Army launches N7bn housing projects

The Nigerian Army in partnership with Betonic West Limited has launched N7.5 billion housing project in Otukpo and Ohimini local government areas of Benue State.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Army Post-Service Housing Development Limited, Brig. Gen. Mahem Bashir, said the project would reduce housing deficit in Benue.

 

He spoke yesterday in Abuja during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Bentoniq West Nigerian limited.

He said the project which is on a 30 hectare would comprise of 321 housing units in Otukpo.

Bashir said, “The purpose of having all kinds of units in the scheme is to provide choices and also cater for different categories of individuals in Nigeria.

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“The estate would have surface roads with asphalt, fences, street lights, water supply and of course adequate security.

“This estate is for all Nigerians interested; recently the Chief of Army Staff declared that all estates be at a 50: 50 ratio, that is for military personnel and civilians.

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“The units would include: four bedroom duplexes (type 1 and 2), three bedroom duplexes, four-bedroom detached bungalows, three-bedroom detached bungalows, three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows.”

Ronald Mutum

ADVOCACY GROUP TO HOLD RALLY TO DEMAND SPEEDY PASSAGE OF PENDING HOUSING BILLS

President of the Housing Development Advocacy Network, Bar. Festus Adebayo has urged Nigerians and stakeholders in the housing sector to join in the campaign to ensure the housing rights of all Nigerians.

Bar. Festus made the call while speaking to our Housing News correspondent ahead of the September 18 rally to the National Assembly to press home demand for the speedy passage of all pending housing related bills.

He emphasised that for all classes of Nigerians to have access to decent and affordable housing, the government must put in place people oriented housing laws, policies and programmes.

The HDAN president added that government should also ensure an enabling environment for housing developers to operate and guarantee the rights of all Nigerians to decent and affordable housing.

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He noted that there are several bills on housing pending before the National Assembly, saying if these bills are passed; it will go a long way in ensuring sustainable housing development to the benefits of all Nigerians, in respective of the income bracket.

Bar. Festus therefore urged all Nigerians to join HDAN in its September 18 rally to the National Assembly to demand the speedy passage of these bills. He said if the National Assembly is not sitting on that day, a new date for the rally will be announced.

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The housing bills pending before the National Asembly include bills to amend the Land Use Act of 1978, the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme Act 1992, Mortgage Banks Act 1989 (subsumed in BOFIA), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Act 1993, The Trustee Investment Act 1962, The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Act 1993, The Insurance Act 2002, The Investment and Security Act 1999, The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act 1990, Securitization Bill, Foreclosure Law Bills amongst many others.

Federal legislation needed to declare housing a ‘right,’ says coalition

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government needs to make good on its promise to declare housing a “fundamental human right” under Canadian law as part of its forthcoming national housing strategy, advocates for affordable housing said Tuesday.

Without such a declaration, the legislation that’s expected to be unveiled this fall that will bring that strategy into force will be rendered toothless, said Tim Richter, president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

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“The federal government has committed to the right to housing, but to make this commitment meaningful, it must be recognized in law,” Richter told an Ottawa press conference where he released an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, signed by a coalition of more than 170 prominent Canadians and organizations.

The letter spells out demands that new legislation require “goals and timelines” for reducing and eliminating homelessness.

It also called on the government to ensure its housing bill is consistent with international human rights obligations, and that the Liberals act to realize the right to housing within the shortest possible time, depending on how much money the government has at its disposal.

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The prime minister announced details last fall of his government’s decade-long national housing strategy, including the introduction of a housing benefit for families that won’t kick in until after the 2019 federal election.

 

The strategy also included a promise to introduce new legislation requiring the government to report to Parliament on housing targets and outcomes, as well as a commitment that 100,000 new affordable housing units would be built and another 300,000 existing affordable housing units repaired.

Canada is already a signatory to the UN-backed International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes “adequate” housing as a right.

But declaring such a right domestically would ensure that governments, both federal and provincial, can’t back out of affordable housing commitments on a political whim, said Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.

“The legislation has to articulate the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right,” Farha said. “It has to name it.”

There have been concerns expressed among critics of such a move — including some Liberals — that declaring housing a right in law could encourage people to use the court system to obtain better housing, or to argue that their rights were violated should they be evicted for failing to pay rent.

But legally enshrining a right to housing would show that all Canadians deserve the right to security, good health and safety in the form of adequate housing, said NDP housing critic Sheri Benson.

“When we have thousands of Canadians sleeping out in the cold, patchwork solutions will not solve the housing problem,” Benson said.

Farha also dismissed concerns about widespread court actions, but said there has to be a way to force the government’s hand if it’s not ensuring the basic housing needs of its citizens are met on a wide scale.

“(The legislation) has to ensure that there are accountability and adjudication mechanisms so that governments can be held accountable,” she said.

More than 235,000 people experience homelessness in Canada each year, while 1.7 million households live in unsafe, unsuitable or unaffordable housing “because they have no better option,” said Campaign 2000’s Anita Khanna, who called the figures “disgraceful.”

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

Lagos ranked 138 among ‘world’s worst cities’ to live in

SEVEN out of the 10 least liveable cities in the world are in Africa, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual survey.

The league table ranks 140 cities on a range of factors, including political and social stability, crime, education and access to healthcare.

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Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, was ranked 138 – two slots ahead of the bottom of the league table which is held by Syria’s war-torn capital, Damascus (140).

It was closely followed by Zimbabwe’s Harare (135), Libya’s Tripoli (134), Cameroon’s Douala (133), Algiers in Algeria (132) and Senegal’s Dakar (131).

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Johannesburg gained the rank of 86, making it the most livable of African cities.

The annual report says cities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia account for the ten-lowest scoring cities where “violence, whether through crime, civil insurgency, terrorism or war, has played a strong role”.

The Austrian capital Vienna came in first place.

Nigerian Tribune

Archers Group celebrates 27 years with tourism, real estate inclusion

With Vast investments in oil, gas, education, construction, and now making an inclusion in tourism and real estate spanning into hundreds of luxury serviced apartments in Accra, Ghana, Archers View Courts hopes to tell the true African story to visitors from all over the world.

Victor Adeoye Omole is an investor of several business interests and owner of Archers Group whose first emergence into the business 27 years ago establishing Archers Gas with interest in LPG Cooking Gas before expanding to Archers Gas, Oxygen with industrial plants in Lagos and Ilesa, Osun States, Nigeria.

 

During a press conference in Accra Ghana stated “he believes that the true beauty of Africa is still uncovered and hugely embedded in Tourism & Real estate & hopes to make a mark in the Industries which has started to recognise their efforts with the recently received Award as “Developer of the Year” by Ghana Property Awards.

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The journey for any business certainly does have its unique challenges and it hasn’t been any different for Archers View Courts. “Fluctuations in exchange rates, prices of products and services, housing deficits, issues of land guards and their belligerent manoeuvrings and land litigation matters are quite rife in our industry”. Despite these, there are littered stories of good news.

He called on the new government to open up some areas for them in terms of accessibilities of lands, roads and necessary cooperation from related stakeholders to necessitate the feasibility of his affordable housing and infrastructure projects.

Speaking quite passionately on the subject, affordable housing & affordable apartments for visitors from all over the world isn’t just a fleeting thought for Mr Omole and team, its implementation are quite bona fide and ultimately doable. In his words: “Throw in the value, and the profit will come”.

With no holds barred on his niche market, we intend to reach out to everyone who desires to own a home and seek to satisfy that need at an affordable rate.

Our dream is for every area to turn into the next East Legon, Airport residential areas, Dubai etc., with requisite facilities and amenities.

Commending other investors he ascribes his distinctive mantra and DNA for excellence to affordability, luxury and maintenance (Once you buy a land we stay with you). “People’s fears need to be alleviated. We are not just a flash in a pan, we are here to stay.

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In his own words: ‘’we stay with everyone that buys a house from us”. Right from purchase of a home to its maintenance and other essentials, Archers is there for the long haul.

When asked why the investments were made in Ghana & not Nigeria, he said “we are taking the full advantage of regional economic integration and the attraction Ghana holds for most especially Nigerians. ” The beginning of our work is with Ayimensah and Dome apartments in Accra, we hope to spread like wildfire.”

The Guardian

Experts: Infrastructure limits skyscrapers construction in Nigeria

Dearth of infrastructure has been blamed for low level of construction of skyscrapers in Nigerian cities to solve accommodation problems.

 

According to housing experts, skyscrapers are good for the economy, but absence of infrastructure such as electricity to power the lifts (elevators) is one of the limiting factors.
Commenting on Housing Development Group platform, former President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Steve Onu, said that absence of required support infrastructure was a major obstacle to tall buildings’ construction in Nigerian cities.

Apart from electricity, he explained that skyscrapers would require a lot of sewerage and water supply systems, wondering if the nation has capacity to handle these.
“Then how do we handle sewerage systems and water supply systems,” Onu said, adding that individual boreholes would not be able to serve a project of about 50 floors.

Although Lagos and Abuja could boast of few high-rise commercial and office developments of 20 to 25 floors in the last 10 years, these cannot be classified as skyscrapers. Skyscrapers, according to a report from Standardmedia.co.ke. are very tall buildings that define a city’s skyline.

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It noted that the term originated in the United States of America (US) in the late 1880s during the building boom in Chicago and New York. “At this time, buildings that had more floors than the surrounding buildings were called skyscrapers. These days, buildings that have at least 40 or more floors are designated as skyscrapers,” it read.
Studies from Bahrain, United Arab Emirate and Kuwait indicate that the design of the skyscraper itself can contribute positively to the environment by lowering pressure on natural resources and providing habitants with an enjoyable living environment.

However, fast-growing Africa presents a wide range of investment opportunities from agriculture, infrastructure, minerals, industry and even manpower, which has seen it attract whopping investments in real estate and other infrastructure.
Conesquently, Onu raised posers about the capacity of Nigerians and the government to maintain a central sewage system if all the systems (building) are linked to it.

The town planner said the issues raised in the report were reminders to architects so that they could be more creative and for planners to review cities’ subdivision regulations especially in the central business districts to accommodate such developmental principles.

Founder of the Assured Group, Mr. Adewunmi Okupe, an architect, maintained that shortage of electricity has limited most housing innovations in Nigeria.
He pointed out that skyscrapers could help in solving accommodation problems in major cities and reduce pressure on land, saying that absence of infrastructure was a major setback.

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He described a situation where someone is living on a 40th floor without electricity to power the lifts as “something else.”
Another expert noted that housing remained a multifaceted issue, adding that infrastructure provision was germane to all. “The bottom line of issues raised here is that housing is an integrated issue. Piecemeal approaches will not do,” he said.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international organization of civil engineers and architects based in Chicago, ranks the heights of buildings based on three criteria: the height of building from the lowest level to the architectural top, excluding antennae and flagpoles; the highest occupied floor; and from the lowest level to the highest level, including antennae and flagpoles.

Skyscrapers were originally created in the USA as a symbol of economic strength and increasing global business operations. Unsurprisingly, according to Standardmedia’s report, most of the tallest buildings in the world were located in the US.

Dayo Ayeyemi

Home Affordability Hits 10-Year Low in U.S.

According to the National Association of Home Builders / Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, rising U.S. home prices and interest rates pushed housing affordability to a 10-year low in the second quarter of 2018.

In all, 57.1 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $71,900. This is down from the 61.6 percent of homes sold in the first quarter that were affordable to median-income earners and the lowest reading since mid-2008.

The national median home price jumped from $252,000 in the first quarter of 2018 to $265,000 in the second quarter–the highest quarterly median price in the history of the HOI series. At the same time, average mortgage rates jumped by more than 30 basis points in the second quarter to 4.67 percent from 4.34 percent in the first quarter.

“Tight inventory conditions and rising construction costs are factors that are holding back housing and putting upward pressure on home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “Meanwhile, tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. are further eroding housing affordability. Builders are struggling to manage these costs to ensure pricing does not outpace expected gains in wage growth.”

“Rising household formations, along with a strong economic expansion in the second quarter that has fueled job growth, will support housing demand in the second half of 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, growing trade war concerns and the expectation of higher mortgage rates are additional headwinds negatively affecting housing affordability.” 

Syracuse, N.Y., was the nation’s most affordable major housing market. There, 89.1 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $74,100. Meanwhile, the nation’s most affordable smaller market was also located in the Empire State. In Elmira, N.Y., 97 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the median income of $71,000.

Rounding out the top five affordable major housing markets in respective order were Scranton-Wilkes Barre-Hazleton, Pa.; Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa; Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.; and Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.

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Smaller markets joining Elmira at the top of the list included Kokomo, Ind.; Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill.; Cumberland, Md.-W.Va.; and Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio.

San Francisco, for the third straight quarter, was the nation’s least affordable major market. There, just 5.5 percent of the homes sold in the second quarter of 2018 were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $119,600.

Other major metros at the bottom of the affordability chart were located in California. In descending order, they included Los Angeles,-Long Beach-Glendale; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara; and San Diego-Carlsbad.

All five least affordable small housing markets were also in the Golden State. At the very bottom of the affordability chart was Salinas, where 9.8 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $69,100.

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In descending order, other small markets at the lowest end of the affordability scale included Santa Cruz-Watsonville; Napa; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande; and San Rafael. 

Denver Edition | By Monsef Rachid

Mortgage bank begins rent-to-own housing for workers

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has approved the implementation of a Rent-To-Own Housing Scheme.

The rent-to-own housing project targets Nigerian workers who are contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) and will be implemented in phases. About 3,000 houses are planned for the pilot phase.

A statement from the bank, signed by Zubaida Umar, Group Head, Corporate Communications, said, “The scheme is specifically designed to make it possible for Nigerian workers to move into FMBN homes as tenants, pay for and own the properties through monthly or yearly rent payments spread over periods of up to 30 years.”

According to the statement, the FMBN’s rent-to-own scheme is an innovative, affordable housing product, which provides an easy and convenient payment plan towards home ownership for Nigerian workers.

“The properties will also attract a single digit interest rate of nine per cent on the price of the property on an annuity basis. The product will cover properties with the maximum value of N15m,” the ststement said.

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To deliver on the rent-to-own housing scheme, FMBN said it would partner with reputable estate developers for the construction of quality, cost-effective housing stock nationwide.

Payments for the houses will be domiciled with the CBN through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

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Properties that are planned for the rent-to-own scheme are existing estates that are funded by FMBN nationwide, and non-funded estates.

Speaking on the development, Arch. Dangiwa M. Ahmed, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FMBN, stated that, “The rent-to-own is yet another ground-breaking initiative of the bank that is targeted at increasing access to affordable housing by Nigerian workers who fall into the low-medium income bracket.

“The rent-to-own housing product is designed to make sure that any worker who collects salary should be able to live in his own home and pay conveniently over periods as long as 30 years. This is a massive relief, especially given how little workers earn. I am delighted that we have successfully added this product to the many other initiatives that we have made possible to make home ownership a lot easier for Nigerian workers.”

Daniel Adugbo

Mortgage Rates in U.S. Dip in Early August

 

According to Freddie Mac most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey, U.S. mortgage rates were mostly unchanged the first week of August 2018, but did ease up slightly.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says mortgage rates have mostly drifted sideways this summer. “This stability is much needed for home sales, which have crested because of the multi-year run up in prices, tight affordable inventory and this year’s higher rates,” he said. “Going forward, the strong economy will support the housing market, but with affordability pressures mounting, further spikes in mortgage rates will lead to continued softening in home price growth.”

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Khater continued, “There continues to be a steady rate of job creation, but as we’ve seen throughout most of this economic expansion, wage growth is not meaningfully increasing above inflation. With home prices still climbing and mortgage rates up from 3.90 percent a year ago, some prospective buyers are definitely feeling an affordability crunch.”

Freddie Mac News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.59 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 9, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 4.60 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.05 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.18 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it with an average 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.14 percent.
  • Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By WPJ Staff

Growth in global top end property markets slowing down

Prime property price growth in key cities around the world is falling, up just 2.6per cent in the 12 months to June 2018, the weakest annual rise since the first quarter of 2012, the latest index shows.

Overall, the number of cities registering double digit annual price growth fell from seven to just three, quarter on quarter, according to the date from the prime global cities index from international real estate firm Knight Frank.

Guangzhou in China recorded the biggest annual price rise of 11.9per cent but this was down 16.1per cent from the first quarter of the year. Next was Singapore, up 11.5per cent, followed by Madrid up 10.3per cent, San Francisco up 9.5per cent and Tokyo and Edinburgh, both up 9.4per cent.

 

At the other end of the index, which tracks 43 cities, prices fell by 8.4per cent year on year in Stockholm, were down by 4.7per cent in Vancouver, down by 3.8per cent in Rome, down by 2.7per cent in Taipei, and down by 2per cent in Istanbul.

Prices were unchanged in Dublin, up by just 0.1per cent in New York, by 0.3per cent in Vienna, by 0.3per cent in Kuala Lumpur, by 0.5per cent in Milan, by 0.6per cent in Mumbai, by 1per cent in Monaco and by 1.5per cent in Jakarta.

According to Propertywire, the index analysis prices in Singapore have rebounded strongly but recent stamp duty changes may have an impact going forward and Cape Town and Dublin are seeing prime price growth soften but for very different reasons.

The rate of annual growth in Cape Town has halved in the last six months from 19.9per cent to 8.2per cent. The index report says that the citywide drought and the uncertainty over the process of land expropriation without compensation has weakened sales activity. However, six weeks of solid rainfall and new land guidance from the Government has mitigated this concern and sales volumes are strengthening again.

By contrast in Dublin where price growth has stalled, it is tighter lending rules, rising luxury supply and a reduction in sterling denominated buyers which is leading to more moderate price appreciation.

Partner for international residential research at Knight Frank, Kate Everett-Allen explained that the decline in the overall indexís performance is not due to a rising number of cities registering an annual decline. Instead, the weaker growth is due to the top performing cities rising more slowly.

The gap between the strongest and weakest performing city has shrunk from 33 to 20 percentage points in the last quarter. “The introduction of new, and the strengthening of existing, property market regulations, along with the rising cost of finance and a degree of political uncertainty is resulting in more moderate price growth at the luxury end of the worldís top residential markets,” she said.

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She pointed out that Singapore has accelerated up the annual rankings to second place and this may be because high land bids by developers has translated into higher new build values. In an attempt to curb price inflation, the authorities announced further increases to the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty in July and this includes higher rates for foreign buyers at 20per cent and for developers at 30per cent as well as tighter lending rules.

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Hong Kong has also introduced a new cooling measure, a new vacancy tax. Under the new rules, developers will incur a penalty, 200per cent of the annual rental value, if new apartments are left unsold and empty for six months or more.

In the United States it is San Francisco with annual growth of 9.5per cent and Los Angeles at 7.8per cent leading the national increases. Everett-Allen said that the US economy is firing on all cylinders and housing demand has been boosted by a buoyant labour market.

The Guardian

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