y/y recorded in the same period in 2018.

The eThekwini metro continues to over-perform, supported by booming developments in the North Coast regions, as well as renewed interest in the city centre, the lender said.

Positively, indicators point to a narrowing demand-supply gap. “This is driven by both the mild improvement in demand and the persistently slowing pace at which properties enter the market for sale,” said Mkhwanazi.

“The slowing pace of supply is driven by sellers withdrawing their properties, amid tough selling conditions, as it is becoming increasingly difficult to attain asking prices. This is countered somewhat by the surge in the supply of new stock (particularly flats and townhouses), as well as the rising emigration-related sales.”

On the demand side, FNB said that the improvement can be attributed to some easing in buyer despondency post elections, the increased bargain hunting amid attractive pricing, increased competition between mortgage lenders as well as lower interest rates.

This is reflected in the steady growth in mortgage extension, which has averaged 4.3% y/y year-to-date, versus 3.4% y/y in the same period last year.

“In fact, mortgage advances have been growing faster than the average house price growth in South Africa since the beginning of the year. Except for the brief period in the beginning of 2018 (Ramaphoria), we have not seen mortgage lending outpacing house prices since June 2011.

“Increased lending, however, has been more skewed towards the higher-priced segments. Activity in the lower end is being hindered by lack of affordability, primarily due to the scarcity of adequately priced properties in prime locations,” said Mkhwanazi.

This is also reflected in the transaction volumes, which FNB estimate using the Deeds registry data, that have ticked up by 0.9% y/y in 2Q19. The disaggregation of the data by purchase price showed that the R700,000–R1.8 million and R1.8 million–R3.5 million ranges were the best performing segments, growing by 5% y/y and 2.4% y/y respectively in the first half of this year.

“Looking ahead, we expect the combination of easier global financial conditions, weak domestic demand and contained inflation to allow the SARB some space for further monetary policy easing,” said Mkhwanazi.

As such, as a base case, FNB has pencilled in a 25bps cut by the end of this year.

“If global policy rates and domestic inflation push lower than currently expected, there could be more room for further policy easing. This, however, is counteracted by the deterioration in South Africa’s fiscal metrics and increased risks to global growth” the economist said.

“While lower interest rates will provide underlying support to consumers in the near term, the structural impediments to stronger economic growth remain intact, and these will heavily influence the performance of the housing market,” said Mkhwanazi.

These include high government indebtedness, inefficiency of large state-owned entities, a lack of government capacity and low private sector investment (thus constraining employment growth), he added.

FNB said it expects house price growth to average between 3.5% and 4% y/y this year, and in 2020.

Source: businesstech

Great expectations: The Promise of Large Government Housing Programs in Africa

The government of Nigeria recently announced their intentions to build one million units per year. Though the plan is unusually ambitions, these types of promises are common in Africa, where governments often announce their intention to invest in large-scale housing construction programs. From Cote d’Ivoire to Ethiopia, governments have taken matters into their own hands and acted as both investor and developer. A quick browse through CAHF’s yearbook shows that forty one out of fifty four countries in Africa have announced large affordable housing construction programs, often to be led by the state-owned development agency. In fact, political promises to rapidly build thousands ( sometimes hundreds of thousands!) of units in relatively short time periods have become common across Africa.

The World Bank estimates that three billion people, or forty percent of the world’s population, will need new housing units by 2030. Indeed, Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a major housing crisis. As the continent urbanizes at a rate of 40,000 new households per year, cities are struggling to house their growing populations and the market has so far failed to keep up with growing demand and governments have stepped in to build major housing programs.

In practice these programs have met with limited success and, though a few outliers exist (in Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa for example), most countries have not been able to keep their promises. When the state is behind such large schemes, financial and political problems tend to arise due to the following:

  1. States have limited resources. Construction always costs more than expected and funding is most often underestimated. Housing programs are highly dependent on the macroeconomic context and come to a halt in difficult times. For example, in Gabon, the slump in oil prices halted major housing construction programs, leaving thousands of units
  2. Partnerships often fail to leverage the resources and capacities of the private sector. In Cote d’Ivoire, 150,000 units were promised within five years, but only ten thousand have been delivered to date. Despite good intentions, partnerships often fail when too little due diligence has been performed by either party. Developers are selected without looking into their capacity to raise large investments and as a result project progress is slow. Many developers also expect the state to provide guarantees that the houses will be sold, thereby negating the value of leveraging private sector capacity to undertake sales risk.
  3. Beneficiaries of projects are not always well defined. Though governments often promise to house the poor, in practice housing prices tend to exceed expectations and are only available to the upper middle class. This leads to a conundrum: should States seek to make their programs financially sustainable or provide homes to their most needy? In Congo, over 1000 apartment units were built with help from China, but have yet to be occupied. Debates persist over whether to sell them at cost or provide them to victims of a major explosion that left thousands of families homeless. If beneficiaries are not well defined before a program begins, expectations can rise and lead to disappointments.

Fortunately, much can be done to improve these programs including:

  • Don’t overpromise and be realistic. Few governments have managed to keep their promises and most programs have fallen short of their objectives.
  • Define beneficiaries from the beginning. Be clear who is being targeted and what can they afford. Calculate the affordability gap and determine how much subsidy will be needed.

  • Don’t try to do it all on your own.Solving the housing deficit will require as much collaboration as possible. Few African states have the financial or the technical capacity to engage in large housing programs. Instead, they should leverage the resources of the private sector to reduce government spending and dependencies on macroeconomic fluctuations.
  • Construction is often the easiest part. Once a program is properly structured and financed, construction should be relatively easy. Instead of focusing only on supply side issues, governments need to make sure that there is enough financeable demand for the homes to sell easily. With small mortgage markets, many African countries simply cannot absorb large construction programs. The mortgage market needs to be supported too and only then will private investors support large scale housing projects.

It is encouraging to see so many African governments announcing ambitious housing goals. Solving the housing crisis and keeping up with political promises will require collaboration, innovation and leveraging as many resources as possible. Where there is a will, there is a way.


Investors Upbeat on Nigeria’s Real Estate Prospect Amid Sluggish Recovery

… huge population, supply-demand mismatch spur appetite

Foreign investors are bullish about the long-term growth prospect of Nigeria’s real estate industry amid the sluggish recovery of the broader economy, as they believe the country’s rapidly growing population and mismatch between supply and demand hold opportunity in the long term.

They envisage growth of Nigeria’s economy, which stood at 1.94 percent in the second quarter of the year, to return to pre-recession level in the next decade, foreseeing a boon for the sector, given that it mirrors the trend in the macro-economy.

“The Nigerian market determines the fate of the entire African market. If Nigeria won’t be successful, it will be same for Africa,” said Derick Roper, CEO at South African-based Novare Equity Partners at the recently held African Real Estate Conference in Lagos.

Roper said Nigeria’s huge population of about 200 million was what had been driving his firm’s decision to continue investing in the country.

“In the next five to 10 years, Nigeria will provide opportunities for future-minded investors, albeit it requires long-term planning,” he said.

A recent report published by the United Nations titled ‘World Population Prospects’ puts Nigeria’s population at 402 million by 2050, noting Nigeria will unseat the United States as world’s third most populous nation.

But Nigeria’s population growth currently at 2.6 percent continues to outperform economic growth for four years running. And it is expected to quadruple by 2050 without enough amenities and employment to sustain such a huge figure.

According to Kevin Teerovengadum, a co-founder of Proptech Africa, the mismatch between supply and demand is what makes Nigeria his choice market for investment.

“If we were to go by the ease of doing business, we won’t establish in Nigeria. But the gap between supply and effective demand is enough incentive for us,” said Teeroovengadum at the conference.

“It all boils down to your market strategies, and keeping it consistent,” he posited.

Nigeria’s real estate sector contracted 3.8 percent in the second quarter, after a marginal 0.93 percent expansion in the preceding quarter.

The market is currently facing a glut of commercial real estate, particularly prime office buildings amid weak demand due to squeezed purchasing power of consumers.

But experts say a period of economic downturn or gradual pick-up is the best time to invest to leverage value appreciation prior to market boom.

The efforts of the Federal Government to deliver affordable housing units have not paid off, as over 50 percent of Nigerians are yet to become homeowners.

This is because of the high mortgage rate of over 20 percent, rigorous process in mortgage application and oversupply as well as low liquidity for funding. Little wonder the housing sector contributes abysmally to the broader economy.

Source: Businessdayng


About- Co-operative Housing

Cooperative Housing International (CHI) is one of the eight sectoral organisations of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). CHI promotes cooperative housing as an economic and social solution to the problem of providing shelter.

Housing coops come in many forms. Some coops are townhouses and small buildings with just a handful of units. Others are large apartment-style buildings with hundreds of units. Coops are different from private rental housing because the residents decide how the coop is operated. Every member gets a vote in approving annual budgets, electing directors and setting policies on the coop’s overall direction.

CHI raises awareness about cooperative housing by promoting its successes on a global level. We facilitate networking opportunities among existing and upcoming cooperative leaders via panel discussions and symposiums. Highlighting good practices from around the globe and discussing key issues is ensuring that cooperative housing remains an innovative and flexible housing model that is adaptable to local housing needs.

Through an active board of directors and dedicated staff, we deliver a relevant work program in harmony with the strategic objectives of the ICA. The board of directors meets twice annually and the executive committee meets virtually bi-monthly.

CHI is not involved in the development of cooperative housing but through its international network, it provides links to technical expertise. The resources section of our website also includes useful tools and resources on topics ranging from governance to finance. You can search by topic and/or by country or simply scroll through the pages and pages of information.

A collaboration with the CoHabitat Network is further widening CHI’s network with collaborative housing partners on every continent. CoHabitat Network’s digital platform is a wiki-inspired resource that provides detailed information on numerous collaborative housing initiatives around the world.

As the Guidance Notes to the Cooperative Principles states, “Cooperatives are active in every sector of the global economy. A key distinguishing feature is that cooperatives create wealth for the many members of cooperatives who engage in cooperative businesses as service users, producers, independent business owners, consumers, and workers…”  It is this defining feature that separates cooperative housing from market owner-occupier or investor-owned housing.  Housing cooperatives are operated by and for the resident members and not for the purpose of personal or corporate profit. Their potential for creating thriving and caring communities is achieved through coexistence in a democratic habitat.

It is the job of Cooperative Housing International to raise awareness of the potential of housing co-ops as widely as possible. To find out more about cooperative housing you can read one of our many resources.

Source: housinginternational

Why NMRC, FMBN and Family Homes Funds Must Partner Now

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN) and Family Homes Funds (FHF) are significant institutions in the drive towards affordable housing provision in Nigeria. Though saddled with distinct responsibilities, they are primarily set up for a singular objective, as already mentioned – affordable housing.

It is the believe of many stakeholders that one of the most important things necessary for scaling housing supply in Nigeria is for established institutions to collaborate more, learn from each other’s experiences and adapt to existential challenges.

The NMRC is a private sector-driven mortgage refinancing company with the public purpose of promoting home ownership for Nigerians while deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets. Its vision is to be the dominant housing partner in Nigeria, with a mission to break down barriers to home ownership by providing liquidity, affordability, accessibility and stability to the housing market in Nigeria. FMBN is equally tasked with the responsibility of supplying the mortgage markets with sustainable liquidity for the advancement of home ownership among Nigerians anchored on mortgage financing. The Family Homes Funds is a federal government social housing scheme that invests in the structures to create the conditions for low to middle income earning families to secure their own homes and create jobs for hardworking Nigerians.

It is obvious that the three bodies perform very important roles for the development of Nigeria’s housing sector, and it is only right for them to identify urgent areas of cooperation and work on them. Of course this is already going on, but for the kind of housing deficit that we have in Nigeria, there is need for more synergy.

The Family Homes Funds has developed and continues to develop multiple affordable housing projects across the country, and has in the process collated a lot of data which it should make available to NMRC whom has on its own developed a Mortgage Market Information Portal (MMIP). NMRC has been in the forefront of driving housing market intelligence as a key area of activity and focus, and any collaboration from FHF and FMBN in this area will go a long way to deepen the data pool and aid project execution.

The NMRC MMIP portal is a decision-making tool that supports the growth of affordable housing and housing finance markets in Nigeria. The NMRC MMIP, is currently the repository for the National Real Estate Data Collation Programme making it a primal point of call for industry stakeholders seeking relevant and timely data on Nigeria’s housing sector.

There is a mismatch between the demand for housing and its supply in Nigeria. The demand out-weight the meagre supply, and the only way to meet demand with commensurate supply is for the stakeholders responding for the supply side to work closely, identify their greatest challenges and foster a harmonious and dependent working relationship.

Why Family Homes Funds Builds for Low Income Earners

Nigeria homeless statistics is increasingly worrisome. With at least 17 million deficit, the majority of Nigerians who also fall below the poverty line do not have decent roofs over their heads. Coupled with growing urban population and housing policy summersaults, millions of Nigerians resort to makeshift tents in slums and ghettos that have now spread across the country’s urban skylines.

In spite of this huge challenge, the country has struggled over decades to come up with a sustainable action plans that will reduce the incredible housing gap in the country.

Most government housing projects in the past have focused mainly on the elite class. When the housing projects are completed, they are often unaffordable for those who truly needs them the most – the low to middle income earners. This has further worsened the housing crisis.

It is against this backdrop that the current administration under the leadership President Muhammadu Buhari introduced new policy measures to address the housing challenges in the country, especially to help the poor own homes.

The Family Homes Fund Limited is one of such new initiatives. The Fund is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority as founding shareholders. The Fund is the largest affordable housing-focused fund in Sub-Sahara Africa, leveraging its significant capital (in excess of N1trn by 2023) to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians on low to medium income groups. Through strategic partnerships with various players in the sector and some of the world’s main Development Finance Institutions, the Fund has an ambitious commitment to facilitate and supply 500,000 homes and 1.5million jobs for the low income earners by 2023.

With its many social housing rental and home ownership schemes like Help To Own, Rent To Own among others, the impact of Family Homes Funds is already being felt by Nigerians after a take-off that hasn’t been more than 12 months.

According to the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds (FHF), Mr Femi Adewole, the most transformative thing they can do is to introduce a formal rental system into the market.

The Fund has launched a social housing rental housing fund to provide affordable housing opportunities for Nigerians on very low and medium income. The cost of monthly rentals doesn’t exceed 40% of household income and beneficiaries will have an option to buy at any time they are able to do so.

Many Nigerians on low income are unable to buy a home either because they do not have sufficient savings for a deposit or are currently unable to meet requirements for a mortgage. The Family Homes Funds’ Rental Housing Fund gives Nigerians on low income a first step on the housing ladder. Eligible beneficiaries are able to lease a decent home for a monthly cost not exceeding 40% of their household income and an option to buy the home anytime.

For the first 5 years of the loan, no payments need to be made by the beneficiaries. From the 6th year, monthly payments will be made to start repaying both interest and capital to assist the purchaser. The amount paid starts low and increases each year in gradual steps (average 6.5% per annum) in order for the HTB loan to be fully repaid by the 20th year, the same year the mortgage is expected to be fully repaid. To qualify, households will have earnings between N600k to N1.2m per annum and the new home must cost less than N7.5m. An exception is made in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano where the cost of a new home can be as high as N9m. Households benefiting from Loan Assistance will not be owners of a suitable home and will include one income earner who is under 35 years of age and does not have to be one of the people applying for the scheme or the loan but must be available to help with repayments.

The fund has completed the construction of 400 homes with an average cost of N3.5million in Grand Luvu, Nasarawa State. Another 650 have been completed in Delta state and given to low income earners.

In Borno, the Fund is developing 4,900 housing project for civil servants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

According to the MD of FHF, Femi Adewole, 1900 of the 4900 homes are targeted at civil servants, mostly middle and low income civil servants, while 3000 is being built for IDPs whom have been displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

Developments put at least 30, 000 which will benefit low income earners in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Adamawa, Yobe and Kaduna are currently ongoing. As the Fund builds capacity through the ongoing recruitment campaign, it will achieve a program of 80,000 homes by December 2019.

FHF and Creation of New Jobs

Ongoing investments are already making a real difference with over 13,000 jobs created and about 360,000 to be created from current development pipeline. The Grand Luvu Project in Nasarawa State has created about 8000 jobs.

Many young people, especially those who were previously unemployed have been able to obtain training on the Funds Grand Luvu project, acquire valuable skills with guaranteed long-term employment and income to support their families. Same goes for the unskilled unemployed youths who depend on their family until they were employed as masons or carpenters on the project sites.


In Kaduna, the Millennium City project has directly engaged slightly over 200 persons which includes local artisans including carpenters and brick layers. The construction need for accountants, surveyors, engineers, etc. has created a lot of jobs since commencement.

According to officials of the fund “Our focus is to create homes that people, particularly those on low income can afford but beyond that, ensure that we provide opportunity for them to earn decent wages consistently through our investment in these projects.

“We have spent the last year building very strong foundations for a major take off and now we should start seeing the results in affordable homes and jobs for local people.”

Family Home Fund’s Deserved Accolade

For Nigerians who had totally given up hope of ever owning a home of their own, especially because of cost, this is definitely a new era of hope. Times are changing and homes are being built, just as jobs are being created.

Many Nigerians on low income have always been unable to buy a home either because they do not have sufficient savings for a deposit or are unable to meet requirements for a mortgage. The Family Homes Funds intends to set up a Rental Housing Fund to give Nigerians on low income a first step on the housing ladder. When the Fund is launched, eligible beneficiaries will be able to lease a decent home for a monthly cost not exceeding 40% of their household income including an option to buy the home at any anytime.

It is the expectation of many that Family Homes Fund do not fail Nigerians. If Nigeria must close its housing gap and catch up with other countries, then Family Homes Fund has brought a timely intervention that must be sustained with utmost commitment from all parties, especially the government.


Coping with Changing Demographic Structures through Modular Housing

In the Republic of Korea, modular homes assembled like LEGO units are being developed as a response to the growing need for small to mid-size housing.


There is a growing demand for single or two-person residential housing units in the Republic of Korea because of the country’s rapid aging trend coupled with low fertility rate.

Government data in 2017 revealed that Korean women are projected to have only 1.05 children in their lifetime, far short of the 2.1 needed to maintain population stability(link is external). Fewer and fewer young people are getting married because of soaring unemployment(link is external). Experts also cited the high cost of raising a child, long hours of work, and limited daycare options as contributing factors(link is external).

Likewise, in 2016, the number of elderly people in Korea exceeded the number of young people(link is external) for the first time in history.

This trend prompted the increasing demand for small to mid-size rental housing. With skyrocketing residential rent and lease fees, high school or college graduates, university and college students, newlyweds, household of three or less, and senior citizens are left with limited options.

Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology(link is external) recognized the potential of modular housing as a fitting solution to this socioeconomic problem.

Efficiency of Modular Housing

Modular houses are built through modular construction system which is more eco-friendly and faster method than onsite construction. In this system, over 70% of the housing components like windows, outer walls, front and back doors, bathroom, electrical wiring and piping, bath, and kitchen are produced and prefabricated in factories. These parts are then delivered to the construction site and assembled like LEGO blocks.

Modular system is effective in buildings with repeated, identical spaces, such as dormitories, studios, or hotels, making it suitable for apartment complexes for single- or two-member households. If demolished, modular housing will not produce construction waste. Instead, it can be reused as structure for new houses.

Enhanced Modular Housing Model

The institute studied public rental houses that were built using the modular construction method. The results of the study were the basis of the development of design technology, environmental performance, structural and construction technologies, manufacturing productivity improvement, and quality control technologies for customer-tailored modular housing construction.

A new model that meets housing construction standards and one that is capable of solving the common technical challenges of modular housing namely structural safety, sound insulation, and fire resistance was developed.

Structurally safe mid-rise building

Prior construction technologies in the Republic of Korea could only guaranty the structural safety of up to three-story modular homes.

The new model used lightweight synthetic floor panels with increased shipping and lifting efficiency and internal and inter-modular joints that can support optimal structure performance. These secured the structural safety of modular homes with more than five floors – a first in the Republic of Korea.

Soundproof and fire resistant units

Noise insulation flooring structure and dry-wall construction were used to block external and inter-household noise transmission.

To prevent the heat bridge and airtightness phenomena, shapes were joined in a stepped structure while integrated external thermal insulation corner walls were installed to improve the heat insulation of the units.

Cost-efficient construction

The new model was designed using the Modular Coordination (MC) and Building Information Modeling (BIM)-Integrated Design System. BIM allows developers to create virtual versions of the building through 4D simulations. This is a safe means for engineers to test building design and materials thus lessening the cost of actual execution. This reduced the design and construction duration by 10%.

Applying the Design

In 2017, the six-story Gayang Complex in Gayang-dong, Gangseo District, Seoul was completed. It is the Republic of Korea’s first multi-family public rental housing built using the modular construction system and can accommodate 30 households. This was erected 50% faster than a typical reinforced concrete construction. The housing units are now used for Seoul Metropolitan City’s public rental housing programs for young people who just started their careers.

In 2018, the institute, in collaboration with Korea Land and Housing Corporation, built the second modular housing for public rental projects in Cheonan City, Chungnam Province.

Source: development.asia

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