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Experts Link Building Collapse to Low Maintenance Culture

Construction experts in the past said faulty designs; copied designs; lack of comprehensive subsoil investigation before designs are done; non-adherence to designs and professional advice during construction; lack of effectiveness of government agencies charged with the monitoring of the building procurement and production process and quackery at both pre and post-contract stages were major problems.

The Chairman, the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lagos Chapter, Mr Segun Fadeyi, said building owners needed to imbibe the culture of maintenance in order to arrest the incident of building collapse.

According to him, inadequate maintenance can result in decay, degradation, reduced performance and may also affect the health or threaten the safety of users, occupants and others in the vicinity.

Fadeyi explained that building maintenance as a process of ensuring that buildings and other assets retained a good appearance and operate at optimum efficiency, should not be overlooked.

He said, “Maintenance includes activities done to keep spaces, structures and infrastructure in proper operating condition in a routine, scheduled, or anticipated fashion to prevent failure or degradation.

“No matter how attractive and competitive a building is, as its facilities age, the systems will deteriorate, and this can be severe enough to affect structural integrity.

“One of the keys to keeping the cost of a property low is through proper management and maintenance of the property. Building owners and facility managers are duty-bound to inspect and evaluate a building and its property to determine risks, maintenance plans, and necessary remediation.”

Fadeyi stated that wear and tear; defects in design construction, vandalism and environmental effects were factors that could necessitate maintenance.

He noted that building maintenance should be aimed at preventing the process of decay and degradation; maintaining structural stability and safety; prevent unnecessary damage from weather, and to optimise performance of buildings.

He also called for routine maintenance, adding “Routine maintenance includes cleaning, servicing, oiling, greasing, renewal of plastering, painting of walls, and painting of woodworks etc.”

He stated that most building collapse cases in the country were man-made, and that poor maintenance culture was a major factor.

The Coordinator of Ikotun/Igando cell of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Mrs Adekemi Okusaga, said the government had to be responsible and act fast.

According to Okusaga, the near lack of interest by the government has made many people to develop the habit of engaging quacks during construction.

“Before you build, you need to consult professionals.  Your safety is important and not the cost of the building,” she said.

Source: punchngng

Mortgage Firms Jittery Over Plan to Increase Banks’ Capital Base

Like a heavy cloud, a deep sense of disquiet now hangs over the mortgage sector, following new proposal by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the capital base of banks.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had recently laid out his five-year policy thrust that includes recapitalising the banking industry, so that banks can a maintain higher level of capital as well as liquid assets in order to reduce the impact on the financial system.

He also revealed plans to encourage banks and financial institutions to lend from their balance sheet in order to support the growth of critical sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, Micro- Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the real estate sector. This will put greater emphasis on improving consumer spending and business investment by MSMEs, which is critical to sustainable double digit growth of the Nigerian economy.

Emefiele also intends to ensure more mortgage lending. “In our effort to support the growth of Nigeria’s real estate industry, the CBN will work in developing a framework that will enable banks to securitize mortgage loans, which can then be sold in the capital markets.

“Adequate safeguards will be put in place to reduce the risk of delinquency in the mortgage backed assets that will be sold in the capital markets. These measure will reduce the credit and liquidity risk to banks of holding these assets on their balance sheets and improve the amount of funds available to support mortgage loans. It will also reduce the high cost of obtaining mortgages for banking customers,” he said.

The Guardian gathered that mortgage operators and their investors have been gripped by a state of restlessness over the possible backlash of the proposed sweeping changes on Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), especially as it relates to raising their capital base, which stands at N5 billion for national and N2.5billion for regional banks.

The capital base was increased from N100million. About 34 PMBs operated in Nigeria – 10 are national banks while 23 operate as State PMBs.

Sources told The Guardian that the umbrella bodies of the PMBs, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) has begun an analyses of the CBN document to ascertain it’s relevant to the sub-sector and to sensitise its members.

Statistics show that the size of mortgage market is N284 billion (2010); N348.1 billion (2012) and N518.76 billion (2016). Only about 5per cent of the 13.7million housing units in Nigeria are currently financed with mortgages.

The mortgage industry generates 100,000 transactions between 1960 – 2009 and 181,519 transactions (2010 – 2016) while contribution of mortgage finance to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about one per cent.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Prince Oluseyi Lufadeju welcomed the CBN new policy, “There is no need to be scared of the CBN’s decision to increase the capital base of banks. We are unfortunate to have pegged the value of our currency to the dollars the first place. Anything that happens to our naira value in relation to the dollar will structurally affect our operations.

“Since the last increase in bank’s capital base, the value of the naira has depreciated over 100per cent. The logical thing to do is to adjust this to bring it to the current level vis a vis the dollar. That is why I don’t think we should tie ourselves to the dollar forever. The Chinese yuan is a trading currency and we can use their exchange rate.

According to him, “the capital base of the mortgage banks is unusually low and unrealistic. With N5 billion capital base, out of which only 50 per cent has been subscribed, the bank can only do little or nothing. We should plan in such a way that all the PMBs can rely on Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for support.

“The capital base of the banks should be set at N1trillion over the next five years in such a way that N200 billion can be subscribed annually. This will give the bank muscle and courage to implement their mandate.  In view of the national importance of this sector it should be considered important to involve the state and local governments in the capital increase. The capital base of the PMBs should also correspondingly be increased to allow them play their roles effectively.”

For the Executive Secretary, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), Toye Eniola, “mortgage banks are set up to create and grant long term facility to the people and to do this, the banks require huge financial base. Increasing their capital base is realistic for appropriate mortgage system. It is time we confront the challenges in our mortgage market to create appropriate and functional system that will service the mortgage needs of the people. It is a realistic decision in a sane society.

However, he advised that before this is done, the modalities for the implementation of all necessary mortgage laws that would enhance the efficiency of the sector especially foreclosure laws ought to be in place. This is the only meaningful thing to do that can attract investors and develop the mortgage sub sector.

Efforts to get the leadership of MBAN to comment on the new development proved abortive.

Source: guardianng

Imo Government Approves State of Emergency on Infrastructure

In response to the State House of Assembly’s request, the Imo State Executive Council has declared a state of emergency on infrastructure.

The Assembly had in a motion recently resolved that the State Government takes steps to declare State of Emergency in all infrastructure in public works and health.

The Deputy Governor, Gerald Irona, who presided over the meeting in a statement reiterated the resolve Chief Emeka Ihedioha led administration to tackle the decay in infrastructure in the state.

The statement made by the Council was contained in a statement signed by Dr. Walter Duru, an aide to the deputy governor.

“The Executive Council also considered reports on the state of infrastructure in Imo, necessitating the resolve to declare a state of emergency on infrastructure in the state.

“Among the areas considered for immediate intervention are: the poor state of roads in the state, the flooding challenge, particularly, within the state capital, among others.” It added.

They include, Otamiri, which has been in state of disrepair for eight years the flyovers, tunnel at Imo Concorde Road, among others.

Irona also revealed some of the roads and other infrastructure considered for immediate attention to include, the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede-Ihiagwa-Obinze road, Assumpta- Control Post axis, Mgbidi-Oguta road, MCC-Toronto junction, Aba Bridge-Mbaise road, among others.

Consequently, the council also approved the sum of N49,845.00 million for the rehabilitation of the Otamiri Water Scheme, which supplies water to Owerri residents and environs.

“The approval followed a recommendation by the Management of Imo Water Corporation, considered by the State Executive Council.

He assured stakeholders that the state Government would monitor the rehabilitation process, with a view to ensuring that it is done according to specifications.

“He explained that the project will be executed through direct labour, while the approved funds shall be released in tranches.

Source: guardianng

FCTA Gives Lokogoma Residents Two Weeks to Vacate Waterways

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has given two weeks ultimatum to residents of Ipet-5 Estate in Lokogoma district, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), whose buildings are along waterways and road corridors, to vacate the areas.

Recalled that barely few weeks ago, the waterways along the Lokogoma corridor were heavily flooded and swept away several houses including a young boy of 17 years after a heavy downpour.

Handing down the ultimatum during an unscheduled visit to the estate, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, stated that at the expiration of the two weeks ultimatum, government would move in and demolish all structures along the corridors.

Ohaa explained that the buildings be removed by the administration,after the ultimatum are structures built on 20 meters  from the both sides of rivers, adding that the buildings along the water ways and road corridors, in the estate, are the cause of the perennial flooding in area.

He disclosed that the buildings were built without approval from the administration, adding that the owners of the buildings were given allocations by the administration on where to build, but frowned that they have left the original allocations to build on waterways and on road corridors.

The permanent secretary also advised residents to always conduct necessary due diligence before agreeing to buy any property, to avoid paying for wrong things or wrong places.

Also speaking, chairman of Lokogoma 11 Residents Association, Stanley Ugwu, revealed that most of the affected buildings were bought from the developers, adding that the owners of the buildings never believed that due diligence were not conducted before the building were sold to them.

Ugwu therefore appealed to the FCTA to assist the affected building owners to get compensation from the developers, adding that it is only the administration could enforce such action.

Source: guardianng

QUEEN LATIFAH BUILDING $14M ‘AFFORDABLE’ HOUSING PROJECT IN NEWARK

Hip-hop icon Queen Latifah is putting on her developer hat and returning to her hometown of Newark to build a new affordable housing complex.

According to published reports, the $14 million project is expected to break ground this summer along Springfield Avenue and South 17th, NJ.com reports. The outlet notes that the property will “include 23 family townhomes, 16 additional smaller units, a fitness center and a commercial space that will be rented to non-profits.”

Latifah is a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, which has partnered with GonSosa Development on the project.

The affordable housing apartments will be priced according to a person’s income, while the rents for the market rate units will start around $1,800 a month.

“BlueSugar and GS Developers share the belief that decent, affordable housing should be available to everyone regardless of their financial situation,” said Cristina Pinzon, a spokesperson for the developers. “The principals in both companies have strong connections to Newark and the surrounding area and have seen this need firsthand.

They understand know how difficult it is to make ends meet for many residents and want to be part of the solution. They remain dedicated to making life better in communities like Newark.”

queen latifah

A rendering of the 76-unit residential town homes coming to Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street in Newark. Queen Latifah, a Newark native, is one of the investors. (Courtesy: BlueSugar Corporation and GonSosa Development) (BlueSugar Corporation and GonSosa Development)

Last year, NBA star and Newark native Shaquille O’Neill returned to his home state to invest in a high-rise downtown.

“We have been having ongoing conversations with a few other celebrities, so stay tuned,” said Aisha Glover, President and CEO of the Newark Alliance, which is comprised of local corporations and institutions who are invested in Newark. “We’re really trying to make sure that everything we do from A-to-Z is inclusive and people can afford to live here.”

Source: eurweb

Singapore Heading for Recession Next Quarter, Maybank Says

Singapore’s economy will probably experience a “shallow technical recession” in the third quarter as the global trade outlook worsens, according to Maybank Kim Eng Research.

The escalating U.S.-China trade conflict is weighing on Singapore’s export-reliant economy, which Maybank expects will grow 1.3% this year, down from a previous projection of 1.6% and lower than the government’s forecast range of 1.5% to 2.5%

“Disruptions to the supply chain will likely intensify as the trade war broadens to tech and the U.S. imposes export controls on more Chinese tech firms,” Maybank economists Chua Hak Bin and Lee Ju Ye said in a note.

The slump in exports has hit manufacturing, which contracted more than expected in May, data on Wednesday showed. The outlook for electronics, which make up 27% of factory output, is particularly weak since U.S. export controls may hit chipmakers like Broadcom Inc. and Intel Corp., which operate in Singapore, Maybank said.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative quarter-on-quarter growth, and if that happens it will increase the chance of the central bank easing monetary policy in October, the economists said. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which uses the exchange rate as its main tool, left its policy settings unchanged in April.

MAS and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are reviewing their growth forecast range for the year and can’t yet say whether it’ll be revised to even lower than the current 1.5%-2.5% estimate, Managing Director Ravi Menon told reporters during the Thursday release of the central bank’s annual report. A fresh figure will have to wait at least until second-quarter economic data are fully collected through July, Edward Robinson, MAS’s chief economist, said at the same event.

Source: Bloomberg

2 Affordable Housing Projects To Receive Over $38M From State

Two affordable housing projects in Millbrae and East Palo Alto will receive over $38 million from the state, county officials announced on Friday.

The grant will add 208 units for veterans and very low and extremely low-income individuals in San Mateo County.

The money was awarded for Bayshore Affordable Apartments in Millbrae and Light Tree Apartments in East Palo Alto. The funding came from the state Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program.

“This award represents the power of building strategic collaboration between the Department of Housing, the developers, the cities and our transportation partners,” Ken Cole, director of San Mateo County’s Department of Housing, said in a statement.

The application for the award takes three to six months to prepare, but the county and its partners prepared it in one month.

Bayshore Affordable Apartments will be a part of the Gateway at Millbrae Station, a residential and retail development to be located near the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station.

Light Tree Apartments, developed by Eden Housing and EPA CAN DO, at 1805 E. Bayshore Road, will provide 128 new and replacement units for families and substantially renovate and preserve the affordability of 57 units to remain at the property.

“The grant is an opportunity for us to take 91 families off our waiting list and into a high-quality home,” Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing, said in a statement.

Source: sfgate

PwC reveals Nigeria’s Real Estate is Holding about $900 Billion to Ransom.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy —with its gross domestic product (GDP) of $530 billion, growth expectations hinged at 2.3% in 2019, and a long-term average growth rate of 3.5% —still holds between $300 billion to $900 billion worth of dead capital in residential real estate and agricultural land alone.

According to a report recently released by PricewaterhouseCoopers limited, the high-value real estate market segment holds-in value between $230 billion—$750 billion, while the middle market segment holds in value between $60 billion—$170 billion.

Experts have long emphasised on the need to explore the untapped potentials in a bid to grow the economy. This is especially in respect to the volatile crude oil prices in the world oil market which has posed a challenge.

What is Dead Capital? “Dead capital“, according to the Peruvian economist and development scholar Hernando de Soto who coined the concept in 2001, are “assets that cannot be converted to economic capital”.

 

According to the economist, capital, which is the resource used to increase productivity for wealth generation in an economy, is the most essential component of societal advancement and thus, deserves the utmost priority when developing solutions for advancing countries.

Analysis from the report: The residential and agricultural real estate sector, according to the report estimates by PwC, is one of the major forms of dead capital. With over 40 million households in a total country population of 200 million, The report reveals that a typical Nigerian house is over capacity with an occupancy rate of seven persons in a room.

Furthermore, the report revealed that approximately 95% of Nigerian household dwellings have no title or a contestable title.

Despite various developmental plans, Nigeria continues to wrestle with rising poverty and unemployment levels, coupled with the epileptic manufacturing and industrial base. This is despite the fact that economic development could have been made possible by harnessing capital from areas that are often overlooked by people.

 

Why dead capital? Some of the factors responsible for the dead capital in Nigeria’s residential and agricultural real estate segments include, but not limited to the following:

  • The lack of credit access by small businesses and the prevalence of dead assets.
  • The state of Nigeria’s housing and property markets.
  • The high cost of land.
  • The high cost of securing and registering a secure land title.
  • More so, the land tenure system which is still being practiced in the communal and informal sector has made it quite a stressful process for anyone to own and register a land legally.

What can Nigeria do to bring dead capital life? According to the report, Nigeria is underperforming and one of the ways to end the underperformance is to unlock dead capital. This could be done through the following ways:

  • Structural Reforms: The conversion of dead capital to live capital through structural reforms would help in the conversion of most of the capital in the informal economy (which is currently valued at 65% of GDP) into the formal economy.
  • The development of electronic asset registries which are backed by blockchain technology could position the residential and agricultural real estate in Nigeria, therefore, unlocking the dead capital needed for the nation’s growth and development.
  • Systemised Trust Creation: The creation of trust in the system and increased participation in the segment will bring about capital conversion in this economic class through fiscal receipts into the formal economy.

In order to circumvent the above challenges, the country needs to invest in establishing proper and seamless land administration, as well as implement policies that will improve land accessibility. This, as industry sources believe, would also increase capital for infrastructure in the sector whilst stimulating economic activity.

Source: nairametrics

Our global house-price forecasts

Ten years ago a housing bust caused the deepest recession in generations. Since then, ultra-low interest rates and an increasing abundance of credit have pushed house prices back towards or beyond their pre-crisis peaks. As a result, in some markets policymakers are beginning to worry that boom could once again turn to bust. The long housing rally in Australia is coming to an abrupt end: prices there fell 8% in the year to the end of March. Appreciation has also slowed markedly in Britain, Canada and New Zealand during the past year.

Could another crash lurk on the horizon? To estimate this risk, The Economist has created a statistical prediction model for house prices. It uses data on macroeconomic conditions, market fundamentals and historical home values to peer 18 months into the future. As an article in our print edition this week shows, the model performs well when back-tested against the past.

Although it would not have anticipated the magnitude of the extreme boom and bust of the mid-2000s, it would have foreseen a sharp reversal in the trend. For example, ahead of the financial crisis, when prices were growing at 8% a year in America, our model would have expected house-price growth to slow to just 0.3% a year 18 months later.

Looking ahead, the model is currently rather sanguine about the likely paths for home values across ten rich world countries, thanks to the persistence of low interest rates and ample credit. The average of its median forecasts for price growth in the year to the end of June 2020 is 2.3%. The model expects prices in Australia to level off rather than continuing to decline. Only in Italy are values more likely to fall than to rise.

Source: Thr Economist

The Latest: California lawmakers reach housing agreement

California’s governor and legislative leaders have agreed to reward local governments that make it easier to build houses faster and punish those who don’t.

The proposal finalized on Thursday is in response to the state’s housing shortage, which is driving up costs and sending more people to the streets.

The plan would reward local governments deemed to be “pro-housing” with more than $1 billion in housing and transportation grants. It would also let the state sue local governments who do not comply, which could include court-imposed fines of up to $100,000 per month. The court could impose additional penalties.

The proposal still must pass both houses of the state Legislature.

The agreement is part of the final package of bills around the state budget. Newsom has until midnight Thursday to act on the budget bill.

California’s governor is running out of time to act on the state’s nearly $215 billion operating budget.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has until midnight Thursday to make a decision on the budget, which lawmakers passed earlier this month.

This is Newsom’s first budget since he took office in January. It includes a $21.5 billion surplus, the largest in at least two decades following years of budget cuts because of shrinking revenues.

Newsom has not said whether he will sign the budget. He could also veto it entirely or veto parts of it. Newsom and state lawmakers are still negotiating about other bills that direct how the money will be spent. But Newsom called those outstanding bills “small issues.”

Source: By The Associated Press

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