Insurance as buffer to Refin Homes affordable housing for middle-class income earners

A strong partnership with insurance companies to protect consumers in the area of repayment default, loss of employment and death will be a buffer to Refin Home’s quest to provide affordable housing to middle class income earners across the country.

Refin Homes Limited, a relatively new player in the real estate market has come with a unique model that target to provide affordable housing to everyone in such a flexible manner that will not only guarantee quality, but also provide opportunity irrespective of your income level.

The company was established with the aim of bridging the housing gap in Nigeria. “Our key focus is providing affordable housing for middle-class income earners without compromising quality because we are the community builders, set to establish, develop, strengthen and increase economic activities within identified localities, promoters of the company said.

With over 41 years experience, drawn from across banking, mortgage and housing development, the key actors have seen the gap in the market and are committed to lifting the housing sector.

At a stakeholders interactive session with the theme ‘Creating the Future’ organised by Refin Homes held in Lagos, experts in the sector called for collaboration between government and private sector to bridge the country’s housing gap.

Olatunde Macaulay, managing director of the company said Refin Homes came into the real estate market to focus on providing alternative housing solutions that add value to lives, especially the under-served middle to lower end spectrum.

He said, “For over 10 years, a 17 million housing deficit has been bandied around. The government cannot handle this deficit alone. There has to be a public/private partnership and other private institutions such as ours, must help the government in reducing this huge housing deficit as soon as possible” he added.

He said the theme, “Create The Future” is a strategic platform that calls the attention of all Nigerians on the need to plan ahead today by putting in place modalities that ensure a solid roof over their heads. “The future is not somewhere distant, the future is now, and we want to sit with Nigerians to plan based on your desires and capacity to give you the home of your dreams” Macaulay added.

Kazeem Owolabi, the COO and co-founder of the firm also speaking at the event, advocated for efforts to be directed more at providing affordable housing for the middle and lower classes of the society.

He said it was unacceptable that Nigerians work so hard and yet, many of them cannot even think of owning their own homes.

Owolabi believes that in the long term, the Nigerian economy becomes the biggest beneficiary of a system that makes it easy for people to own quality and affordable homes.

Construction of Nairobi’s tallest estate in Kenya begins

Construction works on Nairobi’s tallest estate in Kenya has commenced after Chinese billionaire Zeyun Yang launched the development.

“This iconic project is bound to change the Nairobi skyline as it will be the first project of its magnitude in East and Central Africa; that will give its residence access to the beautiful panoramic views of Nairobi,”  said Zeyun Yang.

The River Estate

The high-rise apartment project dubbed ‘The River Estate’ is located next to Ngara Girls High School. It is has a total of 2,720 high-rise apartment units and features eight apartment blocks each 34 floors high, with 340 homes per block.

The development will have a capacity to house 2720 families, creating local demand for other amenities. It will consist of 3 types of houses including 3-bedroom apartments, 2-bedroom apartments and 1-bedroom apartments.

The River Estate will be constructed by  Edermann Properties owned by the Chinese billionaire Zeyun Yang. It will gift the Kenyan capital its tallest homes beating 22-storey Le’mac Towers, Nairobi’s residential tower.

The US $70m project is being financed jointly by the national and county governments, in line with the government’s affordable housing agenda. Developers have invited prospective buyers to book their units whose prices range between US $60000 for a one-bedroom unit and US $84000 for a two-bedroom house.

“Booking fee is US $2,976 per unit which is non- refundable; deposit 10%, and balance 90% on completion,” said Edermann Properties.

Additionally, Edermann Properties has pledged to put up a bridge from the estate to Grogan road across Nairobi River to ease movement of people into and out of the 2.3-hectare gated community.


The proposed project will contribute to significant positive impacts in the area during its construction and operation phases. It help in creation of employment opportunities, optimal use of land, incorporation of collective waste management practices, increase in revenue to the proponent, national and the county governments among others.

About Edermann Properties

Edermann Properties, has been operating in Kenya since 2003, and has built about 4,000 homes and warehouses in Nairobi and Mombasa including; Great Wall Apartments on Mombasa Road, Seefar Apartments on Mbagathi Way, Metro Fair View Towers Pangani, and Windsor View Apartments among others.

Source: Kenneth Mwenda

US housing market has the forces behind it

Investors have been so focused on how the Fed’s dovish stance on interest rates led to a rebound in stock prices that they haven’t yet digested how much this development could stimulate the US housing market, particularly in the back-half of the year. Last week’s strong numbers on existing home sales — up nearly 12 per cent last month compared to January — might get their attention.

With the decline in interest rates over the past three months, the housing market now has three tailwinds all lined up for the first time in this cycle. The first is demographics. After declining for 12 years from 2004 through 2016, the home ownership rate has been increasing ever since, as the hangover from the housing bust wears off and the job market has improved to the point where workers are buying houses again.

This is particularly true for younger households, who largely couldn’t or wouldn’t buy houses in the years after the housing bust. The biggest birth cohorts of the millennial generation were born between the late 1980s and early 1990s, and they’re now entering their 30s, prime home-buying years. Entry-level housing demand should be robust for years as these buyers start to shift from renting to owning.

The second is the labour market. On just about any measure — from the unemployment rate, labour market sentiment, the percentage of prime-age people who are employed, and increasingly wage growth — the US labour market is as good as it’s been in a generation. As mortgage underwriting standards have tightened following the mortgage fraud in the last cycle, this is particularly important.

Given the high employment rate of recent years, a growing number of Americans have solid income history to qualify for a mortgage.

And the third, thanks to the recent drop in interest rates, is affordability. The 10-year Treasury rate has fallen around 0.7 per cent from its highs in October and November. Mortgage rates have followed suit.

Last autumn there were fears that the rise in interest rates would take 30-year fixed-rate mortgages above 5 per cent, but after the recent drop in rates we might be talking about mortgage rates below 4 per cent pretty soon. On a $300,000 house with a 20 per cent down payment, a one percentage point drop in mortgage rates would reduce a monthly payment by around $140 per month.

There are a couple other reasons the decline in interest rates could lead to a housing-related economic boost. Anyone who bought a house and took out a mortgage when mortgage rates peaked in the fall will become eligible to refinance their mortgage over the next couple months.

This could make it advantageous for hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of mortgages to refinance, meaning new fees for bankers and cost savings for homeowners. Additionally, given the rise in home values that has gone on for years now, homeowners increasingly have home equity they can tap, which they are increasingly choosing to do.

This doesn’t mean homeowners will get crazy buying boats and vacations with home equity the way some might having during the peak of the housing boom, but it represents another pool of wealth for households to tap.

If people are looking for a comparison to the last cycle, they shouldn’t think about the later years of the boom, but perhaps the earlier ones. The busting of the dot-com boom led to a large decline in interest rates and an economic growth handoff from the tech sector to housing.

While we probably aren’t looking at a shift as extreme as that, people worried about a slowdown in overall economic growth should think about the boost that lower rates could give to the housing market.

Source: Bloomberg

South Africa: Radical New Housing Deal Proposed to Break Apartheid Barriers

City of Cape Town could use its golf courses and bowling greens for low cost housing, says report

While over half a million Capetonians live in informal settlements, the Rondebosch Golf Club pays the City of Cape Town only R1,000 a month for the use of 450,000 square metres of well-situated land.

With a full membership costing R15,750 a year, and fees of about R150 to play a round in off-peak times, the golf course is inaccessible to the vast majority of residents, including those who live around it.

The golf club’s lease with the City is contained in a new report on City-owned land by civil society organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi, which also states that some of the best land in the city “is being used as a dog play park” for the @frits Pet Hotel and Daycare Centre, described as the largest of its kind in the world.

The report, City Leases: Cape Town’s Failure to Redistribute Land, proposes a “radical new deal” for housing on 24 areas of City-owned land, including golf courses, bowling greens, country clubs, and parking lots. These range across the breadth of the City, from Camps Bay to Strand to Fish Hoek. Detailed proposals are provided for five of them:

Rondebosch Golf Club

Buitengracht corridor

Harrington Square

Green Point Bowling Green

Fish Hoek Bowling Green.

The Rondebosch golf course is the largest area. Two-thirds of the golf course is above the 100-year floodline, and Ndifuna Ukwazi calculates the land could offer 183,360 square metres of built space for a mainly residential development that includes communal space, offices, shops, schools, and social amenities.

Depending on the mix of social and market related housing, about 2,500 residential units could be built there, says the report. These would include single stands and mid-to-high-density apartment blocks as a mixture of market-related, social and GAP homes, set in green space along the Black River. (GAP housing is subsidised by the state for people earning R3,500 to R15,000 per month.)

The authors — Nick Budlender, Julian Sendin, and Jared Rossouw — calculated scenarios for Rondebosch golf course in which residential units are built according to a 40% market-related and 60% social housing split (including 20% for GAP housing); a 50-50 split between market and social housing; and a 60-40 split.

The square meterage of individual units in the calculations ranges from 50m² for a market bachelor flat and 30m² bachelor for social housing, while a two-bedroom flat built for the market would be 70m² and one built for social housing would be 45m², which is the average size of an RDP house.

There could also be 116 free-standing homes on 400m² each, and 454 two-bedroom GAP houses of 55m², all set within public and semi-private green space with a promenade along the Black River providing direct pedestrian access to Mowbray.

The 30 separate blocks could each be owned through sectional title schemes and ideally, would each contain a mix of social and market housing rather than economic differences being divided into separate blocks.

Similar modelling is done for the Harrington Square parking lot, the seven parcels of land which are mostly used as parking lots on lower Buitengracht Street, and for the Green Point Bowling Green, which the report states deputy mayor Ian Neilson has publicly committed for social housing.

For Fish Hoek, which has a density of 884 people per km² while nearby Masiphumelele bursts with a density of more than 40,000 people per km² (2011 data), the proposal is for 171 units built as three-storey walk-ups all dedicated to social housing.

The 2011 census found that about 16,000 people live in Masiphumelele’s 0.39km2. This gives it a population density of more than 40,000 per km2. Neighbouring Fish Hoek’s 2011 population was under 12,000 in 13.45 km², giving it a population density of 884 per km². Photo: Steve Kretzmann

These five portions of land could yield 6,473 housing units when calculated on the conservative model in which 60% of the units are built for sale on the market.

Over 500,000 of Cape Town’s four million residents are living in informal settlements, according to a recent report by the African Centre for Cities on lessons learnt from the drought. This figure does not take backyard dwellers into account.

The development of just these five out of a possible 24 pieces of city-owned land would also bring an extra R35m a year to the City in rates paid by those in the market units. Residents in the R3,500 to R18,000 per month pay bracket who qualify for social or GAP housing are exempted from rates, but would contribute payments for services.

At present these leases bring in only thousands of rands per year. This is “an injustice to the majority of residents of this city who are without access to land or decent housing”, state the report’s authors. “If we are to disrupt the replication of spatial apartheid and build a spatially just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable city then we need a radical new deal for the use of public land.”

The report states that communities are not able to compel the City to review its land use decisions and public participation on leases and disposals is ignored. It calls for new legislation “which obliges government to review and rationalise its underused public land for redistribution” and says “the onus should be on the City of Cape Town to defend why the status quo should continue and land should not be redistributed”.

If the Cape Town municipality makes poor choices about land use, say Budlender, Sendin, and Rossouw, other spheres of government should expropriate the land.

Produced for GroundUp by West Cape News

Source: Allafrica

Corporations and Government Agencies Plan Pilot Housing Schemes in 8 States

A triparite agreement has been reached between the housing corporations, apex mortgage bank and affordable homes focused fund to boost stocks for the low- income earners in the country.

The deal between Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Family Homes Fund (FHF), will see the jump-starting of the housing scheme in eight states.

The defunct three regional housing corporations and the Lagos Executive Development Board (LEDB), now Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) established the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) in 1964.

The objective of the founders of the association was to solve the then growing housing problems especially in the urban centres by advising governments of the federation on their housing policies, projects and programmes.

AHCN claims that its activities over the decades gave birth to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), FMBN, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the 1990 National Housing Policy (NHP) and the National Housing Fund (NHF). These efforts were aimed at making decent accommodation accessible to Nigerians at affordable costs.

Currently, AHCN members have been facing problems ranging from lack of holistic approach to housing matter, lack of finance, high cost of building materials, high infrastructural development cost, appropriate implementation of policy direction and affordability challenge among others.

Recently, the association alleged usurpation of their statutory responsibilities in housing construction and development for the state by the states’ housing ministries, which have caused duplication of duty, distraction, needless rivalry, unfair competition and sheer wastages and repetition of efforts and resources.

Specifically, the pilot scheme will start in eight states, namely Lagos, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Niger, Kaduna, Imo and Yobe. The target buyers are mainly NHF subscribers as each of the housing units is expected to be between N5million and N10 million.

Under agreement, FHF is providing construction fund, FMBN will support subscribers, especially civil servants with NHF loan while association members will handle the development of the houses. The first phase will consist of 500 units.

Among the first set of developers are Niger State Housing Corporation, Ondo State Development and Property Corporation and Imo State Housing Corporation and Lagos State’s housing arm, LSDPC.

Sources disclosed that the pilot states have already made land available for the development. Locations for the project are mostly major cities, where there is acute housing shortage.

AHCN Executive Secretary, Mr. Toye Eniola confirmed the development to us, He disclosed that a committee has been set-up to ensure that allocations are for NHF contributors and low-income earners.

On the misuse of funds, he said, “there are some guiding rules that have been put in place by FHF to prevent diversion of funds or sabotage of the scheme.”

Source: Chinedum Uwaegbulam

Nigeria signs US $10m housing construction deal

Nigeria has signed a US $10m deal with United Kingdom-based Iconic City Limited for the  development of a 3.8ha land in Alakia, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, into a residential housing estate.Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adewale Raji who signed the deal with the UK firm said the agreement aims at curbing housing deficit in the country.

“The housing deficit in the country is over 22 million. Investment in housing remains an important and profitable venture, especially when affordability is considered,”said Mr. Adewale Raji.

“The initiative was hinged on the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which had human capital development as one of its cardinal objectives with housing provision as key factor in achieving that goal,” he added.

Westlink Iconic Estate

The proposed residential housing estate dubbed “Westlink Iconic Estate” will be a medium density luxury estate consisting 124 households. The housing products are 60 units of three-bedroom apartments, 42 units of four-bedroom terrace houses, 14 units of five-bedroom semi-detached duplexes, eight units of six-bedroom fully detached duplexes and 36 commercial and business units.

Mr Adewale Raji affirmed that housing types will vary to allow for different market segmentation subscribers. Construction of the project is scheduled for completion in 2years.

Mr Adewale Raji also quoted that the partnership was going to give his firm the opportunity to utilize its professional experience ranging from training, working to build a world class mixed luxury residential estate in Ibadan.

Source: Constructionreviewonline

Ghana sets aside US $51m for abandoned housing projects

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

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

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

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

Bridging housing deficit

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

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

Source: Constructionreviewonline

Namibia to construct 1590 Housing units at Swakopmund

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Constructionreviewonline


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

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

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

Housing project

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

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

Largest park in the world

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

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

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

Source: Constructionreviewonline

Kenya Launches U.S. $70 Million Homes for Low Income Earners

The Nairobi County government has launched a Sh7 billion public residential apartments project in Ngara Estate.

The project, River Bank Apartments, will see 3,000 units comprising eight blocks with 34 storeys each put up for low and middle income earners in line with the government’s commitment to provide affordable shelter for Kenyans.

The venture, undertaken by Erdemann Property Limited, is set to be completed in less than one and half years.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said his government had approved construction of more than 200,000 houses for middle and low income earners and this was just the beginning.

“To ensure that we are going to speedily achieve this, we have waived building approval fees and also want to engage contractors who will use local building materials and employ youth,” Mr Sonko said during the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday.


“We are going to construct a multi-billion-shilling gated community [and] an ultra-modern residential estate with a perimeter wall and street lighting.

“It will be easily accessible by both the public and private transport as the roads will be cabro-paved,” Mr Yang said.

The other features include fire assembly points, spacious car parking, lounges and open kitchen designs, inbuilt wardrobes, commercial units, sufficient water supply with underground reservoirs, back-up electric generators and internet fibre connection.

“These are going to be the first of the government’s pledged affordable houses for Kenyans. Nairobi is the first country to break the ground to start construction,” he said.

Mr Yang said that compensation of traders, who were occupying the more than 10 acres of land next to Nairobi River acquired for the houses, has been completed.

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