British Government wants to build not just more homes but beautiful home

A commission to champion beautiful buildings as an integral part of the drive to build the kind of new homes communities need has been announced by the Government.
The Building Better, Beautiful Commission will develop a vision and practical measures to help ensure new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities, making them more likely to be welcomed rather than resisted.
Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire, explained that the move follows the recent rewriting of the planning rulebook to strengthen expectations for design quality and community engagement when planning for development.

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He pointed out that the new rules also ensure more consideration can be given to the character of the local area and the commission will take that work further by expanding on the ways in which the planning system can encourage and incentivise a greater emphasis on design, style and community consent.
He also believes that it will raise the level of debate regarding the importance of beauty in the built environment and aims to promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets, to reflect what communities want, building on the knowledge and tradition of what they know works for their area.
It also aims to explore how new settlements can be developed with greater community consent and to make the planning system work in support of better design and style, not against it.

‘Most people agree we need to build more for future generations, but too many still feel that new homes in their local area just aren’t up to scratch. Part of making the housing market work for everyone is helping to ensure that what we build, is built to last. That it respects the integrity of our existing towns, villages and cities,’ said Brokenshire.
‘This will become increasingly important as we look to create a number of new settlements across the country and invest in the infrastructure and technology they will need to be thriving and successful places,’ he added.
‘This commission will kick start a debate about the importance of design and style, helping develop practical ways of ensuring new developments gain the consent of communities, helping grow a sense of place, not undermine it. This will help deliver desperately needed homes, ultimately building better and beautiful will help us build more,’ he concluded.
Welcoming the announcement Policy Exchange director Dean Godson said that its research and polling has found that local support for development increases across all income groups when beauty is made a priority.

‘This commission represents a fantastic first step. Placing beauty at the heart of housing policy is the biggest idea in a generation,’ he added.
Sir Roger Scruton has been appointed to chair the commission, with further commissioners to be announced in due course.
Rents in Barcelona have fallen and the latest forecast suggests that they are set to fall by around 5% in the third quarter of 2018 to around €17.3 per square meter.
The figures from property portal Idealista show that the fall in rents was most notable in the prime districts such as Eixample where they were down by 9% to €17.7 per square metre, in Gràcia down by 7% to €16.5 per square metre and in Barcelona Old Town down by 3% to €19.1 per square metre.
However, rents are not falling in all parts of Barcelona. For example, the areas of Nou Barris and Horta Guinardó saw rents rise, up 8% and 5% respectively.

There has been a readjustment in rental prices in Barcelona which were beginning to be beyond the reach of many residents, according to Rod Jamieson, managing director of real estate agents Lucas Fox.
‘The cost of living is continues to be lower than that of many other major European cities, not to mention the huge lifestyle benefits, and so Barcelona continues to be a major lure for foreign entrepreneurs and professionals,’ he pointed out.
‘For property investors, the Catalan capital also remains an extremely attractive proposition with rental returns of up to 5% in some prime districts,’ he explained.
Indeed, figures from Lucas Fox shows that its number of rental completions increased by 36% in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period on 2017 and up 76% in the first nine months of the year.
Idealista figures also show that average rents in Valencia were up by 10% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, at €9 per square metre, compared to the end.

Source :Propertywire

Housebuilding slowdown dampens construction industry recovery

A slowdown in housebuilding across the UK has put a drag on the construction industry’s recovery, according to figures that also showed new orders across the sector had slowed.

Builders blamed the uncertainty surrounding the government’s Brexit talks for a jittery housing market and their response, which was to complete fewer homes than planned.

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However, a surge in infrastructure work and civil engineering meant the sector bounced back from a six-month low in September, though not to higher levels of activity seen in July.

The IHS/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the construction industry improved to 53.2 in October after dipping to 52.1 in September, from 52.9 in August and a 14-month high of 55.8 in July. A level above 50 indicates an an expansion in output.

One analyst said the industry was “punch drunk” from buffeting it had received over the past couple of years following severe winters that had brought activity to a standstill only to be followed by surges in confidence about the outlook.

Blane Perrotton, the managing director of surveyors Naismiths, said: “After months of see-sawing demand and confidence, the construction industry is getting increasingly punch drunk – with sentiment flat on the canvas.

“This latest PMI gives a typically contradictory snapshot of the health of the sector. Output is picking up but new orders are dwindling – which broadly translates as ‘hurry up and wait’.”

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics follows a similarly volatile path. It showed construction output up 0.3% year-on-year in September following a dip of 0.7% month-on-month in August. This followed robust gains over the previous three months that meant output was up 2.9% in the three months to August compared with the three months to May.

Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said October’s reading was below the third-quarter average of 53.6: “While construction activity improved in October, there was a disappointing softening in new orders which grew at the slowest rate since May. This was reportedly influenced by concerns over Brexit and the economy.

“Further worrying news saw construction companies’ confidence about output prospects for the next 12 months weaken to the lowest level for nearly six years.”

Nevertheless, building companies are still on the lookout for more staff to overcome shortages that have been exacerbated by the Brexit vote and a decline in the number of skilled migrants from eastern Europe looking for work.

Source: The Guardian

Why Steel and Concrete Buildings are The Best — Toni Nasr

Mr. Toni Nasr, is the Project Manager, Azuri Peninsula, the largest city in the Marina District of Eko Atlantic, Lagos. The project includes three 30+ floor luxury residential towers as well as multiple town houses with ground floor/podium.

The three Towers including Oban Tower, Zuna Tower and Orun Tower, comprises seven-bedroom villas on the top two floors, six-bedroom penthouses and two and four-bedroom apartments in varied formats on all other floors. In this interview with Vanguard Homes & Property, he explains the concept of steel and concrete buildings which is in vogue across the world vis-avis the benefits of steel and concrete buildings to construction sub-sector.

Excerpts: Why the choice of steel and concrete method in building and construction as applied in Azuri Peinsula rather than the traditional method?

Using steel and concrete in building construction is time saving, as it allows for speed during execution.
Environmental wastes and hazard are also seriously reduced since less concrete and formwork are used.

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Among other things, using steel and concrete is hugely encouraged for the following reasons:
One, it guarantees quality which must be very high, as the steel used is fabricated from the factory with all the required specifications by experts to ensure quality is sustained. Secondly, it saves time. In the case, a lot of time is saved during execution as only assemblage and erection is needed, because time is money.

Are there challenges peculiar with steel and concrete buildings?

Yes. There are two major challenges associated with this type of construction technique: Safety measures (working at heights) and engineering capability. Although we have successfully surmounted these challenges as we see them as opportunities for growth and development. We ensure that safety measures are never toyed with during and after the erection procedures based on our top notch risk assessment and management.

Through proper planning of the engineering design and execution, we ensure quality during these processes by making sure only proven, qualified and competent experts are involved throughout who will pay attention to all the details in the factory and at erection phase.

There is also the challenge of heavy equipment and haulage services. To tackle this, we have ensured the use of most modern and efficient equipment certified to international standards in all our operations to further fast tract the execution of the project.

What is the adoption rate of steel and concrete in Nigeria?

The adoption rate is quite low as this methodology (composite) is not commonly practised. Most clients/construction companies do not erect composite concrete works because it requires expertise and highly qualified and competent experts and technicalities that very few companies possess. ITB Nigeria is one of the few construction companies that possess the capability. In a few years however, we foresee an increase in adoption considering the huge benefits that this technique offers.

Do you see a potential in the adoption of more steel and concrete buildings in Nigeria?

As I stated earlier, once clients start seeing the benefits accruable to the use of steel and concrete, then more companies will begin to adopt this method. One advantage that would appeal to clients is having a large span area with reduced columns without necessarily increasing the thickness of the slabs, and the safety of having less environmental pollution because of reduced use of concrete.

And more so, fabrications are all done in the factory leaving out only the erection and little concrete to complete massive structures. Ultimately, projects would eventually be delivered swiftly hence the steel structure/composite function can be a good option. With the growth in skill of engineers today, there will surely be increase in adoption rate.

Do steel and concrete buildings require specific maintenance techniques?

Like every other structure that requires maintenance, steel and concrete structures have to be maintained too. However, there is no major, regular or specific maintenance techniques required as all elements have passed through all requisite quality specifications and codes and are effectively covered with crisp finishing.

Does ITB Nigeria Ltd. have any other steel and concrete project in the pipeline?

Discussions with prospective clients are at advanced stage and we expect that such projects will commence shortly.

Do you source steel and concrete building materials locally?

Concrete building materials are readily available locally but we tend to import the steel elements as such grades of steel are not produced in Nigeria at the moment. As Nigeria becomes more technologically advanced, we hope to be able to source the steel elements locally.

Source: Vanguard Newspaper

Don Seek Decentralization of Land Administration

For the nation to reap enormous benefits from land administration, there is the need to decentralize its management, promote systemic titling and registration as well as improve transparency in governance.

These were the submissions of experts at the two-day “International Conference on Land and Development in Lagos” organized by Center for Housing and Sustainable Development, University of Lagos (UNI-LAG).

The conference brought together scholars from the nation’s universities and professional in the construction industry.

Leading the call, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on land reforms former, Prof. Peter Adeniyi canvassed the devolution of land administration to local government particularly in terms of registration, transactions and land conflict resolutions.

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For instance, he pointed out that Lagos is too big in terms of administration for every land actions to be done at the center, stressing that it would not work irrespective of energy investment in the process.

Prof. Adeniyi said it’s unfortunate that the country currently lacks some basic information like; the number of informal structures in the cities, area of registered land parcels and records of parcel owners with respect to career status, gender among others, which could facilitate sustainable land management.

Speaking on, “Land reform: A catalyst for inclusive growth and development in Lagos”, Adeniyi, the former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akura, observed that one of the problems confronting land governance in the country is lack of implementation and enforcement of policies amid increasing numbers of actors such as the public sector, traditional authorities, private sector and civil society who has interest on land. He lamented that the country is not organized in putting proper law together for effective land administration.

According to him, the nation needs to adopt good land governance principles that are secured, transparent, equitable and sustainable with balance of social/economic and environmental needs. He also warned that weak land governance gives room for unreliable data, informal land transaction and land grabbing.

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The former Surveyor General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo, urged all levels of  government to adopt the proposal of the presidential committee on land reform, which suggested the adoption of systematic land registration methods for survey plans and cad-astral records.

He said there was a need for increased training and capacity building for surveyors and other experts involved in land administration, renewed investment in geodetic infrastructure and creating synergy among professionals in land administration.

Earlier, UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe represented by Prof. Iyiola Oni noted that land is a critical issue as no development could occur without a well conserved and managed land resources. He stressed that issues of land use, tenure system, legal matters and land policy has come a long way to describe the importance of the natural resources.

On his part, the Chairman, local organizing committee, Prof. Timothy Nubi, explained that the level of poverty in any nation is dependent on how well land is managed. He therefore said, authorities must effectively realize the latent potentials in land management.

Source: Victor Gbonegun, The Guardian Newspaper

‘Lagos Allows Building a House Without Development Permit’

A fellow of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Adebisi Adedire has told a Lagos High Court, Igbosere that it is permitted to build a house in Lagos State without planning or development permit.

Adedire told the court presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo that all the builder has to do is to regularise with the state government once erected. According to him, the provision for regularization allows one to embark on a property development and regularise the papers with the Ministry.

His testimony was at the ongoing criminal trial of the Registered Trustees of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and four others for the collapse of SCOAN building at Ikotun Egbe, on September 12, 2014 that killed about 116 people.

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The witness, who was subpoena by the court via a letter dated October 4, 2018 said, the Lagos state government made a publication recently asking those who did not have planning permit before erecting their structures to come and regularize their papers.

Under cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Jonathan Ogunsanya, a Director in the State’s Ministry of Justice said, Adedire is a consultant to Lagos State government on town planning matters.


He further supported his position with an advertisement of Lagos State government in March this year on: ‘Enforcement of planning laws and regulations in government schemes and other areas in Lagos state’ added that such regulations provision had been practice for years even before he began to practise.

But the prosecution’s objection to the tendering of the certified true copy of the publication on the ground that the publication was after the collapse of Synagogue church’s guesthouse, was not upheld.

Defense counsel had argued the relevance of the publication as a tenderable exhibit.

Also in his examination, the witness said planning permit is a process whereby a proponent who seek to develop a land brings developmental proposal to the planning office adding ‘the essence of obtaining planning it development permit is to ensure legitimate erection of buildings in accordance to government regulation and to generate revenues for the state among others.

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He listed those documents required before permit can be issued to include a survey plan duly signed and registered by a license surveyor; a tax clearance certificate; various architectural drawings among others.

When asked the procedure for enforcing compliance, he said there are series of enforcement notices to be served if the proponent failed to comply as the authority will issue a stop work order followed by a quit notice and then demolition notice.

SCOAN had opened its defence on the one-count charge of building without approval brought against it by the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), following the dismissal of its no-case submission on March 8, 2016.

Aside SCOAN’s one-count charge, the other defendants, namely, two engineers who built the building: Messrs Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, and their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited are facing 110 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till December 6 and 7, 2018.

Source: Yetunde Ayobami Ojo,  The Guardian Newspaper

Nigeria’s paint industry to hit $377m growth by 2025

Nigeria’s paint industry is projected to record five per cent growth rate from its present estimated $268 million  (N96.50 billion) to $377 million (N135.80 billion) by 2025, a business expert has said.

Chris Kiwamu, Managing Consultant, Kirsten Turner Consulting, made the projection on Wednesday in Lagos during the 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

He spoke on the theme: “Strategic Roadmap for the growth of the Nigerian paint industry.”

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Kiwamu, a consultant for Bank of Industry (BoI), projected that local paints consumption should grow from 391.75 million litres in 2020 to an all-time high of 1,002.63 million litres by 2025, under an ideal operating environment.

He noted that the drivers of growth of the paint industry was high demand for real estate properties and growing construction market and industrial production.

Others are increase in nationality population, rising per capital income and higher disposable income of paints consumers as the economy transitions from the last recession.

According to him, if the paint consumption in Nigeria can rise to 3kg per capita in the medium term perspective from its present one kilogram, it will positively impact fortunes of all market players.

“This certainly is not a very ambitious projection, as that is the level already attained by relatively poor South American countries like Bolivia and Paraguay.

“Interestingly, Venezuela, a fellow oil producing country as Nigeria, has a per capital paint consumption of 6.5kg.

“Therefore, we assert that a per capital consumption of 3kg is an attainable state to aim for by Nigerian paints industry in the medium-term perspective.”

He noted that the currently low per capital consumption of paints in Nigeria offers tremendous opportunities for paint practitioners in the country.

“As one drives through the streets of Lagos, Ibadan or any provincial city and looks at the many unpainted houses along the streets, the feeling that the future of the paints industry is fully assured is unmistakable,” he said.

He said that addressing challenges of the paint industry and collaborative efforts of manufacturers, consumers and regulatory agencies would assist the industry achieve its growth potential.

Kiwamu said that paint and coating industry was an important subset that was strategic to national development.

Source: Vanguard

Mass housing: FG moves to recover lost revenue, check fraud

Mass housing developers in the Federal Capital Territory who failed to comply with the statutory requirements for their development or defaulted in payments would soon face the long arm of the law.

The chairman, Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, gave this indication yesterday in Abuja when he visited the FCT minister Muhammad Musa Bello.

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According to him, out of the over 300 beneficiaries of mass housing land in the FCT, only 64 developers have completed and signed lease agreement, while a whopping 79 percent have failed to comply with statutory requirements and payments.

He said the total fees collected so far, amounting to N1.08bn, falls short of what should have been realized by the FCT Administration.

He said the panel was constituted in August 2017 by the Federal Government of Nigeria with a mandate to investigate the assets of private persons and public officers perceived to have engaged in corrupt practices, or in any way breached the provision of the Code of Conduct.

Obono-Obla said the panel is ready to collaborate with the FCT Administration to recover public funds from the developers who have by their acts of non-compliance to extant regulations and statutory requirements, committed acts of economic adversity.

Responding, the FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, stressed that it was good that the panel has zeroed on land administration and by extension, mass housing, with respect to investigating what has gone wrong as well as moving to recover  revenues that have been lost or under collected.

He said the FCTA needs every kobo that is due to it, whether uncollected or collected but not remitted, to make funds available for infrastructure development of the FCT, in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Source: Malikatu Umar Shuaibu


“Engage Ghanaian Architects to Redesign Accra”

Source: GNA

Developer Decries Plight of House Buyers

A former aide of Embu governor Martin Wambora has criticized developers who dishonestly sell houses built on riparian land and road reserves.

Bosco Kiura, who is now in the real estate business, said many homeowners have lost millions of shillings by buying houses on riparian land and road reserves, which are later demolished by the government.

He said various developers dishonestly and through underhand dealings with government officers obtain land in such prohibited areas while knowing they have committed offenses.

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Kiura said owners of such houses constructed on riverbeds,wetlands and grabbed road reserves are suffering, especially in Nairobi, after the properties were pulled down without any compensation.

Kiura is the managing director of Mulberry Holdings Limited. He said the company is selling affordable houses on undisputed and secure areas. They will not be demolished due to encroachment, he said.


Rwanda unveils new housing project


Rwanda Development Bank (BRD) has unveiled a housing project, which promises to ease the shortage of affordable housing in the country.

The housing project dubbed the ‘Ndera Affordable Housing project’ follows a 2016 partnership agreement between BRD and Moroccan real estate developer, Palmeraie Development Group when King Mohammed VI of Morocco paid a visit to Rwanda.

During the first phase of the project, 1759 housing units will be developed, with the cheapest property under the project valued at US $31,000. The project is also a shift from the traditional bungalow style to moderately-sized two and three bedroom apartment blocks.

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The first phase will cost an estimate of US $35 million and will be implemented under a joint venture by BRD and Palmeraie Development Group with equity injections in the ratios of 25:75, respectively.

The Chief Executive Officer of BRD, Eric Rutabana said the project targets Rwandans who earn a monthly income of between US $227 and US $1,360. He said targeting this income bracket was informed by studies and analyses, which showed that the current real estate market rates often locks them out.

However, the beneficiaries will be required to pay monthly installments not exceeding 40 per cent of their net monthly income.

The real estate project comes at a time when there have been widespread concerns of fast real estate valuation and prices which a section of stakeholders say is a result of market forces of demand and supply as well as cost of inputs.

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A section of Rwandans are also wary of housing project models following instances where they have turned out somewhat fraudulent leading to unending court cases.

However, Rutabana said that they were well aware of the concerns; hence not requiring deposits until the housing units were complete. “In this project we are not taking any deposits from potential homeowners until the project is complete,” he said.

The only requirement is that potential home owners provide evidence that they have their contributions ready or can secure mortgages from other financiers. This could see an increase in demand of mortgage products among local financial institutions.

“We are hoping that this model could help raise confidence in the local real estate market and be replicated in the future to reduce exploitation of the market as has happened in the past,” he said.
House shortage

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A previous a study by the City of Kigali, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the European Union showed that Kigali could face a housing deficit of 344,000 homes by 2020.

Presently, between 800 and 1,000 housing units are constructed in Kigali annually, the majority targeting high-income earners, leaving the majority of city dwellers without decent housing options.

To address the housing shortage, the city needs to build at least 31,000 housing units annually, according to the study. Low and middle-income earners were found to make up about two-thirds of all new housing demand.

Sarah Nanjala

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