Types Of Interior Wall Finishes Materials

What are interior wall finishes?

As the name implies, ‘wall finishes’, it is the finish given to the wall of a property to enhance the interior or exterior look. Wall finishes used for the interiors are quite delicate and need maintenance. With the minimalist movement: less is more and other trends, there has been increase in the usage of various types of wall finishes for the aesthetic purpose in the interiors and exteriors of properties.

Why You Need An Interior Wall Finish

The need to get a good interior wall finish cannot be overemphasized. You don’t want to have your home looking like a throwback into the 80s. You want your home or office to make the perfect statement and still be relevant with trends. When you choose the right interior wall finish, it adds to the overall aesthetics of the structure unlike leaving it plain. Another is that it adds to the value of your property, especially when you intend to sell in the future.

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Types Of Interior Wall Finishes Material

It is important to note that there are different types of interior wall finishes materials that can be used in adding to the aesthetics and value of your property. However, below are some of the interior wall finishes you can find.

Wood Panelling

Wood Panelling is one of the numerous interior wall finishes material you can use. It is a decorative treatment done with the wooden panels of a wall in various designs. The material is often used on plywood and wood covered with veneer or laminate. It is not unusual to see this kind of finishing in top class hostel bedrooms.

Tile Cladding

Tile Cladding is one of the common interior wall finishing materials used in decorating homes or offices. There are different kind of tiles, for example, granite, marble, glazed tiles or vitrified tiles used for tile cladding. The selection of the type you want to use for your property is often dependent on the place where it is to be applied. They are also available in variety of shapes and colours.

Pebbles Finish

The pebble finish is another type of interior wall finish, it is a very simple and attractive finish obtained by pasting small pebbles on the walls with cement mortar as an adhesive. Pebbles finishes are often used for exterior facades. It is also commonly used to give nice flowing effect to the waterfalls that are created especially designed for Hotel Interiors or as a part of Exterior Landscaping.

Flakes Finish

It is a special material used to enhance the elevation treatment of the building. The flakes finish is majorly used for the exterior facade. It has also been used for the interiors but to a very small extent. The application of flakes finish is often avoided in the interiors because chipping off of flakes is a trouble. The flakes are applied with a trowel on walls over a coat of adhesive.

Canfor Finish

This type of interior wall finish is often used for residential apartments. The Canfor finish is also known as Faux finish. It adds a unique aesthetic appeal to any structure it is used in. It comes in 6mm thickness and in different designs. This finish is chosen when a false finish is to be given. It gives a stone wall or brick wall effect.

Coral Finish  

The Coral finish material is similar to other kinds of interior wall finishes like the Plaster of Paris Finish and Gypsum Plaster Finish. It, however, gives a rough edgy finish when applied. It is preferably used on the exteriors.

Sand Textured Finish  

Sand Textured finish is another type of interior wall finish used to give fine texture to the walls. This wall finish is not very commonly used because of its grains coming out. It is however commonly used for ceilings.

Stained Glass Finish

Another type of interior wall finishes on the list is the Stained Glass Finish, and it usually involves a lot of creative work. The glass is decorated with itching, frosting, glass pasting and finally colouring with suitable colours according to the theme. The stained glass panels are used on walls and ceilings.

The development of smart cities replaces old risks and brings new ones

Smart cities are entering a new phase, as not only are city leaders readily installing digital solutions to improve efficiencies, such as cutting down the minutes spent on a daily commute, but residents are now able to use their smartphones as the keys to the city that unlock further capabilities by injecting additional data into the ‘smart’ ecosystem.

Smart cities are also spreading from the major metropolitan areas where they’ve typically originated to smaller locales.

“What we’ve seen is this funnel down from large metropolitan, high density, urban areas. The projects that they have in New York, Boston, Jakarta – really large global cities – have started to come down to some of the more medium-sized urban environments – Arlington, Texas, Kansas City – where you’re seeing deployment of certain technology that’s getting them used to the process needed to cooperate between the public and private entities,” said Thom Rickert, vice president and emerging risks specialist of Trident Public Risk Solutions.

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Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Paris are just a few of the other cities across the globe getting attention for their smart city initiatives, though they’re far from the only ones. Some, like Copenhagen, are also employing sustainability models and going ‘green’ through, for example, the replacement of street lights with LED lighting, which brings an almost immediate benefit in terms of maintenance and electricity costs, explained Rickert. Citizens in turn see improvements from walking in better lit areas.

Hard to avoid in the discussion of smart cities are autonomous vehicle, which are likewise continuing to develop. There has been more deployment of test areas for automated scooters, bikes, and buses in geo-fenced locations, alongside other automated devices.

“More and more cities have been using drones,” said Rickert. “Most of it is focused on public safety, so observing accident scenes, finding people during natural catastrophes, and there have been some that have deployed them for getting emergency medical treatment to somebody who’s remote before the emergency responders can get there. In the city operations – inspecting roofs, rather than having to climb up there – those things we’ve seen more and more cities acquire, and put together policies for their use.”

With new and improved services come new risks as well, as smart city technology continues to spread across continents.

“There’s a recognition that because the key to the continued development of smart city technology, whatever it is – whether it’s infrastructure, software, hardware – there is a significant amount of data that is being collected, so not only do you have to find ways to store it, categorise it, analyse it, and act on it, you have to build a trust with the community that data [that’s] being collected, especially the things that could be personally identifiable, is being protected,” Rickert told Insurance Business, adding that as a result of this recognition and recent cyberattacks targeting cities, “the purchasing and the planning for cyber-related incidents has increased exponentially. I think even small towns, just with trying to protect the information about the people who visit the library, are realising that they need some kind of cyber data compromise insurance.

“They’re talking to their agents and brokers about what they can do. Some small cities can’t afford $10 million of coverage, but they can afford $1 million of coverage, and they’re saying, ‘I need something, I need to show that we’re aware.’ When they purchase that insurance, normally now the carriers are [also] trying to offer some risk mitigation resources.”

Making sure that security protocols are in place is one of the items that resources are being used for, and as the downstream effects of technology become even clearer and loss patterns continue to evolve – Rickert highlights the use of drones for inspecting buildings as, for instance, having an impact on workers’ compensation claims since they replace the risk of city employees having to climb up onto a building – the safety of data needs to be top of mind.

“The risks associated with cyberattacks, and both the compromising of networks and compromising of the citizens’ or employees’ personal data has to be forefront, and I think cities are recognising that they both need risk mitigation strategies and risk transfer strategies,” said Rickert.

Source: insurancebusinessmag.com

How To Identify The 4 most common mortgage and real estate scams

The last thing consumers should have to worry about is being scammed when they buy or rent a home, or consider refinancing options.Unfortunately, criminals are getting more creative in how they target their victims, leading to major financial headaches for their unsuspecting victims.

In 2017 alone, 9,645 victims reported real estate fraud, resulting in losses of more than $56.2 million, according to data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Many people are too embarrassed to file complaints, making it harder to catch the scammers who repeatedly victimize unwitting homeowners and homebuyers, says Melinda Opperman, executive vice president of community outreach and industry relations with Credit.org — a nonprofit credit counseling agency and member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC.

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“It’s a huge problem,” Opperman says. “A lot of the time, people don’t realize that using public WiFi connections where they conduct personal business through email or websites opens them up to (these scams) because the communications are not secure.”

Here are four common real estate and mortgage scams to keep on your radar — and tips to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim.

Escrow wire fraud

What it looks like:You get an email, phone call or text from someone purporting to be from the title or escrow company with instructions on where to wire your escrow funds. Fraudsters set up fake websites that appear similar to the title or lending company you’re working with, making it seem like the real deal. Scammers use spoofing tactics to make phone numbers, websites and email addresses appear familiar, but one number or letter is off — an easy thing to miss at first glance, Opperman says.

So you follow the wire instructions and assume all is well when, in fact, you’ve just become the latest victim of escrow fraud. The scammers? They’ve withdrawn the funds from an offshore account somewhere and are sailing into the sunset with your hard-earned money. Meanwhile, you have few options for retrieving it.

How to protect yourself: Before you send money to a third party, go back to the original documents you received from your lender and call the phone numbers listed there to verify the wiring instructions you received. Never click on email or text links, or send money online, without verifying wire instructions with a live person on the phone from a number that you’ve called and verified, Opperman says.

Be wary of any email or text requesting a change to wiring instructions you already have, says Odeta Kushi, senior economist with First American Financial Corporation. Always confirm the escrow account number before wiring money, and call your settlement agent to verify the transfer of the funds immediately after you’re done, she advises.

Loan flipping

What it looks like: Loan flipping is when a predatory lender persuades a homeowner to refinance a mortgage repeatedly, often borrowing more money each time. The scammer charges high fees and points with each transaction, and homeowners get stuck with higher loan payments they can’t afford after being duped into borrowing most of their home’s equity, Opperman says.

Seniors with memory impairment are especially vulnerable to these scams because they have significant home equity and may not realize they’re being taken advantage of, Opperman says. Predatory lenders convince homeowners they can help them find a better loan product or use a cash-out refinance to pay for home renovations to make their homes more accessible as they age in place, Opperman says.

How to protect yourself: Elderly homeowners who have cognitive issues should involve a trusted relative or friend in any key financial discussion, especially about tapping home equity. If you’ve recently completed mortgage refinance, it’s usually not in your best interest to do another transaction right away, Opperman says.

If predatory lenders are actively seeking you out and you haven’t requested their help, that’s another warning sign that something is off . Work only with known banks or lenders, and question all fees and penalties presented to you, Opperman says. Lenders are required to provide loan estimates and closing disclosures that list all fees and third-party costs. Review these documents carefully or have a trusted adviser do this if you are refinancing your mortgage.

Foreclosure relief

What it looks like: People who fall on hard times and get behind on their mortgage payments can become desperate to save their homes. That’s when scammers, who have access to public records of homes in pre-foreclosure, swoop in with offers of foreclosure relief to capitalize on homeowners’ vulnerability, Opperman says.

“Scammers will claim that they can help homeowners save their homes and reduce their mortgage payments for a large, up-front fee,” Opperman says, “but they often leave our clients in worse financial shape.”

Some fraudsters claim they’re affiliated with the government or government housing assistance programs. They can swindle homeowners out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees, according to the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC.

How to protect yourself: The best way to avoid foreclosure is to work directly with your loan servicer to modify your existing loan, request forbearance, or make some other arrangement. Homeowners can first enlist the help of a HUD-accredited housing counselor to see what options they have, then include their counselor on a three-way call to their lender to find solutions, Opperman says.

“A scammer will tell you not to talk to your lender, and that’s a huge red flag,” Opperman says. “It’s hard to speak to your lender when you’re in imminent default or become delinquent because you’re afraid it might speed up (losing your home). But you have to open the lines of communication with your lender.”

Rental scams

What it looks like: Scammers post property rental ads on Craigslist or social media pages to lure in unsuspecting renters, sometimes using photos from other listings. The scammers, who have no connection to the property or its owner, will ask for an upfront payment to let you see the property or hold it as a deposit. In reality, they’re just looking to get quick cash through nefarious means.

Rental scams are alarmingly common. An estimated 5.2 million U.S. renters say they have lost money from rental fraud, according to a recent survey from Apartment List. Younger renters are the likeliest victims, with 9.1 percent of 18- to 29-year-old renters having lost money on such a scam, compared with 6.4 percent of all renters, the survey revealed. And of those who did lose money to scammers, one in three lost more than $1,000, likely after paying a security deposit or rent on a fake rental property, Apartment List found.

How to protect yourself: Be suspicious of anyone who asks for a cash deposit upfront to see a property, says Nicole Durosko of Warburg Realty in New York City. Ensure you’re dealing with the real property owner before negotiating rental terms or seeing a property in person. You can search the local property appraiser’s website to find out who the current property owner is and look for contact information online.

“Avoid doing transactions via email or on the phone,” Durosko says. “It’s best to be face-to-face to confirm the property ownership, sign any required documentation, and (make a) payment.”

Use a check (never cash) to make a payment so you have an automatic receipt of it, Durosko advises. Finally, always insist on speaking with the property owner before signing a contract or making a payment if people say they’re representing the owner. If someone claims to be a real estate agent, ask to see a license and take a picture of it so you can confirm the information online through your state’s division of real estate licensing, Durosko says.

Next steps to take if you’re targeted

Trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right or seems too good to be true. Work with only professional lenders associated with local and/or national trade associations, and ask for referrals from family members and friends. If you’re an older homeowner (or a caregiver to someone who is), be on your guard when companies pressure you to tap your home equity.

Source: triblive.com

How to add value to your property with renovations

When it comes to home renovations, the money that you put in cannot always be recouped when it comes time to sell.

Most people want to get the best value for their dollar when doing home renovations and there are some important things to keep in mind.

We all want to maximise that precious renovation budget to achieve a better return when it’s time to sell.

Here are some ideas for property renovation or remodeling tips to help you add value to your property when it comes to time to sell.

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Let there be space and light

Dark, cramped rooms are no good when it comes to real estate. One thing that homeowners can do to increase the appeal of their property is open the house to create more of a flow and enhance natural light.

If your house has small rooms that block the flow of natural light, you may want to consider knocking down some walls and opening your floor plan. Open floor plans usually involve combining your kitchen, dining and living areas into one big space that suits a casual lifestyle.

Vaulted ceilings are another idea that can help create the illusion of more space. Skylights can help flood your home in natural light. There are several options when it comes to brightening up your home with natural light and these options have a range of prices.

Update the heart of your home

Kitchen remodels can really add value to your home, but it is also important to be careful. It’s known as the heart of the house for a good reason. When planning a kitchen remodel, it is important to consider the cost of your materials versus the value.

An updated kitchen appeals to a buyer’s emotions and a homeowner’s wallet because, if done correctly, it can give you close to a 100 percent return on your investment. Plenty of counter and cabinet space is a must, and granite countertops are popular with buyers.

Replacing old door knobs, cupboard handles, tap fittings, and ceiling lights is good for a quick, low-cost revamp while, for the more adventurous, updating the splashbacks with new tiles can give the space instant rejuvenation.

The landscape and the curb appeal

The curb appeal of your home is incredibly important when it comes time to sell. The first impression of a home that someone will have is from the look of the exterior.

If the exterior color of your house is dated or fading, painting is a good place to start your improvements. Choose colors and exterior details that match the period of your house. Shutters add charm and depth, but not if they’re hanging crooked or flaking paint.

The driveway should be paved properly, and any lawn space should be properly maintained. Consider drought tolerant plants if you are not great at gardening. If you have a deck, add some nice furniture, or create a colorful garden in some extra space.

Create a study or a home office

With many people choosing to work from nowadays and more companies giving employees the option to telecommute, it might be wise to create a home office space to appeal to the potential buyer.

Converting an unused den, sun-room or extra bedroom is a great way to take care of business from the comfort of your home. You’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of space to spread out your workload and ample cabinets for storing supplies and archival paperwork.

Update or add another bathroom

Bathroom renovations tend to be fairly low-cost and can deliver good bang for your buck. If there are not enough bathrooms or if they are very outdated, it will be a big turn off to potential buyers.

Updating bathroom amenities and fixtures or adding an additional bathroom if you have the space can really increase a home’s sale appeal.

Before you decide on a remodel, consider the cost versus the value, and decide if the remodel you want to do is a worthy investment. Besides the above-mentioned renovations, there more renovations that could add value to your property, have a thorough look around to see what you can do.

Source: thesouthafrican.com

How to Get a Property with a Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) in Nigeria

Most Nigerians do not know about the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  Although, Several experts had predicted that the real estate sector is the next money-spinner for investors in the country. To the average Nigerian, this may be all talks and no actions. Many reasons, including wrong investment options, and lack of funds, according to experts in their presentations, may be obstacles to this realization. This position was aptly captured by Mr. Olumayowa Ogunwemimo In his presentation titled: “REIT as an alternative source of real estate financing in Nigeria,’’

The REITs alternative

Ogunwemimo regretted that Nigeria has not fully tapped into the availability of other sources of financing projects in the sector, which would serve as a big complement to the traditional sources of finance to the real estate industry. For instance, he explained that while Nigeria is yet to fully capitalise on the inherent benefits of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), to significantly finance real estate developments, other countries have since keyed into the scheme. REITs are a form of collective investment scheme regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which pools capital from investors and uses same in the acquisition of income generating real estate, mortgage loans, or a combination of both. The portfolio of underlying assets is placed under professional management to maximise returns to the investors, who are able to hold indirect interest in real estate on a flow-through basis, placing them in a position as if the property were held as a direct investment.

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Types of REITs

Ogunwemimo explained that there are three types of REITs; viz: Equity REITs, Mortgage REITs and Hybrid REITs. He explained that Equity REITs are real estate companies that acquire commercial properties – such as office buildings, shopping centers and apartment buildings – and lease the space in the structures to tenants, who pay rent.  After paying the expenses associated with operating their properties, Equity REITs pay out yearly the bulk of the income they collect to their shareholders as dividends.  Equity REITs also include capital appreciation from the sale of properties in the dividends they pay.  In all cases, this significant dividend distribution is designed to approximate the investment return investors would receive if they owned properties directly.

Mortgage REITs deal in investment and ownership of short or long-term property mortgages. It loans money for mortgages to owners of real estate, or purchase existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Their income is derived from the interest they earn on the mortgage loans. Both are registered with the SEC, but non-listed REITs are sold directly to investors by brokerage firms and are not traded on any exchange.  Equity and Mortgage REITs also can be privately held.

According to Ogunwemimo, Hybrid REITs is a combination of the investment strategies of equity REITs and mortgage REITs by way of investing in both properties and mortgages. Their income comes from rentals, capital appreciation, interest, and loan placement fees.

Benefits

REITs has been found to come with a lot of benefits. One of this is portfolio diversification, as real estate investment offers an alternative to equities and fixed income securities, especially for investors interested in diversification.

Liquidity is also another benefit accruable from REITs as it makes for relatively liquid assets (when compared to direct investment in real estate) that can be sold fairly quickly to raise cash or to take advantage of other investment opportunities.

Since a large percentage of property developers’assets are still tied up in real estate assets, REIT provides an opportunity for such companies to free up this cash and still hold an indirect interest in a portion of the assets.

Accessibility is also a key component of REITs as it allows investors with a small amount to diversify their holdings between various geographic areas and property specializations, among other benefits.

Challenges

Ogunwemimo noted that unlike most countries where REITs enjoy a tax-exempt status when it distributes at least 90 percent of its income to investors, in Nigeria, the tax laws are not explicit; hence, an unfavorable tax regime.

Another challenge to this scheme is poor investors’ awareness, as investors in Nigeria have little or no knowledge of REITs.

Also, Return on investment in REITs is relatively low when compared to risk-free government securities, thus making investments in real estate assets unattractive to investors. Equally, the cost of transferring assets from the sponsor to the REIT has hitherto been onerous, constraining the ability of the REIT to generate competitive returns.

However, with the introduction of the Declaration of Trust  Structure (DoT), there has been a significant reduction in the charges incurred by REITs when transferring the assets from the sponsor to the REIT.

Source: The Nation

A Look At Housing Co-operatives In Egypt

Co-operatives were established as part of the “anti-colonial struggle”. The emerging co-operatives were decentralised and self-managed structures based on the Raiffeisen and the British industrial and provident society legal framework.The co-operative movement today consists of five sectors: consumer, agriculture, fishery, housing and production.There are 18 thousand democratic co-operative organisations,providing services to 25 million citizens.

The concept of housing co-operatives first appeared in the 1930s with the aim of providing individuals with appropriate dwellings. These initiatives were based on individual initiatives with some State support.

Until the 1950s, at which time rent control laws were implemented, housing was supplied by private developers. The post revolutionary government (after 1952) was quite active in housing, dealing with dramatic housing conditions. The public sector and semi-public agencies which included housing co-operatives played a major role in housing development from this point on. The financing of these developments came from personal and family savings, the General Building and Housing Co-operative Authority (GAHBC), and low-interest loans from the governorates. GAHBC was created in 1954 to assist co-operatives in providing housing to their members.

Housing co-operative development started in Cairo with the first housing co-operative called Al Shamshargy – the Co-operative Association for Housing – established in 1952 in Maadi. Such development expanded to other cities and governorates and by 1953 21 housing co-operatives had been developed (13 in Cairo, 4 in Giza, and others in Sharqyam Daqahlya, Port Said and Assuit).

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In Egypt each co-operative sector has its respective law. Before the adoption of a specific housing co-operative law in 1981, housing co-operatives were ruled by the Consumptive Co-operative Law no.109/1975 and were under the supervision of the Central Consumptive Co-operative Association. It was with the adoption of the specific law for housing co-operatives that the housing cooperative sector became independent. Then, internal systems for the primary, joint and united associations as well as the internal system for the Central Union were developed in addition to the implementation of regulations for the sector.

A stronger economy in the second half of the 1970s changed the housing situation. For the two next decades, private developers made important investments. The role of the public sector decreased and became limited to the building of low- and medium-cost units. However, the State assisted greatly the co-operative housing movement through loans dedicated to the co-operative associations (for example in 1991–1992 — 1,2 billion Egyptian pounds) as a result of an increase of co-operatives and membership from 1,660 to almost 2,000 housing co-operatives during the period of 1995–2006.

In 1995–1996 economic reform was implemented to lower the national public budget and reduce the national deficit. This reform reduced drastically the state loans – by 500 million Egyptian pounds in 1995–96. The interest rate for subsidized loans increased from 4% to 6%. Those new measures brought a change in the membership of the housing co-operatives.

Egypt is one of the most urbanized countries in the world with significant population growth in Cairo and Alexandria. The country’s population grows by 1,300,000 annually. This urbanisation brings a lot of informal housing, squatting, and slums. At the beginning of 2000, 400 slums/squatter settlements provided housing to 7 million people. According to Professor Hishma Aref, “50% to 75% of building activity in Cairo takes place through the informal sector”. This means that housing is built without proper land titles and financed through the non-official banking system; informal savings co-operatives being one such method. However, it is important to note that progress has been made with the concerted effort of the government, the private and the co-operative sector.

But the housing situation in Egypt is something of a contradiction, as there are two million vacant units. With 40% of the population living under the poverty line, the majority of people are unable to obtain and repay a loan. Egypt is facing a serious shortage of affordable housing. A more educated population is also demanding better housing conditions, resulting in higher costs and higher rents. The Egyptian housing co-operative leaders have identified three main obstacles in the development of housing co-operatives: very expensive land, high prices of building materials and limited subsidized loans based on eligible but unrealistic square footage.

In the last decades, the whole co-operative movement experienced a painful shift, from being fully supported and promoted by the State to a free market economy. Moreover, the relationship between the co-operative movement and the administrative governmental agencies is difficult. Even though the agencies do not intervene directly in the development of co-operatives as they did in the past, they still maintain strict control over the co-operatives. Co-operative development can be blocked; co-operatives can be dissolved and their activities can be arbitrarily obstructed affecting their growth and capacity to adapt to the new economy. It is particularly difficult for the agriculture sector but all sectors suffer from this problem.

Co-operative leaders are calling for a complete change for the cooperative movement – a new legislation as well as an overall appreciation of what co-operatives are and could do. The General Co-operative Union of Egypt (GCU), the apex organisation for cooperatives, has drafted and submitted to the Egyptian Parliament a new unified law for all co-operatives whatever their field. At this time, co-operatives are incorporated under different laws according to their sector of activities. The co-operative leaders have indicated that “the current co-operative laws are not compatible with the current socio-economic and political challenges”. The proposed law “aims at achieving legislation that secures: the autonomy of the co-operative movement, a coherent structure that emphasizes the economic identity of co-operatives as non-governmental organisations, and the role of the international principles of co-operation”.

Key characteristics of the Egyptian housing co-operatives are:

  • Mostly urban.
  • Owner-occupied: Members buy shares to get the right to occupy a unit. Members wishing to leave its unit during the first 10 years of occupation must reimburse 20% of the unit’s market value to the Co-operative. After the 10 year period, members have full rights on their units; mainly targeted at people with moderate incomes. Members of housing co-operatives from poorer social groups do not exceed 25%.
  • Constituted with people having a common reason to join – such as working in the same field (teachers, engineers, etc.) with the aim of providing them with housing.
  • Built according to the authorized engineering standards at lower prices than other sectors (according to surveys on national socio-economic development plans).
  • Under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing who is responsible to enforce the Co-operative Housing Law.

The housing co-operatives are responsible for:

  • Maintaining the buildings and properties.
  • Collecting the members’ savings and invest them in the housing projects.
  • Providing lands in accordance to the authority given to them by the state through the co-operative housing law.
  • Developing the housing projects (acquiring building materials, participate in designs, engineering and real estate studies).
  • Securing long-term loans.

One of the largest co-operative housing schemes in Egypt was implemented in 1978 with the upgrading of a 100,000 member slum financed through the US Housing Foundation.

The Law on Housing Co-operatives no.14/1981 specifies that housing co-operatives are exempted from numerous taxes and fees such as:

  • Taxes on industry and trade profits, and on the interest of deposits in banks and saving funds.
  • Taxes and fees levied by municipalities.
  • Custom taxes, statistical fees, importing fees and extra fees on imported tools, machines, primary building materials, and means of transportation.
  • Stamp taxes paid on contracts.
  • Several kind of fees on contracts and mortgages.
  • Fees for building licences and land allocation.
  • Legal and publishing fees.

Housing co-operatives receive a 25% discount on all State-owned land which could go up to 50% with the Minister of Finance’s approval.

The Egyptian Constitution requires the State to take care of the co-operative associations. Accordingly the Housing Co-operatives Law no 14, 1981 stipulates that State will offer support, protection, exemptions and privileges as described below:

  • Support: the law stipulates that a presidential resolution can transfer public money to co-operative housing projects without returns.
  • Protection: the law stipulates that co-operative housing projects, as public funds, should get all kinds of civil and criminal protection.
  • Exemption: the law grants full tax exemptions to the housing co-operatives in addition to exemptions from custom fees imposed on imported goods.
  • Privileges: the law requires the State to facilitate loans and the acquisition of lands to the housing co-operative association by applying discounts.

The Housing Co-operatives Law no.14, 1981 defines housing cooperatives as “democratic, popular organisations which aim at providing housing for their members, and the required services needed for integrating the housing environment, in addition to providing the property with maintenance and care”. The Federation of Co-operative Housing is under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing. Each ministry is in charge of enforcing their respective law and has the authority to inspect the administrative and financial administration, and monitor the boards of directors, the managers and the employees of housing co-operatives.

The co-operative housing movement in Egypt is a tiered system comprising four levels. It consists of 2,320 primary housing co-operatives, 4 Joint Associations for Building and Housing, 13 Federal Associations for Building and Housing and the Federation of Co-operative Housing (FCH) previously called Central Housing Co-operative Union.

The 4 Joint Associations for Building and Housing are responsible for carrying out the development of joint projects involving several housing co-operatives. They manage the development of the projects and get the necessary financing on behalf of the co-operatives.

The 13 Federal Associations for Building and Housing provide development services to the housing co-operatives in their respective governorates. The services include:

  • Carrying out studies and maintain statistics regarding the housing co-operative needs for lands and building materials.
  • Providing the housing co-operatives with lands (state-owned or private) at the lowest cost possible.
  • Buying on behalf of the housing co-operatives the building materials at wholesale prices.
  • Setting up factories for manufacturing and producing the building materials at the lowest prices possible.
  • Providing the transportation means to carry the building materials on sites.
  • Providing required design and execution expertise as well as building offices.
  • Implementing joint projects.
  • Getting loans to execute the projects.

The Federation of Co-operative Housing (FCH) is the Egyptian apex organisation for housing co-operatives. It is managed by a 19-member board of directors elected for five years. FCH supervises the activities of the primary housing co-operatives and the Joint and Federal Associations. FCH ensures that the activities are carried out in accordance with the co-operative principles. Specifically, FCH’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Making suggestions for the general policy for co-operative housing.
  • Promoting the co-operative ideology.
  • Delivering training and education through its co-operative training center.
  • Exchange and liaison with the international co-operative movement.
  • Conducting researches and studies; collecting information, statistics and data; publishing newspapers and periodicals.
  • Protecting the interest of its members by preparing the organisational, administrative and financial co-operative housing regulations for the minister’s approval.
  • Guiding the co-operatives with appropriate administrative, financial and accounting systems.
  • Providing technical and legal advice and arbitration.
  • Monitoring the operations of the co-operatives including annual budget audits.
  • Liquidating outdated units.
  • Investing money jointly with the housing co-operatives for the development of projects.

The housing co-operative movement has established and manages 129 co-operative tourist resorts on the Mediterranean Sea Coast.

Source: housinginternational.coop

How Nigerians Can Own Their Own Homes Through NHF

If you’ve nursed a long-term dream of becoming a homeowner but cannot afford a commercial housing loan, then here’s good news: you can now achieve that dream through the National Housing Fund (NHF).Whether you are  a civil servant, trader, artisan, commercial driver, or anything else, you too can benefit from the fund and own your own home.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of our Housing Development Programme on AIT

Why NHF?

The National Housing Fund was introduced by the Federal Government to enable Nigerians in all sectors of the economy — especially those within low and medium income levels who ordinarily cannot afford housing loans — to own houses. The fund is managed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.According to the Act that created the fund, the scheme will be funded through the following:

  • Mandatory contribution of 2.5 percent of monthly income of Nigerians earning at least N3,000 per annum in both public and private sectors
  • 10 percent of loan and advances portfolio of commercial and merchant banks
  • 20 percent of non-life and 40 percent of life funds in the housing sector (to be contributed by insurance companies)
  • Funds from the Federal Government

Funds gathered from all these sources become available for potential beneficiaries to borrow from, after they have contributed to the fund for at least six months.

Benefits

By registering with and contributing to the National Housing Fund, you stand to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Housing loan of up to 90 percent of the cost of the house
  • Fixed interest rate of 6 percent per annum throughout the life of the mortgage
  • Long repayment period (up to 30 years)
  • Refunds with 2 percent interest on retirement

However, note that you cannot borrow more than N15 million from the NHF.

How to register for the NHF

Registering for the National Housing Fund is a straightforward process. Here are the steps involved:

  • The employer (or self-employed individual) visits any branch of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to obtain the Employer Registration Form (NHF1).
  • The completed form is returned to the nearest branch of FMBN. The employer will be registered and an employer’s registration number will be issued, alongside an NHF2 form to be completed by the employees.
  • After employees complete their individual NHF2 forms and return them to the employer. The employer in turn submits all the forms to the FMBN.
  • The FMBN will then register all the employees and allocate employee participation numbers to them and issue them passbooks. Thereafter, the employer deducts 2.5 percent of the employees’ basic salaries as contributions to the NHF. At this point, the employees have become fully registered participants of the NHF.

So, if you work for an employee, you will register for the fund through your employer.

Getting the loan

This includes zero equity contribution for the provision of housing loans of up to N5 million and 10 percent contribution for housing loans ranging from N5 to N15 million by contributors to the NHF. The loan comes with 6 percent interest and is repayable over a period of 30 years.Other eligibility requirements include registering through a duly accredited mortgage loan originator and providing satisfactory evidence of regular income.

To access the loan, you must provide the following:

  • Open a savings account with a registered PMB
  • Have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee the loan.
  • Letter of consent to mortgage to your chosen PMB
  • Completed application form
  • Photocopy of title documents e.g. Certificate of Occupancy, Title Deed, etc.
  • Current valuation report on the proposed house to buy or bills of quantities (BOQ) for the house to be built
  • Three years tax clearance certificates
  • Copies of pay slips for the previous three months
  • Equity contribution of 30 percent, 20 percent or 10 percent depending on the loan amount applied for.
  • Offer letter/Acceptance and Allocation letter (in case of government projects)

Important things to note:

  • You cannot use the NHF to purchase a piece of land for building a house You’re expected to have your land ready before applying for the loan.
  • You can use the loan to either develop landed property or purchase a house directly from an estate developer.
  • You are allowed to obtain NHF loan facility only once in your lifetime.
  • The only collateral you need to secure the NHF loan is the property in question.

Affa Dickson Acho with Agency reports

Top 10 most developed states in Nigeria

Each of the 36 states can be nice to live in. Everything depends on where you were born and where your family and friends belong to. Still, being a part of the smaller and less developed states can play a big role in your childhood years. When we grow up and the time comes to select a college or university, find a good paying job and build a family, the thoughts come whether it is time to move to the most developed states in Nigeria or not. Why does this happen? It is understood most of us wish to live in a place with great infrastructure, many social facilities and financial opportunities.

This is when developed states in Nigeria come to our mind. Who doesn’t want to start his or her business in a place with many potential customers who have money? Taking all these thoughts into consideration, we have created a list of top 10 most developed states in Nigeria that offer amazing opportunities and great chances of changing your life for the better in 2019.

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1. Lagos State: Lagos is always number 1 when it comes to choosing the most developed state in Nigeria in 2019. This place attracts millions of citizens from all over the country. People choose to live here because Lagos is rich in industries, which means you can always find a job, and it also boasts wonderful infrastructure if compared to many smaller areas of our country. Lagos state has the fast-growing economy. This place is often called the financial center of Nigeria, and it is well known all across Africa.

2. Kano State: This is probably the most developed state in the Northern part of Nigeria. It is the heaven of agriculture and the place where many food crops are produced and exported. The country’s economy gets money from the export of groundnuts cultivated here. Besides, local businesses are involved in the industrial production of cotton, millet, chili pepper, and other popular products. Kano has always been a commercial center, and it remains an exciting place to live in 2019. It is one of the biggest industrial centers in our country after Lagos.

3. Anambra State: If you look at the map of Nigeria, you would see how small Anambra State is compared to others in terms of territory. Still, experts and locals call this area the ‘light of Nigeria’ because it has all the chances to even outgrow Lagos and Abuja in the future. Anambra State has many natural resources. Besides, local soils are arable, and this gives amazing opportunities for developing agro-based industries (farming, fisheries, pasturing, etc.) and building future businesses that could become the basis of the Nigerian economy.

4. Abia State: The state and its big commercial center Aba are also greatly developed. Firstly, the place is rich in gas and crude oil. Local production of these popular products contributes nearly 40 percent to the state’s gross domestic product. Most residents are involved in agriculture, but some find jobs at the textile manufacturing and different plants that produce cement, soap, cosmetics, plastic, footwear, etc.

5. Rivers State: Rivers State is not only one of the top 10 most developed states in Nigeria, but it also boasts an amazing wild life and flora collection. There are many rare tropical plants, insects and animals here, so you can enjoy both infrastructure, business opportunities and nature.

6. Enugu State: Enugu is an interesting place where you can start your business, receive education, and enjoy your life. The state’s major city (capital) is located at the intersection of the roads that lead to different developed cities such as Onitsha and Aba. This means that you can stay close to the country’s biggest trading centers. Enugu has a pleasant climate and great soils. People who enjoy it when the air temperature changes from 15 degrees Celsius in November to 30 degrees Celsius in February will love it here.

7. Akwa Ibom State Being geographically close to Abia and Rivers States, Akwa Ibom is also a wonderful place where several million Nigerians enjoy living. Why? Well, this area is developed and economically stable thanks to the gas and oil production. Besides, Akwa Ibom state boasts seaports, airport, and other infrastructure that attracts tourists, visitors from different corners of Nigeria and businesses.

8. Ogun State It is located next to Lagos State which is number one on our list. Being an important industrial and manufacturing hub, Ogun State has many job opportunities for specialists and young people looking for excellent places to start their career.

9. Oyo State Being the passage route between several major states, Oyo State is surrounded by Kwara, Osun, and Ogun States as well as the Republic of Benin. Government focused on this state even before official independence. Oyo state is home to the first Nigerian University, University of Ibadan which became fully autonomous from London soon after Nigeria’s independence. These days the state boasts many high schools, several universities, many attractions for visitors from all over the country and from outside Nigeria, and opportunities for people who are interested in agriculture. The local climate is great for growing maize, millet, rice, cocoa, plantains, and other crops.

10. Kaduna State Being located almost in the heart of Nigeria, Kaduna State can be a good place for obtaining an education, getting medical help, and doing your business. The state’s capital, Kaduna city is a big transportation hub with many roads and railroad. This place is developed, which should not surprise you because it used to be the capital of the Northern Region of Nigeria when the country was under British rule. All these developed states in Nigeria follow the latest tendencies and can be a wonderful home to you and family.

Source: www.legit.ng

 

India is building a brand new city from scratch

Gujarat International Finance-Tec City – or ‘GIFT’ for short – is a present for the Indian financial services sector.

The brand new city is designed to help India compete with international and regional finance hubs, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The team behind the project hope it will appeal to global firms by providing high-class infrastructure and facilities, with a stream of top Indian talent to fill jobs.

The opportunity is significant: India’s financial sector is growing rapidly, and could generate 11 million jobs and contribute up to $400 billion to GDP by 2020, according to the group behind the project.

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

The plan is to build a Central Business District (CBD) between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in the west of the country, with state-of-the-art connectivity, infrastructure and transport links.

By attracting international investment, the city’s developers estimate they could provide a million direct and indirect jobs, in areas including capital markets, trading and IT services. The city also hopes to take advantage of rapid economic growth, with the IMF forecasting  growth of more than 7% for the current fiscal year which ends in March 2019.

And the appeal of a financial services hub is clear. Take the City of London, for example, which was responsible for 50% of the UK sector’s output in 2017 and provided 1.1 million jobs.

White elephants and ghost cities

Building new infrastructure from scratch can be risky though – especially if no one moves in.

Consider Spain’s Ciudad Real airport, which opened in 2008 – only to close just four years later. It has remained closed ever since, with the site reportedly sold earlier this year for just a fraction of its build cost.

There are also the infamous ghost cities in China – entire developments that have stood empty since completion. Reserach published this year suggests that as many as 50 million homes in China stand empty.

Future-proofing our cities

However, ensuring urban areas are prepared – particularly as the Fourth Industrial Revolution changes the way we live our lives – is vital. By 2050,two-thirds of us will live in urban areas.

The World Economic Forum’s Agile Cities: Preparing for the fourth Industrial Revolution. report calls on cities to be agile in order to meet challenges but also to take advantage of new opportunities.

And if cities are to thrive, they will need to innovate with more advanced buildings and smart infrastructures. Building a city such as GIFT from scratch certainly provides opportunities for that type of innovation.

9 Practical solutions to solving housing problems in Nigeria

Nigeria with a population of about 180 million people is facing a national housing deficit of about 17 million units.Since independence, there have been several interventions by the Nigerian government to solve these housing deficits in the country.

In spite of all these interventions and policy formulations, access to affordable housing has largely remained a mirage to the vast majority of Nigerians. Housing problems is still giving stakeholders and government sleepless nights irrespective of the huge benefits it will accrue to the nation if addressed properly.

In order to solve the millions of housing deficits in Nigeria, and achieve sustainable housing delivery in the country, government and stakeholders should adopt the following 9 practical measures;

Click here to watch weekly episodes of Housing Development Programme on AIT

1.Review and Totally Implement the National Housing Policy

The major aim of housing policy is to solve housing problems.Majority of the Nigerian residents are low income earners which the policy supposedly deemed to address but cannot afford housing being produced under the programme.

The national Housing Policy should be reviewed in line with the unique diversity of Nigeria’s cultural inhabitant as well as the financial, human and material strength. The policy at when revised should be implemented totally.

2.Establishing a Viable Mortgage System

A viable mortgage system will strengthen home ownership. For example a mortgage system where rent payment will lead to owning a house. This system will afford the low income earners the opportunity of owning an apartment after many years of paying rent to the mortgage institution. From being a tenant, they become a landlord. Government should therefore come in to provide the enabling environment by encouraging mortgage.

3.Easy Registration

The process of building plan approval and issuance of certificate of occupancy should be made faster and less cumbersome. The cumbersome property registration processes are major barriers to housing development and home-ownership, leading to the country’s huge housing deficit.

The revision of the cumbersome property registration process, acquiring land title documents and transfer will bring the needed improvement and growth to both the housing and mortgage industry in the country.

4.Public Housing Projects

Government should consider public housing as a form of social responsibilities considering that the financial arrangement with the mortgage institutions may be beyond the reach of low income earners in Nigeria.

5.Private Sector Participation

The private sector should be encouraged in housing production with the aid of incentives, loans and subsidies and building land should be readily available and accessible to potential builders.

6.Locally Manufacturing Building Materials

Local building materials should be encouraged and also mass production of building material. This will make the materials to be affordable to the poor.

7.Provision of Rental Houses

Rental housing are still very relevant and should be incorporated into the housing policy especially based on the demographic and resource pattern of each state either in form of subsidized housing or incorporating social housing into the policy.

8.Provision of Infrastructures

Government should make provision of more infrastructures like bore holes, electricity, road connectivity and drainage among others its priority especially within the new housing locations.

9.Policy Research

Finally there is the necessity for public policy decision makers to understand the relevance of policy research as an important ingredient of housing delivery. Such research should focus on the goal and objectives of the housing policy vis-a-vis its implementation, monitoring and review.

Conclusion

Following these 9 practical solutions will go a long way to solving the 17 million housing deficits in Nigeria. By so doing, the nation will be positively affected and enjoy the following benefits of solving the housing deficits in Nigeria;

Impact on the Economy: Housing can serve as an important contributor to the growth of the economy based on its tremendous multiplier effect by its contribution to GDP. It can contribute to GDP through two main channels, namely: private residential investments (such as, construction of new homes); and also via the consumption spending on housing services.

For example, in the USA, the private residential investments contribute about 5% of GDP, while housing services contribute another 13% of GDP, summing up to a total housing sector contribution of 18% of GDP.

Job Creation: Housing provision creates huge access to jobs to artisans and craftsmen such as electricians, welders, masons, painters, plumbers and to other degrees of professional builders such as, civil engineers, architects, structural designers, consultants etc.

From Community to Nation Building: Home-ownership often gives citizens a true stake in their communities. After owning a home, many citizens tend naturally to be concerned about the provision of public goods in their communities — from schools, to clinics, to security.

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