Actis, Shapoorji Pallonji Launch US$120m Real Estate Joint Venture In Africa

Actis, a leading growth markets investor and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE), the real estate arm of one of India’s largest conglomerates, are set to launch a new real estate joint-venture platform to meet the demand for affordable and middle-income housing in the sub-Saharan African region, starting with Kenya.

The residential development platform has been established to capitalize on the demand for quality homes at affordable and competitive price points.

Actis manages the largest real estate private equity fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa.

David Morley, Global Head of Real Estate at Actis stated: “This joint venture builds on an ongoing and highly successful partnership between Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji in India where we have delivered thousands of high quality, aspirational homes at affordable prices.

We are confident that Actis’ investment experience in Africa coupled with Shapoorji Pallonji’s 153 years of experience in construction and real estate development will unlock the significant opportunity.”

Commenting on the launch of the new platform, Venkatesh Gopalkrishnan, CEO, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to partner with Actis in the African residential market.

This venture marks the continuation of a journey for Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate in the sub-Saharan African Region. There is a huge demand for affordable and middle-income homes and the goal of the joint-venture platform will be to bridge the gap in this market and to exceed customers’ expectations.”

Koome Gikunda, Director at Actis said: “Residential remains the largest real estate asset class globally. In a number of African markets, however, delivery is highly fragmented.

There is a notable lack of institutional quality home builders with the expertise, capital and consumer trust to truly address the opportunity at scale. Actis’ joint venture with Shapoorji Pallonji seeks to remedy this in partnership with our local stakeholders.”

Source: Ghananewhomes

Collapsed Lagos building: State govt must accept blame, persecute those responsible – NGO

A Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Center for Children’s Health Education, Organization and Protection, CEE-HOPE, has blamed the Lagos Government for the loss of lives in a building which collapsed in Lagos.

Housing news reported that at least 50 children were rescued from the debris by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as well as other security agencies.

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Reacting, the group in a statement received and signed by CEE- HOPE’s Executive Director, Betty Abah said the incident was avoidable and took place due to the high level of lawlessness in the country.

The group further urged the Lagos government to persecute and punish those responsible for the incident.

The statement reads: “On the heel of yesterday’s school building collapse incidence on Lagos Island, we commiserate with families who have lost precious children and other family members.

“According to media reports, about 18 persons, mostly children, have lost their lives while 41 were rescued with several of them sustaining various degrees of injuries including some life-threatening ones. These casualties, these heart-wrenching pains are clearly avoidable– a result of the pervasive
lawlessness in our society.


“We, therefore, ask for a speedy investigation and the consequent dispensing of the most stringent punishment for violators of building codes and regulations that led to this avoidable loss of lives.

“A society is only taken seriously when there is adherent to set rules and regulations especially when it concerns the safety of the most vulnerable, in this case, children. People are encouraged to commit a crime when there is no adequate punishment from authorities to serve as deterrence.

“Over the years, Lagos has remained the epicenter of collapsed buildings in
Nigeria owing to the use of sub-standard building materials or persons retaining old, decrepit and defective structures in spite of official evacuation warnings, and with all the attendant deaths of innocent persons (building site workers, tenants etc) yet there has never been any clear stand by the government to punish the defaulters other than stimulated media trials that fizzle with time.

“We, therefore, have no hesitation in laying the blame for this tragedy partly at the feet of the Lagos State Government which has the constitutional mandate to secure lives and property of all Lagosians including school children aspiring to change their fortunes by acquiring an education but has been largely negligent. The well-publicized albeit reactive emergency responses we have seen are not enough and clearly, cannot bring back the precious dead.

“These violators (including the property owner who reportedly defied a quit order from the relevant authorities since 2014), the school authorities and other collaborators must not be spared. Justice must be served without fear or favor. Enough of these recurrent mass murders in Lagos State.”

Property prices to fall as Brexit uncertainty freezes market

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which analyses government’s finances, has predicted that house prices will fall by 0.3 per cent in 2019.

It’s a sharp contrast to its five-year forecast made in October 2018, which saw house prices rise by more than three per cent in the last three months of the year.

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Experts have blamed the lagging property market on a dragged out Brexit and lack of affordability.

In the report published on the same day as the Spring Statement, the OBR said: “Indicators of housing market activity and price expectations have deteriorated significantly since our October forecast and are consistent with a further fall in house price inflation.”

Over the past four months, house price growth has “slowed significantly” reaching 2.7 per cent down from 4.6 per cent the year before.

Now, it expects growth to slip below zero for the first time since 2012, and far below the record rate of seven per cent recorded in 2016.

The damning forecasts come as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) published its monthly market survey and warned that more than three quarters of the 300 surveryors who gave feedback believed Brexit was holding back the market.

It believes that drawn out uncertainty is putting off buyers and sellers who would rather wait for the outcome of the negotiations.

The group also found that activity in general has seriously slowed down, with new buyer enquiries and agreed sales falling for the sixth month in a row.

Hew Edgar of Rics said it was clear from the survey that the “wearisome state of British politics that has arisen from Brexit” is taking its toll on housing.

‘Nigeria real estate funds can solve housing problems’

Funds domiciled in the real estate sector in Nigeria could be what is needed to address the housing shortage in the country. Following a research by FSDH Merchant Bank, that there are limited real estate firms in the country, it is believed that the three now listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is enough to fix the housing problem in the country.

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The research explained that REFs have not gained much popularity in terms of the numbers available and their size relative to the size of the economy. It explained that there were only three REFs listed on the NSE, which are Union Homes Real Estate Investment Trust, Skye Shelter Fund and UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust.The report observed that there was a significant shortage of affordable housing in the country estimated at about 20 millions.

“This means that Nigeria needs to build between close to 20 million housing units to ensure that Nigerians have this basic human need,” it added. In monetary terms, Nigeria might require between N170trillion and N200 trillion to bridge the housing gap if each unit costs N10million. It said: “Given the rising population in the country, the housing shortage keeps increasing.

‘’Meanwhile, the developments in the real estate sector of the economy, which is where activities that will close the housing shortage will take place, have not been impressive with economic activities in the real estate sector consistently contracting since Q1 201.6.” The report suggested that investors in the retail and high-networth segment could create wealth in real estate through regularly investing in a Real Estate Fund (REF) without investing directly in the brick and mortar.

Explaining REF, the report noted that it is an investment vehicle that pools resource to invest in real estate; therefore, allowing individual investors to partake in the benefits of the underlying properties. The report further explained that REFs are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), just like stocks/shares and could be purchased through stockbrokers, just like other stocks/shares.

The report added that every REF must have a fund manager that manages the fund to ensure the best return to shareholders and a good example of real estate working for the investors. It said: “The holder of a REF will earn a share of the income from the real estate investment through dividends without actually having to buy, manage or finance any housing projects. It is required to distribute at least 90 per cent of their taxable income as dividend. As a result, it provides constant income for shareholders.”

Despite setbacks, Nigeria’s real estate investors to expect windfall in 2019

Recent statistics have shown that the Nigerian real estate sector has been suffering setbacks. Out of the ₦15 trillion worth of credit facilities (bank loans) that were given to the private sector in Q4 2018, real estate only got ₦622 billion. This represents just 4% of the total loans/credit.

A quick analysis of the 2018 selected banking sector indicators’ report, as released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), revealed that the total bank credit for the real estate sector declined by 12% between Q3 and Q4 2018. During the third quarter, the real estate sector got ₦710 billion, while the corresponding value in Q4 declined to ₦622 billion.
Bank credit falls for the 4th consecutive quarter
Although the sector received ₦622 billion worth of loans in Q4, the amount represented the third consecutive quarter decline in the amount of bank loans allocated to the sector. In 2018, for instance, credit allocated to real estate decreased from ₦784.2 billion in first quarter, to ₦622.7 billion in the last quarter.

Bua group
5-year low of bank credit to real estate sector
The latest dip in the bank’s credit/loans to the sector is not a new trend. In Q1 2015, credit allocated to the private sector was ₦615 billion, which fell to ₦548.2 billion in Q2 of the same year. By Q4 2015, bank credit to real estate stood at ₦692.2 billion.

Comparing the value of loan in Q4 2015 with that of Q4 2018 shows a 10% decline. In other words, it reveals an all-time low since 2015. This suggests that the cyclical growth movements in the real estate sector can be traced to the decline in banks’ credit available to investors.

Agricultural sector receives much more credit facilities than real estate
The agricultural sector has benefited the most from credit facilities given to private investors. For instance, during the last quarter of 2018, the agricultural sector received the highest bank’s credit of ₦3.5 trillion.

Similarly, the Oil and Gas and Manufacturing sectors are ranked second and third respectively, as their total credits stood at ₦2.2 trillion and ₦1.4 trillion for the period under review. However, the Education and Mining sectors got the lowest credit allocations.

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Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector is growing nonetheless
Without a doubt, the real estate sector has continued to be one of the most important sectors in the Nigerian economy. Figures have shown that the sector contributed immensely to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP). For instance, in 2018, it contributed ₦1.26 trillion to the country’s national income. Moreover, the sector grew by 38% between the first and last quarter of 2018.

However, the percentage contribution of real estate to GDP declined to 6.41% in 2018 from 6.85% in 2017. Notwithstanding, the real estate sector is engulfed with big potentials.

What analysts say
In developed climes, the mortgage sub-sector plays an important role in stimulating the real estate sector. But while there have been several mortgage schemes and initiatives in Nigeria , the impact has remained somewhat unfelt.

In the meantime, investment analysts have expressed different views on the outlook of the real estate sector. Executive Director and Co-founder of Pertinence Limited, an investment firm, Mr. Sunday Olorunsheyi, said earlier in January:

“it will be difficult to project the fortunes of the real estate sector, owing to factors such as lack of clear and consistent policies from regulators and a high degree of uncertainty, especially due to the general elections.”

On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer of Lifepage Group, an investment holding firm, Oladipupo Clement, scored the industry high.

“More landed properties were sold and bought in 2018 than apartments and houses, due to high capital requirement and cost of fund.

Despite uncertainties, such as a decline in oil prices, political instability, inflation and the rising cost of funding, the real estate sector will still thrive.”

Windfall for investors and the growth potentials
If you ask me, I would say the Nigerian real estate sector is what you may want to invest in. Investors in the real estate sector are likely to smile to the banks soon, as they get returns on their investments.

Generally, Nigeria’s real estate sector was sluggish in 2018 because of the lull in the nation’s economy. Real estate experts will likely experience better performance this year because of improvements in the economy, and the anticipated political and economic stability in the country after the just concluded general elections.

There was excess liquidity in the economy during the election period. Recall that the President recently expressed concerns over the huge amount of foreign currency flooding the country, intended to influence the general elections.

As the general elections wound up, the movements of both foreign and domestic currencies for electioneering processes will likely spread and drive patronage in the residential and commercial angles of the real estate sector. Eventually, what this does sometimes is to pressure the price of estate properties to increase, which implies higher revenue for investors.

Similarly, 2019 will spark the beginning of new governments in some states across the federation. These states will have either consolidated or new policies, which may drive economic activities uniquely away from past administrations. Again, contracts and appointment lobbying will also form a block on its own. All these interplays are likely to redistribute income in some ways, and the real estate sector is likely to benefit in no small measure.
How the economy reacts- Growth in the real estate sector in Nigeria will have impact on the economy significantly, from the jobs it creates to revenue generation.


Specifically, the real estate’s multiplier effect in terms of job creation is significant. Also, real estate activity stimulates the economy indirectly through the value-added impacts of the purchase of goods and services that stem from real estate-related businesses and transactions.

3 Niger Delta Ministry officials to forfeit N264m property to FG – ICPC

Three officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are to lose property worth N264 million to the Federal Government, according to records released to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

Property The ICPC, which has already interrogated the three men, who occupy strategic posts in the ministry, suspects that they used their positions to acquire the wealth, which it says is far above their earned income.

The three officials-Poloma Kabiru Nuhu, Mangset Longyl Dickson and Daniel Obah, jointly own 19 plots of land, 10 hectares of farm land and two duplexes, spread around Abuja and three towns in Rivers State.

A statement made available to Vanguard by the Spokeswoman for the ICPC, Mrs Rasheedat A. Okoduwa, said that the 10 hectares of farm land located in Kuje, Abuja, was allegedly acquired through corrupt acts by Nuhu, a Principal Accountant with the ministry.

The commission said: “The move to seize the properties follows an investigation by the ICPC of the assets of Nuhu, Dickson and Obah, all staff of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, which has established that the trio allegedly have assets whose values are well above their legitimate earnings and incomes. “The ICPC, relying on Section 48 (2) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, which gives it the power of seizure of assets obtained by individuals through corrupt means will seize 15 plots of land, all located in Gwagwalada, Abuja from Nuhu.

“Nuhu will also temporarily lose ownership of 10 hectares of farm land valued at N50 million and an uncompleted duplex, valued at N90 million, at Apo Estate, Abuja, to the Commission. “On his part, Obah, a Principal Accountant in the Finance and Account Department of the same Ministry will also lose temporary ownership of a N60 million-valued four-bedroom duplex located in Karsana, Abuja, and three plots of land with a collective value of N64.5 million located in Abe Ndoni, Obio-Akpor and Port Harcourt, River State.

“The third suspect, Dickson, will lose ownership of a plot of land valued at N7 million, located at Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja,” the commission said.

Source: VanguardNg

Abuja Land Scandal: Buhari’s Minister Awards Choice Plots Of Land To Saraki, Abba Kyari, Amaechi, APC Leaders And Cabinet Members

Mohammed Musa Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has signed off choice land plots in massive scale for himself and leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in a manner that underscores a worsening pang of corruption in public space.

The beneficiaries of this massive round of land allocations include APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, and his wife, Senator Remi Tinubu, both of whom used proxy names.

The land largesse has carefully been carved up among the proverbial fat cats of the presidential seat of power in Abuja.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, who currently faces trial for sundry corrupt enrichment; current SGF, Boss Mustapha; former Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawan Daura; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika are among prominent names whose allocations’ right of occupancy (R of O) have been delivered.

The Minister personally took care of himself, members of the federal cabinet, principal officers of the two chambers of the legislature and many of President Muhammadu Buhari’s aides with two choice allocations of 6,000 square metres each.

Separate choice plots in Maitama and Guzape districts were received by each beneficiary. Other beneficiaries of the land allocation largesse with only a plot each are non-principal officers of the National Assembly and fringe aides within the Presidency.

Several of the beneficiaries in this land bazaar orchestrated by the Minister have previously benefited from government allocations in the FCT under different official positions.

For instance, as Tinubu, Saraki and Amaechi were recipients of choice land allocations in Abuja whilst seating as governors and chairmen of the Governors Forum respectively.

Following his appointment as FCT Minister, Bello had promised to address all land racketeering in Abuja. He proceeded to inaugurate two committees to address the public petitions.

The committees pored through case files, invited individuals involved and finally made recommendations. However, as it shows, Bello’s interests had switched to more pecuniary matters. Not a single recommendation of the committees has attracted his attention.

Contrary to what is on ground, the Minister recently claimed that his administration had resolved 500 lingering land racketeering cases. Our sources assert that he has not attended to any.

Furthermore, none of the requests by organised official groups from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for allocation of land for low and medium-income estates to address peculiar housing challenges has received his attention.

For staffers of the FCT, Bello has been a particularly indolent Minister with established cases of sitting on budgetary appropriations for utilities in the FCT wand continued instances of elapsed budgetary provisions repeatedly returned to the treasury.

Source: Sahara Reporters

National development: Stakeholders emphasise need for infrastructure devt

Stakeholders who gathered at the just- concluded maiden edition of the Nigerian Infrastructure Development Awards, NIDA, held in Lagos, have emphasised the need for rapid infrastructural development across the country to ensure national development. The theme of the event organised by Prospers Strategy Limited was Solid Infrastructural Backbone as Catalyst for National Development. In his keynote address, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Director of Federal Highways, South-West, Engr. Funsho Adebiyi, said the Buhari administration has embarked on massive infrastructur development across the nation to ensure national development.

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Fashola added that the administration is equally playing the pivotal role in ensuring the allocation of resources to enable it deliver on its mandate at a time the country is earning much less revenue from oil, pointing out, however: “I will like to focus on the larger picture of the resolve to renew Nigeria’s ageing infrastructure, most of which were built over four decades ago.

“I speak of projects like the Kano-Maiduguri Highway, the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Road, the East-West Road, the Lagos-Ibadan Highway, the Benin-Okene-Lokoja Highway, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Loko-Oweto Bridge and others. I speak also of difficult projects that appeared to have defied every attempt to start them like the Bobo-Bonny Bridge, which has now commenced, and the Mambilla Hydro Power project which contract has been signed. “These projects and many others like our rail projects from Lagos to Kano, Port-Harcourt to Maiduguri, and Air and Sea ports at various stages of completion, will form the foundation for building our prosperity and national development. These foundations will be so strong that they will ensure that we are able, in the near and long terms, to deal with adverse economic seasons. “They will help to diversify Nigeria’s economy away from oil dependence, and open new opportunities of prosperity for Nigerians in sectors like tourism, agriculture, transport, logistics and manufacturing”, Fashola noted. The Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaye who was the chairman of the night, pointed out that infrastructure development is very critical to the development of the nation, stressing however, that it is one thing to have infrastructure, but it is another thing to develop it to the benefit of the nation. Durojaye therefore called on private and public sector players in infrastructure segment of the national economy to come together to take infrastructure development to global level, pointing out that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the quest for infrastructure development as obtainable globally.

Chief Executive Officer of Prospers Strategy Limited, organisers of the event, Mr. Lanre Alabi, while welcoming the audience, said the event, themed: Solid Infrastructural Backbone as Catalyst for National Development, is part of a broad programme to X-ray topical infrastructure issues facing the nation and boost the growth and development of infrastructure in Nigeria. According to Alabi: “It offers a unique platform for technocrats, innovators and administrators, companies and groups whose mandate and activities impact on the improvement and development of infrastructure in Nigeria.” Alabi informed that NIDA had identified corporate organisations, government agencies and individuals who had made huge and outstanding impact in the Nigerian infrastructural development sector over the years. “We have identified key personalities, top government officials, government agencies, private sector players and innovators who have played iconic and notable roles through strategic policy formulation, progarmme implementation, project execution in the development of infrastructure in Nigeria. “Our focus is to honour the best, boldest, creative and outstanding projects that have impacted the well-being of the people. Many infrastructural projects have projected the nation to the outside world and have birthed many other businesses. The presence of these high-impacting infrastructure investments cut across transportation, telecommunication, energy and power, oil and gas, aviation, agriculture, health, housing and entertainment. Fashola, Governors Willie Obiano (Anambra) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) were among those honoured at the event for their contributions to infrastructure development.

Is it okay to apply with more than one mortgage lender at the same time?

U.S. mortgage rates reversed course this week, after a downward trend, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 4.41 percent for the week ending March 7, up from 4.35 percent the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 4.46 percent.

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Low mortgage rates help propel U.S. home sales and the refinance market.

“While mortgage rates very modestly rose to 4.41 percent this week, they remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019. However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring homebuying season.”

 

Favorable rates also have been helping Dayton-area home sales.

Local home sales began 2019 on a strong note with a 5 percent uptick in January transactions, according to Dayton Realtors.

The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31 percent in November 2012.

Is it okay to apply with more than one mortgage lender at the same time?

Two-timing your mortgage lender?
When shopping for a mortgage, you’ll compare mortgage rates, select a provider and start your application. But should you apply with more than one mortgage lender? There are several reasons that it might make sense to do so:

To make sure that you can secure at least one mortgage approval
You want to have a couple of offers to get the best mortgage rate
You may discover that you don’t like your lender
Here’s more about the pros, cons and ethics of applying with more than one mortgage lender.

Why you should apply with more than one mortgage lender
Okay, you should shop for mortgage financing because you don’t want to leave money on the table – especially your money. Got it. But there are other reasons to scour the market for the best deals.

Will you be approved?
Different lenders have different standards. You might not qualify with Acme Mortgage – but you may qualify with AAA Home Loans. Not all mortgage applications succeed. According to Ellie Mae’s January 2019 Origination Insights report, “Closing rates for all loans increased to 75.0 in January. Refinance closing rates increased to 69.5 percent in January, while purchase closing rates increased to 78.1 percent in January.”

At first, it may seem odd that you can get approved by some lenders but not by others. After all, isn’t a VA loan from one lender the same as another? And the same with FHA financing and conforming mortgages that must meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards?

Related: Turned down for a mortgage? Here’s what to do next

In each case, the basic loan requirements are the same, but lenders may impose additional qualification requirements. They call these added requirements overlays. And they are very common.

The VA, for example, explains that it has “no minimum credit score requirement. Instead, VA requires a lender to review the entire loan profile.” While the VA does not have a credit score requirement, a lender who offers VA financing might. One lender may accept VA borrowers with a 640 credit score while another requires 660.

The right program
If you’re concerned about mortgage approval because of your credit rating or debt-to-income ratio, you may gravitate toward FHA financing. FHA home loan programs are known to be more flexible. However, the mortgage insurance for these loans can be considerably more expensive than that required for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage.

You may, in that case, want to apply for both programs. if you get the Fannie Mae loan, and it turns out to be less expensive, congratulations. And if not, you still have the FHA loan to fall back on. Kind of like college applicants going after their dream school but also applying to a “safety school” in case they don’t get into their preferred institution.

What about the best rate?
Everyone wants to get the best mortgage rate and terms. That said, a little caution is in order.

The “best rate” depends on a lot of factors. The best rate for Ms. Green may be different from the best rate for Mr. Johnson. This can happen because Ms. Green has a better credit score, is putting more down, has bigger savings and is financing with a fixed-rate loan instead of an ARM. In addition, mortgage rates are always in flux; they change constantly.

Mortgage shoppers need to look for a lender who can deliver the best rate available for the borrower at the time of application. You can’t know the best available rate without checking among several lenders.

What about costs?
In addition to an interest rate, you need to look at loan costs. Some lenders simply charge more or less than others, even when rates are identical. Check the annual percentage rate (APR) on the official Loan Estimate form to compare lender costs.

Float or lock?
Some borrowers prefer to lock-in a rate because they know such interest pricing will be available to them at closing. Others prefer to let rates float, to get whatever’s available at closing.

There are several alternatives.

First, lock with one lender and float with another.

Second, speak with several lenders and lock rate offers that have a “float down” feature. This generally means that if the rate falls at least .125 percent or .25 percent before closing you can get the lower rate. Make sure you know the details of the float down arrangement, they can differ among lenders.

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Is it unfair to shop around?
It is sometimes argued that by shopping around you are forcing loan officers to work for free. The opportunity to present a mortgage offer is how lenders make their money, it’s a risk that comes with the business. Alternatively, if you HAD to accept the first mortgage offer you got, you might well get a bad rate and terms.

However, making two lenders do all the work associated with loan origination and then finally choosing one at closing time is not usually worth doing.

For one thing, you’d have to pay for two appraisals, two credit reports, and perhaps other fees. And it will likely make you feel uneasy because there’s a big difference between getting pre-qualified with a lender, which may take a few minutes, and making them go through an entire origination over several weeks for free.

When to shop
If you want to shop among mortgage lenders, ask each to send an official Loan Estimate form for your consideration. This standard form shows what the lender is offering and can be compared with other offers. You are not required to accept an offer – but realize that if you let a good offer pass, it may not be available again.

Alternatively, you can have a broker shop for you. Retail loan officers work for one lender, while mortgage brokers look for financing among many lenders. For some borrowers, the lending process may be made faster and more understandable by working with a mortgage broker, someone familiar with the marketplace and how it works.

If you’re going to check with several mortgage sources, it makes sense to include a mortgage broker in the mix.

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