Paris property prices soar to highest levels ever

Property prices in Paris reached record highs at the end of 2018. And the bad news for anyone hoping to find a pied a terre in Paris is that this price escalation is expected to continue this year.

2018 was another historic year in Paris property sales – great news for sellers, financially crippling news for buyers. This was according to results unveiled in the Chamber of Notaries of Greater Paris.

Purchase price per square metre continued to rise to record heights and the sales volume continues to grow (though it did dip slightly from 2017 peaks).

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There are obviously huge differences between prices for Paris and its suburbs. The average price per metre in the Île-de-France region is 5,970 euros (4.5 percent more than in 2017). But you need an average of 9,750 euros if you dream of living in the heart of Paris, up 5.7 percent in one year.

The cheapest area to buy in the city centre is La Chapelle in the 18th arrondissement at 7,460 euros per square metre, which is still an increase of 11.3 percent since last year.

If you’re feeling a little flush, the most expensive area in Paris now is Odeon in the 6th at an incredible 17,410 euros per metre, a whopping rise of 28.3 percent in just one year.

One of the key causes of this continuing rise is the shortage of new houses being built.

Notaries now estimate that the symbolic bar of 10,000 euros per metre squared on average in Paris (long presented as an impassable “glass ceiling”) will probably be reached as early as this summer.


REDAN Set To Hold 3rd Annual Expo

The Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), is set to hold its 3rd annual exhibition popularly known as REDAN Build Expo.

The 2019 REDAN Build Expo will hold at Musa Yaradua Centre from 7th – 8th of May 2019. Speaking to Housing News in Abuja on Friday, the Program Consultant, Festus Adebayo said,

‘’this year’s event will parade an array of dignitaries and professionals from all areas of housing,construction, real estate and mortgage from all over the world”.

According to him the REDAN Build 2019, is now open for expression of interest for partnership,participation and sponsorship from organizations who may be interested to work with REDAN for the development of Nigeria’s housing sector.

This year’s event will be unique, because of the determination of REDAN to engage and partner with government agencies in promoting economic development through the creation of jobs.

The Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) is the principal agency and umbrella body of the organized private sector (public and private) responsible for housing development in Nigeria, having been conferred with official recognition by the Federal Government of Nigeria since November 2002.

Membership of REDAN is open to: Limited Liability Companies, Registered (Co-operative) Societies, partnerships, and parastatals of State or Federal Government who engage in real estate development.



U.S. congratulates Buhari, Nigeria

The U. S. has congratulated Nigeria on its successful presidential election and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in a statement, noted the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election.

Pompeo said the United States’ assessment was  “in spite of localized violence and irregularities”.

He called on all Nigerians to ensure successful Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections on March 9.

Pompeo said: “The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria on a successful presidential election and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.

“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process.

“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localised violence and irregularities.

“We also congratulate all the other candidates for their peaceful participation in the electoral process.

“We call on all Nigerians to ensure successful state elections next week.

“Going forward, the United States remains committed to working together with Nigeria to achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations”.


The presidential election, held on February 23 saw Buhari poll 15,191,847 votes and his closest challenger, People’s Democratic Party’s candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar polled 11,255,978 votes to emerge a runner-up.

Buhari, who was declared re-elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission, also won in 19 states, to defeat other 72 candidates including Atiku, who won 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory, to occupy the second position. (NAN)

Source: Daily Trust

GCF To Invest $100m For Solar Project in Nigeria

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved the Solar IPP Support Programme for Nigeria, which is expected to benefit no less than one million households in the country.

The $100 million project forms part of the nine new climate resilience and low emission projects totaling $440 million that were endorsed at the 22nd meeting of the GCF Board that ended in Songdo, South Korea.

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According to sources, the Nigerian project will “reduce or avoid 476,487t CO2 eq on an annual basis, and 9,529,739 t CO2 eq. over the life of the programme”. The programme is also expected to reduce the perceived risks of investing in the Nigerian renewable energy sector and catalyse private sector investment in the area, through a commercial tranche, on a best effort basis.

At the meeting that saw the selection of Yannick Glemarec as ts new Executive Director, the GCF took steps to strengthen operations, reinforce standards and close policy gaps. The meeting also approved the selection of nine new project partners to become Accredited Entities to GCF.

Co-Chair, Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan Mahmoud, said: “We have taken a series of positive decisions at this Board meeting that set us on a path for a successful and ambitious replenishment of GCF, in particular the selection of Yannick Glemarec as our new Executive Director.”

Co-Chair, Josceline Wheatley, stated: “The Board has worked together in a positive spirit this week to expand our portfolio, improve our governance, and strengthen GCF’s operations.”

Javier Manzanares, Executive Director ad interim, noted: “GCF now has a $5 billion portfolio in 97 countries supporting low-emission, climate-resilient development. With decisions to ensure better governance, new project approvals, and a reinforced readiness programme, this Board meeting has left us in great shape for our first replenishment.”

The nine new project approvals bring GCF’s portfolio to a total of 102 projects and programmes, committing $5 billion of GCF resources for climate action in 97 developing countries. Including co-financing, the portfolio channels $17.7 billion in climate finance through its network of 84 Accredited Entities. The new approvals include the first REDD+ results-based payments to be financed, relating to the Brazilian Amazon.

Providing readiness support to build the capacity of developing countries is a key part of GCF’s activities. The Board took note of the evaluation of the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme by the Independent Evaluation Unit and adopted a work programme and budget that builds upon the evaluation findings and recommendations and provides $122.5 million for 2019 for a new phase of readiness support to developing countries.

Ahead of a pledging conference for the first replenishment of GCF later this year, the Board meeting also moved to complete the policies and standards that guide GCF’s climate activities. New investment criteria indicators will strengthen the implementation of the investment framework, whilst a policy on cancellation and restructuring of projects will further reinforce the good management of its portfolio of projects.

The Board also welcomed recommendations from the Independent Evaluation Unit on how to improve the Results Management Framework, as well as a management response and action plan. The adoption of a policy on protection from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and sexual harassment, together with guidelines and procedures for the Independent Redress Mechanism ensures that GCF remains at the forefront of international efforts on safeguards and standards.


MFBs contemplate on the N10bn national licence ahead of CBN’s new capital requirement

Ahead of the full implementation of the new capital requirement for Microfinance Banks (MFBs) next year, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) is planning to float a National MFB licence with N10 billion capital base.

The move is to absorb those MFBs who may not meet the new capital requirement announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“As soon as we set up the National MFB, we will list it on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) before the end of the year,” Rogers Nwoke, president of NAMB, told BusinessDay exclusively.

Nwoke said his team was at the NSE last week for a closing bell ceremony where he discussed with the Exchange on how the members of NAMB could come to the market.

But the move by NAMB may also have been informed by the plan by the CBN and the Bankers Committee to establish a National MFB across the 774 local government areas of the country using Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) facilities.

According to the National MFB establishment plan by the CBN and the Bankers Committee, the two bodies will utilise the sum of N5 billion as equity from N60 billion Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) Fund, while NIPOST will contribute its offices across the country.

The CBN in October 2018 increased the minimum capital requirements for Unit microfinance banks from N20 million to N200 million, State MFBs from N100 million to N1 billion, and National MFBs from N2 billion to N5 billion.

The new minimum capital requirement was to take immediate effect for new applications while existing microfinance banks were required to fully comply with effect from April 1, 2020, according to CBN’s directive.

But MFB operators have been raising concern over the new capital requirement, saying it would be difficult if not impossible for many MFBs to meet.

Nwoke told BusinessDay that the existing 886 microfinance banks operating in the country have a capital base of N93 billion.

When contacted, Tokunbo Martins, director, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) department, CBN, described the move by NAMB as “fantastic”.

Microfinance bank operators had protested the increase in their capital requirement and had written to the CBN for review of the new capital base and extension of deadline.

“We have taken all their requests on board and we are going to look at it,” Martins said.
The CBN had directed that to meet the new capital requirements, existing microfinance banks are expected to explore the possibility of mergers and acquisitions and/or direct injection of funds.

Also, the regulators said the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Microfinance Banks, Code of Corporate Governance for Microfinance Banks and sector-specific Prudential Guidelines for Microfinance Banks would be issued in due course.

Institutions that meet the capital requirements as well as demonstrate the existence of strong corporate governance in their operations, the apex bank said, would be allowed to open account at the CBN office within their state of operation. Such institutions would also be channels for micro funding activities of the CBN and the Development Bank of Nigeria.


Source: Business Day


Cape Town: Social housing project to deliver over 1 000 housing units

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the start of the Goodwood social housing project, which is expected to deliver 1 050 rental housing units.

“We must continue working towards reversing the legacy of apartheid spatial planning by promoting transport-oriented development,” Malusi Booi, Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, said.

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“At the same time, we must work towards creating affordable and inclusionary housing on well-located land close to public transport and job opportunities, as is the case with this new project.

“In addition, we must plan and cater for a wide range of income groupings to respond to the increased demands of urbanisation.”

Commenting on the Goodwood train station site development, Booi said: “It demonstrates social housing in action and what is possible when partners in government and the private sector work together.

“Social housing, which offers affordable rental units for families with a combined monthly income of between R1 500 and R15 000, is one delivery model that we are driving hard as a City.

“This is a partnership between the City, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Human Settlements, the social housing institution DCI Community Housing Services, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Intersite Asset Investments and the National Housing Finance Corporation, among others. The government subsidy contribution to this social housing project is approximately R280 million.

“The City has provided development facilitation support and various incentives to contribute to the financial viability and operational sustainability of this social housing development.”

“It is quite symbolic that the site for this development is on the Goodwood train station site. This is fully in line with our strategy of positioning housing developments and social housing opportunities closer to smaller city centres and transport hubs.

Booi added: “We continue to assess City-owned land, including in and near the Cape Town CBD, among others, to determine whether some of these properties could be developed for housing opportunities – be it for transitional, affordable, social housing, or State-subsidised BNG housing.

“There are no quick fixes but we are absolutely committed to building integrated communities with different types of residential developments based on a mix of income groups and circumstances.

“The development and availability of affordable rental accommodation in central areas of the city is pivotal to the future development of Cape Town.”


Why Brian Egan Resigned as Dangote Cement CFO

Dangote Cement Plc has announced the resignation of its Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Brian Egan.

The company made the announcement through a company statement signed by the Company’s Secretary, Mahmud Kazaure, and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

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The statement, disclosed that the resignation would take effect on Thursday. According to the company, Egan’s resignation was voluntarily and without pressure.

Reason for his resignation was based on family matter, as Egan seek to return to Ireland to spend more time with his family.

Meanwhile, the company lauded him for his contribution to Dangote Cement’s growth.

Brian joined Dangote Cement as Group Chief Financial Officer on 20th April 2014 and was elevated to the Board as Executive Director, Finance, in July 2017. He has previously been an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Petropavlovsk Plc and of Aricom Plc, both of which were listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Before joining Aricom he was Chief Financial Officer of Gloria-Jeans Corporation, a leading Russian apparel manufacturer and retailer. He has more than 20 years’ international experience in senior financial roles with Associated British Foods Plc, Georgia-Pacific Ireland Limited and Coca-Cola HBC.

He trained as an accountant with KPMG and is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Source: Fakoyejo Olalekan/Nairametircs


How Dangote Gained $5.8bn in One Day

The total net worth of Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote, rose to $16.6 billion after he gained $5.8 billion within 24-hours, becoming the only billionaire from one of the 60 poorest countries, a new report disclosed.

Dangote whose wealth had dropped to $9.63 billion on January 1, 2019, from $10.5 billion at the end of last year, 2018, reportedly gained $10.8 billion on Monday.

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His net worth increased by 23 per cent from $13.5bn on February 26, 2018, to $16.6bn, emerging 64th richest person in the world. He was the only Nigerian on the list of 500 billionaires and retained his position as Africa’s richest person.

Other gainers on the Index

Dangote emerged as the second biggest mover with 58 per cent so far this year, after Andrew Forrest, founder and largest shareholder of Fortescue Metals Group, the world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer. Forrest’s wealth has grown by 59 per cent this year.

Other Africans on the list were Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, who was ranked 216th with a net worth of $7.05bn; Johann Rupert of South Africa (ranked 225th with $6.92bn wealth); Nassef Sawiris of Egypt occupied the 228th position with $6.83bn; Natie Kirsh of South Africa (ranked 263rd with a net worth of $6.10bn) and Naguib Sawiris of Egypt emerged 331st with a fortune of $5.12bn.

According to Bloomberg, net worth figures are updated every business day at the close of every trading day in New York, with assets categorised as publicly traded companies, private assets (including closely held businesses, art and real estate), cash and other liquid investments and liabilities.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, remains the richest person in the world with a total net worth of $136bn while Bill Gates and Warren Buffett occupied the second and third positions respectively with $98.4bn and $83bn fortunes.

Source: Fakoyejo Olalekan/Nairametircs


Building more homes is not the solution to the housing crisis,report says

More houses need to be built in the UK to relieve the pressure on first time buyers, but this will not address the growing issue of under-occupancy and the lack of affordability caused by population increases and ageing, according to a new report.

The analysis by the Cass Business School for think tank the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) explains that while the UK’s housing stock is, on paper at least, sufficient to meet current housing needs, there are a large number of second and empty homes.

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Using a new concept called the Dwelling Index, the research tracks the big increase under way in the number of older people living alone or in couples. It says that this trend is set to continue for the next two decades and with it the problem of under-occupancy and vacant housing.

It points out that the implications are hugely significant in terms of the UK’s capacity to meet current and future housing needs. Between 2020 and 2030, the number of households is set to rise by around two million to 30.7 million, but 35% of the increase will comprise older households and, of these, 61% will be one person.

The outlook is similar for 2030 to 2040, with further growth of 1.6 million in the number of households to 32.3 million with 38% of the additions forecast to be older households, and 67% of those one person. By contrast, family households are expected to grow by only 1.6% from 6.4 million to 6.5 million between 2020 and 2030 and by 0.5% between 2030 and 2040.

To understand the extent of the mismatch, the analysis compared the type of accommodation available with housing needs, using the Dwelling Index and Government space standards. It found that while 60% of homes have three or more bedrooms, there would be a much closer fit with dwelling needs if only 46% had three. As the population ages, the degree of misalignment will increase, aggravating wealth inequalities between generations.

‘The case for downsizing strengthens as people age, but current policies are having a deterrent effect due to high transaction costs and a lack of suitable properties to downsize into. This area needs urgent attention, whether it is building more attractive age-friendly and suitably sized apartments, or more retirement communities,’ the report says.

The research also predicts a fall in prices in the 2020s due to demographic factors. The most important of these are that baby boomers will start to die out and demand for housing from people of working age will level out. Both will help younger buyers, especially if accompanied by faster rises in average earnings. In the meantime, more new homes are needed, but to avoid a treadmill of ever increasing housing stock coupled with falling occupancy, other measures are required.

It suggests that policies need to be closely aligned so that more efficient use is made of the housing stock. ‘This means building more affordable houses for ownership and rent. House builders and local authorities hold the key to investment decisions, with reform of the planning process playing an integral part,’ the report points out.

‘Central Government has the power to reform the planning system and reduce transaction costs, notably taxes, in a targeted way to encourage downsizing,’ it says, adding that currently housing policy is piecemeal and too focused on first time buyers, addressing symptoms rather than the underlying causes.

‘We recommend that attention should also focus on last time buyers to ensure that downsizing plays a bigger role in the solution and the role of financial services is crucial. The industry controls mortgage lending, including equity release, and can also provide housing backed insurance to cover future care costs,’ the report adds.

Reacting to the report, Nick Sanderson, chief executive officer of the Audley Group, said that the Government must prioritise incentives and schemes to support the building of specialist retirement properties and encourage downsizing.

‘The onus shouldn’t sit solely with the Government. The whole housing sector, including mortgage lenders and homebuilders, must be more innovative to support older home buyers. If done correctly the entire country will reap the societal and economic benefits,’ he said.


London Mayor Warn of Brexit Impact on Housing

The Mayor of London, London Councils and the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations have sent an open letter to the Secretary of State for Housing warning of the potentially catastrophic effects that a no-deal Brexit could have on affordable housing delivery.

In the letter they say they are ‘profoundly concerned’ about the impact that a no deal Brexit, or Brexit deal that is bad for the capital, would have on Londoners and say that both scenarios would have a major impact.

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They tell the Secretary of State James Brokenshire that the Government needs to ensure that it acts now to mitigate any risks to the delivery of housing, particularly affordable homes.

The letter calls for the provision of an emergency grant of an estimated £5.2 billion in the event of a no deal Brexit to de-risk housing association and council housing programmes and support 30,000 affordable homes planned to start over the next 18 months and the conversion of an additional 9,000 homes for social rent.

They also say there must be continued access to development finance and enabling funds, including London’s share of the long delayed Housing Infrastructure Fund and action to reduce the threats to the supply of essential labour and materials for home building.

‘Brexit is already impacting the home building sector in London. It is very frustrating given our success over the last two years in building confidence with our partners, and given Londoners’ need for good quality and affordable homes,’ the letter says.

‘We are committed to doing all we can to keep London building the council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes we need, but there is an urgent need for certainty and we urge the Government to step up and take responsibility for addressing these serious challenges,’ it adds.


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