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Why  Lagos Tenancy Law Needs Amendment- Experts

Stakeholders in the housing sector have stressed the need to ensure that a proposed amendment to the Lagos tenancy law, which came into force in August 20, 2011 protect all the parties and encourage investment in the built industry.

The tenancy law governs rental of property within the state and is derived from both contract and property law which establish the legal relationship between a landlord and tenant.

Already, the State House of Assembly has initiated processes to amend the law due to what it described as some observed anomalies in it. However, some stakeholders have criticised the move, saying it is inclined to revenue generation rather than yielding to the demands of people.

The bill being processed by the State House of Assembly would be the third amendment to the tenancy law, which repealed the Rent Tribunals (Abolition and Transfer of Functions) Law 2007.

Titled; “A Bill for a Law to Regulate the Relationship of the parties under Tenancy Agreements and Specify the Procedure for the Recovery of Premises in Lagos State And For Connected Purposes, was discussed recently at one-day stakeholders forum at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium in the Assembly complex.

The bill seeks to address issues such as jurisdiction of the courts, tenancy agreement, advance rent, rent payment receipt, rights of a tenant, obligations of the landlord and obligations of a commercial tenant regarding rent payment.

Others include, obligation regarding business premises, service charge, facility and security deposits, and payment of professional fees, provision for reentry, length of notice, and payment of arrears rent amongst others

Speaking on the issue, a property lawyer, Yemi Omodele, said he would support an amendment of the law as some sections are outdated.

For instance, some body stays in some one’s premises for three years, you are still asking that such a person be issued six months notice before you can proceed for litigation, if it has been established that he has not paid rent for six months, you can take action to court straight. The law stipulated that you write a defaulting tenants before you can sue him.

Omodele said the clamour for amendment has to do with determination of tenancy, steps to be taken to eject a tenant from the premise and the mode of payment.

He stressed that the existing law proscribed one-year rent, but the money is somehow meagre considering the economic situation in the country.

For instance, if you collect the rent for one year, some one who is paying N5,000 , it will amount to N60,000. Considering the land use charge in Lagos, you are to pay something to the state, then if you collect a year rent , it then means that nothing is left. So the amendment is looking at the determination of tenancy, the issue of rent payment, the area of prosecuting cases relating to tenancy, in the law court as well as the attitude of some landlords to some tenants, who witch hunt tenants primarily for them to vacate on time.

Omodele said the present law tilts more to the side of the tenants than the landlord and called for some punishments to make sure that landlords do not maltreat tenants or vice versa.

The property lawyer also berated the government for not allowing more stakeholders to express their views at the stakeholders forum.

“Ordinarily, there should be public hearing before amendment of such critical law, which should be published in the national dailies, they should even organise workshops at ward, constituency and local levels. All you just hear is that the law has been repealed, when was it done nobody know”, he added.

He also called for a public enlightenment to encourage tenants to pay rents.

Reacting to the issue, the representative of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers at the stakeholders meeting, Mr. Francis Okpaleke said the proposed amendment it’s not stakeholders driven, in the sense that it came like a flash in the pan from government.

According to him, what the house proposed to amend is not what stakeholders would want even as there are some new developments in the proposal, which are not so clear, and has the capacity of creating more confusion.

For instance, he alluded to the issue of taxation in which a 10per cent tax on commercial properties was introduced. This, he observed could raise fears of double taxation because the 10per cent will be additional burden and could create capital flight because people would run away from investing in real estate”.

“If at all the law is to be amended, it should have been based on stakeholders’ observation and demand. It just came from the Assembly and curiously it was toward the end of the immediate past assembly. T Now we have a new house and administration, so we will wait and see the approach they have in mind,” he said.

Okpaleke said, “Another part of the proposed amendment is on the issue of dispute resolution; they make some changes like court referral of some cases to multidoor and citizen mediation centre. It proposes to have the consent of the parties on the matter. Criminalisation of commercial tenants forwarding details of tax declarations/rent to appropriate authority in this case the authority is not well defined.

“When a system is over regulated, we have housing deficit because appropriate funding is not coming to the housing market, when you bring a lot of regulations, you end up scaring investors and you will have shortage in terms of supply of buildings and the housing situation may be worsened”.

He explains that a lot of proposed amendments are more of revenue generation inclined to the government rather than meeting the yearnings of stakeholders or boosting the real estate industry.

Also, a fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyor and Valuer (NIESV), Adefila Thomas Kolawole, said the law as it were is skewed too much to favour tenants, thereby constituting a disincentive to property investment .

According to him, if you have a property developed for investment purposes, which demands that you pay back to the bank, your property may be sold for not being able to meet your obligations.

A tenant, he said, can default in payment and you can be in court for years because of what the law provides in the process of recovering your money or property, you cannot do anything about it .

“In the new tenancy law, your property could be subject to foreclosure by the bank and the bank will take it up to pay your mortgage, which is very fundamental that is why everybody feels the need to look at tenancy law again not to make it difficult for tenants but to make it equitable for both tenants and landlords.

“So, with that the landlord now knows that his investment in property is secured and he can expect the rental income and even if there is minimal delay, he can always recover and that the stream of income will come and he will be able to service his loan, which is very vital.

“You know that the law has done everything to protect the tenants from any kind of Jankara judgment, they now have fair hearing because they know that they are in courts.
“There were organised kind of litigation, where you can bring somebody, who is not your tenants, present him and get judgment in court”, he said .

Kolawole agreed that there is need to look at the law so that it will not be disincentive to investment in property, especially now that there are a lot of housing deficits, because when people are not encouraged by legal output it becomes a problem.

Source: guardianng

Nigeria Needs N36 Trillion Investment to Achieve Stable Power Supply

It will take not less than $100 billion, approximately N36 trillion, to enable stable power supply in Nigeria. This is according to the Electricity distribution companies (Discos).

The Discos said the N36 trillion worth of investments will be needed over a period of 20 years.

How the investments will be deployed: The Discos disclosed that the investments will include over $10 billion (about N3.6 trillion) in distribution networks over the next 5 years.

The entire power supply value chain of the Discos, according to them, will also gulp about $40 billion (about N14.4 trillion) over the next 20 years.

READ MORE: Manufacturers spent over N246 billion fuelling generators

The Discos would also have to invest about $4.2 billion in the interface project developed by the transmission network in furtherance of TCN’s expansion plan.

Need for stable electricity: The need for electricity to be stable in the country cannot not be over-emphasised. According to the November 2018 edition of the Monthly Business Expectations Survey Report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the most compelling factor constraining businesses in Nigeria is insufficient power supply.

The survey underscored the fact that electricity is a very necessary and important ingredient required for businesses to function properly and to expand. Higher electricity costs drive business costs higher and reduce business competitiveness. This is because as costs of electricity rises, businesses look for alternative power sources like generators leading to reduced output and productivity thereby rendering them less competitive.

Similarly, a recent research by the World Bank reveals “that power outages and deficient power infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa had a measurable negative impact on economic growth over the period of 1995−2007”.

Can lingering power supply instability be solved? Aside from being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria is blessed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resource. Thus, the country has virtually all that it needs to meet it’s electricity needs. All that is missing is the political will.

Source: nairametrics

Our Biggest Takeaway from G-20 Summit, Why it Matters to Nigeria

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping seem eager to put an end to a fractious trade war that looms large on the global economy.

At the ongoing G-20 summit, the pair struck a truce in their trade war and agreed to return to the negotiating table to pick up from where they left off after talks fell apart last month.

Trump said he wouldn’t be putting additional tariffs on China for the “time being,” and that he’ll allow U.S. companies to supply Chinese tech Giant, Huawei Technologies Co.

Trump also said Chinese President Xi Jinping had promised to buy “tremendous” amounts of U.S. agricultural products in exchange. “We’re going to give them a list of things we’d like them to buy,” Trump said at a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Agreeing to start fresh negotiations with China is no outright guarantee that a trade truce may finally be in the offing, but there’s no denying that Trump’s change of tone means a layer of worry about global growth has been removed.

The significant downside risks from the 18-month old trade war between the world’s two largest economies had threatened to disrupt the global economy and caused economists to forecast a slowdown in global economic growth this year.

 


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3 percent- the lowest since the financial crisis- from the previous level of 3.5 percent in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), marking the third time in six months that the fund revised its outlook downward, as the trade war worsened.
A trade truce would put some of the fears about slowing global growth to rest. It would also give global equities a boost.

—How Nigeria benefits from a truce

A trade truce between the US and China is not only beneficial to the global economy but also to Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer.

That’s because wherever global growth goes, the demand for crude oil tends to follow.

In periods of economic booms, oil demand jumps, along with prices, but when there’s a slowdown demand softens and prices fall.

This is not to say there aren’t other factors that could cause oil prices to climb in the face of an economic slowdown (like when there are supply disruptions).

The positive relationship between oil prices and global economic growth is one Nigeria benefits from.
That means if a trade truce is struck and the global economy is able to perform better, then the price of oil- which accounts for the single largest chunk of government revenue in Nigeria- is likely to increase, implying more cash for Nigeria.

More cash for Nigeria translates to a stronger chance of implementing the 2019 budget, which is predicated on an oil price of $60 per barrel.

A possible downside of the truce would be the negative impact of a stronger dollar on the exchange rate. The stronger the dollar, the higher the chances of a weaker Naira.

Source: businessdayng

Hot Local Housing Market Has Homebuyers Scrambling

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Nick and Kayla Hollenbeck really liked the house they looked at last week.

The 3,100-square-foot home at 3027 Sunny Hill Circle in southwest Rapid City featured vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, three bedrooms, 3-1/2 baths, an open kitchen and family room with panoramic views of the Black Hills skyline, a three-car garage, a finished basement and a large well-groomed yard.

What better place for an established family, or a house with room for a young family to grow?

The problem for the Hollenbecks, however, is the home is significantly out of their desired price range.

The Hollenbecks and their four-month-old daughter, Cora, have been caught in what has become a white-hot housing market in Rapid City.

The family recently moved here from Mitchell and are staying with Kayla Hollenbeck’s parents while looking for a home of their own.

They have made offers on less expensive properties, only to be shut out.

“We have put in offers on three houses and lost all three of them,” Kayla Hollenbeck told the Rapid City Journal . “It’s been disappointing.”

“One, we never had a chance to counter our original offer,” Nick Hollenbeck added. “They just sold to a higher offer.”

So now the couple is expanding their search to a higher price range and to areas of town they might not have looked at before.

“We’re looking at everything, including houses that are more than we would be comfortable paying just in the hopes that we can find something,” Kayla Hollenbeck said.

The current real estate crunch is as much a shortfall in the number of homes typically on the market in late spring and early summer — a prime time for home sales — as well as strong demand created by factors that include growth in the number of jobs in the local health care industry and younger couples moving up from apartment living.

A healthy housing market for the greater Rapid City area would be 600 to 700 homes for sale, said realtor Perry Grosz of EXIT Realty Black Hills of Rapid City.

As of June 21, there were fewer than half that number of homes and townhomes available in Rapid City and its surrounding bedroom communities, which includes Box Elder to the east, Piedmont, Elk Creek and Nemo Road to the west and Hermosa to the south.

“In all of that big area, a 20-mile circle, there’s only 345 homes or townhomes you can buy,” Grosz said.

The market has been especially hot for homes in the $250,000 price range, with those listings being sold in some cases in a matter of hours.

“$230,000 is the average. Anything under that is not on the market very long at all,” said realtor Jennifer Brue of Keller Williams Black Hills Realty. “For a lot of sellers, if you’re in the right price range at the right time, it goes within the first week of being on the market.”

Grosz said homes are being purchased sight unseen. Realtors do a walk-through with live social media videos with their clients.

“They’ll be writing offers basically sight unseen. They haven’t been on site,” he said.

Brue said the home on Sunny Hill Circle, viewed by the Hollenbecks last week, has been on the market since mid-May, initially priced at $398,000 and drawing strong interest at first.

A recent $10,000 reduction in the asking price combined with potential buyers needing to widen their range should increase the showings again, she said.

With the shortage of available properties, market pressure can only expand to higher and higher price ranges, Grosz said.

“The numbers just keep moving up,” he said.

The shortage of homes on the market also comes as the economy continues to stabilize from the deep recession a decade ago, with more people staying in their homes, said Pam Heiberger, president of the Black Hills Association of Realtors.

“This isn’t a concentrated thing in just our Rapid City area. It’s throughout the country as far as a housing shortage goes,” she said. “We’re not the only ones getting hit.”

The economic outlook for Rapid City continues to look bright, with ongoing growth and the expected expansion at

Ellsworth Air Force Base with the deployment of the B-21 Raider bomber, expected in the mid-2020s.

“We’re good here in the Rapid City area for the next five, if not probably up to 10 years, from what’s going to happen,” Grosz said.

For the Hollenbecks, just finding a place to live for their growing family is the priority.

“The search continues,” Kayla said. “That’s what we keep saying.”

Heiberger said now is the time for anyone considering selling a home, as many families look to move now to be settled before school starts in the fall.

“It’s a good time to be a seller,” she said. “If buyers can be patient, the right home will come along.”

Source: usnews

It’s Green Shoots for the Housing Market, Home Builders say

New-home sales at a five-month low. Home contract signings below their year-earlier levels for 18 months in a row. Bond yields near recession territory, and taking mortgage rates down in their wake.

The housing market has been weak for a while, but there are some glimmers of hope, according to fresh information this week from two home builders.

“Our results reflect the fact that the housing market strengthened throughout Q2,” said Stuart Miller, executive Chairman of Lennar Corp. LEN, +0.06%  , which reported its second quarter earnings Tuesday.

“We don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon in the housing market,” said Jeffrey Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home, KBH, +1.34%   when the company took analyst questions on Thursday.

To some extent, the executives’ bullishness came down to some fairly straightforward principles.

Miller cited those lower mortgage rates, and slower price increases, and said “and that, together with low unemployment, wage growth, consumer confidence and economic growth, drove the consumer to return to a more affordable housing market.”

But there were some curious sentiments in the comments, as well. “We believe that the housing market is generally running in a performance channel that is bounded on the downside by the production deficit that has persisted for the past decade,” Miller added.

Translation: we producers haven’t been making enough homes for a decade, so pent-up consumer demand keeps a floor under potential results.

KB Homes’s version was also curiously passive: “supply remains insufficient to meet demand, stemming from the under-production of new homes over multiple years,” Mezger said.

Still, other than keeping business strong by doling out new houses sparingly to a supply-starved market, there are some other signs from both builders that should be encouraging for the housing market.

 

Lennar said it had struck a deal to produce single-family houses for rental purposes, seeking both to capitalize on a wave of interest from investors, but also meet consumer demand for renting rather than buying.

KB Home stressed that it was continuing to try to meet demand for lower-priced housing, even in higher-priced areas. In Seattle, for example, its products for first time and first move-up buyers have an average sales price of $385,000, compared to median new-home prices there of $620,000 – and even lower than the median existing-home price of $465,000.

It’s also worth pointing out that if the supply-demand imbalance remains as sharp as it has been, that could benefit the overall market – existing homeowners, for example – not just publicly-traded builders, even if the broader economy falters.

As Lennar President Jonathan Jaffee put it in response to an analyst question, “it’s just a reflection of a long upcycle but one that is defined as slow and steady which in a lot of respects is more healthy than one that is very robust because that can’t last very long.”

Source: marketwatch

Opinion: Manufactured Homes could ease California Housing Crisis

While public agencies are spending billions of dollars to fund affordable housing projects and homeless shelters, they have no plan to increase California’s stock of manufactured homes, the nation’s most affordable source of unsubsidized housing.

All the while Californians are coming to recognize that manufactured homes offer a lifestyle comparable to traditional housing at a far more competitive price, especially as the industry introduces new and innovative housing concepts.

This evolution is on full display at the Palm Canyon Mobile Club, a Palm Springs mobile home park that has introduced new manufactured homes with contemporary architectural designs, and interiors that are beautifully crafted and designed for small quarters. Some units include fenced yards, wrap-around decks and hot tubs. Their pitch is as simple as it is effective; “This is not your grandma’s mobile home park, but a new generation of community living.”

When the state’s median home price is $548,000, homebuyers will be surprised to learn that these homes, described by Apartment Therapy as “adorable and affordable,” are offered at bargain prices, anywhere from $155,000 to $225,000. However, if one is interested in more traditional designs, units can be ordered factory direct and installed for half the price.

Given their affordability and comfort, one would think the state’s solution to its housing crisis would include incentives to build more manufactured homes – lots more. Unfortunately not, and with inaction comes costly consequences.

Housing in California is 2 1/2 times more costly than the rest of the nation and despite manufactured homes being competitively priced, they comprise a mere 4.1 percent of the state’s housing market compared to the national average of 7.3 percent.

In contrast, manufactured homes comprise 11.3 percent of Florida’s housing market. Florida’s robust inventory may help explain why 64.8 percent of Floridians are homeowners compared to 54.5 percent for Californians.

There were periods of time, through much of the 1960s, that thousands of new mobile home parks were built in California, but this era of new park construction is long gone. This is not due to lack of consumer interest. On the contrary, the production of manufactured homes has been steadily increasing in the U.S., but these new homes are being located in other states with more favorable land-use and housing policies.

If housing agencies and local planners were serious about restoring the dream of homeownership, they would be crafting bold policies that aim to double the state’s stock of manufactured homes, surpassing the inventory of less-populated states.  Even modest progress could have a measurable impact on homeownership and homelessness.

To achieve this goal, a plan is needed. For starters, local agencies could waive costly and onerous development fees that make otherwise affordable homes too expensive for first-time homebuyers or seniors on fixed incomes.

This is not an extraordinary concept. Local agencies have been waiving development fees for years and, given that these homes are factory built and quickly installed on a prepared site, permitting and inspection costs should be modest in comparison to traditional homes. But, they are not and this is one of the many reasons why the era of new park expansion is over.

Should California’s political leaders choose to act boldly, the manufactured housing industry is ready to invest in California’s future. But we can’t do so until state and local agencies signal that they are serious about growing the state’s stock of manufactured homes.

This turnaround begins with political will and a plan. Let’s hope someone is listening.

Source: mercurynews

Not Enough Homes, and the Wrong Kind

In the midst of a housing shortage, the American household is shrinking, but the share of larger new homes is growing.

Home building has barely kept pace with the number of new households — a household “consists of all the people who occupy a housing unit,” according to the U.S. Census — in the United States over the last eight years, and much of what is being built is aimed at the higher end of the market, according to a report released this week by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Housing construction bottomed out in 2011, with just 633,000 new units built in the U.S. It has improved since then, with 1.2 million new units built in 2018, but to find a year before the recession when fewer than 1.2 million homes were produced, you would have to look all the way back to 1982.

Aside from the general lag in construction, the report stressed that smaller, affordable new housing has been in especially short supply, as rising costs and regulatory restrictions have made building it less profitable.

A recent study by the Urban Land Institute, a research-driven think tank, reached similar conclusions, showing that creation of new “attainable housing” has dried up in recent decades, replaced by the construction of larger, more expensive homes. (The organization defines “attainable housing” as unsubsidized, for-sale housing affordable to households with incomes that fall between 80 and 120 percent of the median income in a given area.)

The gap between what is being built and what is needed is particularly evident if you compare the size of households in the country and the bedroom counts in new construction. While households with fewer members have been on the rise over the last 30 years — between 1987 and 2017, one-person households quintupled and two-person households tripled — the share of new one- and two-bedroom homes has been cut nearly in half.

Source: nytimes

9 Ways To Invest In Real Estate Without Buying Property In 2019

Last year’s housing market was one for the record books, with the gains partly driven by tightening inventories and exceedingly low mortgage rates. In some pockets of the country, housing prices rose well over 10 percent on average.

But, it’s not only the big coastal cities that are seeing huge growth. A survey from GoBankingRates revealed that many cities with the most growth were inland, including: Buffalo, New York (34.6%), Atlanta, Georgia (24.54%), and Cincinnati, Ohio (20.6%).

With this in mind, you may be wondering if you should throw your hat in the ring and invest in real estate — or, if you’re too late. You may also be wondering if you should invest in real estate in a traditional sense — as in, becoming a landlord.

Now, here’s the good news. Not only is now still a good time to invest in real estate since more growth is likely on its way, but there are also more ways than ever to invest in housing without dealing with tenants or the other minutiae of landlord work.


Here are some of the best options right now:

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#1: Invest in real estate ETFs
An exchange-traded fund, also known as an ETF, is a collection of stocks or bonds in a single fund. ETFs are similar to index funds and mutual funds in the fact they come with the same broad diversification and low costs over all.

If you’re angling to invest in real estate but also want to diversify, investing in a real-estate themed ETF can be a smart move. Vanguard’s VNQ, for example, is a real estate ETF that invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs) that purchase office buildings, hotels, and other types of property. IYR is another real estate ETF that works similarly since it offers targeted access to domestic real estate stocks and REITs.

There are plenty of other ETFs that offer exposure to real estate, too, so make sure to do your research and consider the possibilities.

#2: Invest in real estate mutual funds
Just like you can invest in real estate ETFs, you can also invest in real estate mutual funds. A colleague of mine, Taylor Schulte of Define Financial in San Diego, says he swears by a real estate mutual fund known as DFREX. Why? Because its low costs and track record help him feel confident about future returns. In addition to low costs, Schulte says the strategy of DFREX is backed by decades of academic research from Nobel Prize winning economists.

TIREX is another real estate mutual fund to consider with $1.9 billion in assets, broad diversification among real estate holdings, and low fees.

#3: Invest in REITs
Consumers invest in REITs for the same reason they invest in real estate ETFs and mutual funds; they want to invest in real estate without holding physical property. REITs let you do exactly that while also diversifying your holdings based on the type of real estate class each REIT invests in.

Financial advisor Chris Ball of BuildFinancialMuscle.com told me he personally invests in REITs for the diversification and for the “non-correlation” with other types of equities. He says he likes the long-term data despite the typical mood swings and ups and downs of the real estate market.

“It also gives me exposure to real estate without having to be a landlord,” he says. Ball also says a lot of his clients agree with that position and invest in REITs as part of their portfolio as a result.

With that being said, I typically suggest clients stay away from non-traded REITs and buy only publicly-traded REITs instead. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out to warn against non-traded REITs, noting their lack of liquidity, high fees, and lack of value transparency create undue risk.

#4: Invest in a real estate focused company
There are many companies that own and manage real estate without operating as a REIT. The difference is, you’ll have to dig to find them and they may pay a lower dividend than a REIT.

Companies that are real estate-focused can include hotels, resort operators, timeshare companies, and commercial real estate developers, for example. Make sure to conduct due diligence before you buy stock in individual companies, but this option can be a good one if you want exposure to a specific type of real estate investment and have time to research historical data, company history, and other details.

#5: Invest in home construction
If you look at real estate market growth over the last decade or longer, it’s easy to see that much of it is the result of limited housing inventory. For this reason, many predict that construction of new homes will continue to boom over the next few decades or more.

In that sense, it’s easy to see why investing in the construction side of the industry could also be smart. An entire industry of homebuilders will need to develop new neighborhoods and rehabilitate old ones, after all, so now may be a good time to buy in.

Large homebuilders to watch include LGI Homes (LGIH), Lennar (LEN), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Pulte Homes (PHM), but there are plenty of others to discover on your own.

#6: Hire a property manager
While you don’t have to buy physical property to invest in real estate, there’s at least one strategy that can help you have your cake and eat it, too. Many investors who want exposure to rental real estate they can see and touch go ahead and buy rentals but then hire a property manager to do all the heavy lifting.

Lee Huffman, a travel and lifestyle writer for BaldThoughts.com, once told me he owns rental property in North Carolina but actually lives in California. While he tried to manage his properties from a distance at first, he ultimately chose to work with a property manager to save his sanity and his profits.

While he forks over 8-10% of gross rent to his manager, it was still “one of the best decisions he’s ever made” as a real estate investor, he says. “They take care of the rental property basics – minor repairs, vetting prospective tenants, collecting rents – so that I can focus on my career, family, and locating the next profitable rental property investment,” notes Huffman.

In that sense, he gets the benefits of being a landlord without all the hard work. “One of the most important roles that a property manager plays is that they act as a buffer between the tenant and me,” says Huffman. “I don’t receive random calls, texts, or emails from tenants at all hours of the day or night.”

The key to making sure this strategy works is ensuring you only invest in properties with enough cash flow to pay for a property manager and still score a sizable rate of return.

#7: Invest in real estate notes
Real estate notes are a type of investment you can buy if you’re interested in investing in real estate but don’t necessarily want to deal with a brick-and-mortar building. When you’re investing in real estate notes through a bank, you’re typically buying debt at prices that are well below what a retail investor would pay.

I’ve invested in real estate notes in the past via an individual investor I know who purchases and renovates property. So far, my experiences have only been positive. However, I would conduct due diligence to ensure you know what you’re getting into whether you invest into real estate notes with a bank or a real estate investor who is actively pursuing new properties.

#8: Hard money loans
If you don’t like any of the other ideas on this list but have cash to lend, you can also consider giving a hard money loan. My friend Jim Wang of WalletHacks.com says he is currently investing in real estate with this strategy since he wants exposure but doesn’t want to deal with being a landlord. He also says the ROI (return on investment) for his time wouldn’t be as great as other opportunities since his time is valuable.

Hard money loans are basically a direct loan to a real estate investor, he says. Wang offers real estate loans to an investor he knows in person, and he receives a 12% return on his money as a result. Wang says he feels comfortable with the set-up since the investor is someone he knows, but he isn’t sure he would be comfortable with a stranger.

Either way, hard money loans directly to real estate investors are another strategy to consider if you want to invest in real estate but don’t want to deal with a property and the headaches that come with it.

#9: Invest in real estate online
Last but not least, don’t forget about all the new companies that have cropped up to help investors get involved in real estate without getting their hands dirty. Websites like Fundrise and Realty Mogul let you invest into commercial or residential real estate investments and receive cash flow distributions in return.

Investing with either company is similar to investing in REITs in that your money is pooled with cash from other investors who take advantage of the platform. The cash you invest may be used to purchase residential property, commercial real estate, apartment buildings, and more. Ultimately, you get the benefit of dividends and distributions and long-term appreciation of the properties you “own.”

While neither company has been around for too long, they are both performing well so far. Fundrise returned an average of 11.4% on invested dollars in 2017 net of fees and 9.11% in 2018 after all, and you don’t have to be an accredited investor to open an account.

sing market was one for the record books, with the gains partly driven by tightening inventories and exceedingly low mortgage rates. In some pockets of the country, housing prices rose well over 10 percent on average.

But, it’s not only the big coastal cities that are seeing huge growth. A survey from GoBankingRates revealed that many cities with the most growth were inland, including: Buffalo, New York (34.6%), Atlanta, Georgia (24.54%), and Cincinnati, Ohio (20.6%).

With this in mind, you may be wondering if you should throw your hat in the ring and invest in real estate — or, if you’re too late. You may also be wondering if you should invest in real estate in a traditional sense — as in, becoming a landlord.

Now, here’s the good news. Not only is now still a good time to invest in real estate since more growth is likely on its way, but there are also more ways than ever to invest in housing without dealing with tenants or the other minutiae of landlord work.

Here are some of the best options right now:

#1: Invest in real estate ETFs

An exchange-traded fund, also known as an ETF, is a collection of stocks or bonds in a single fund. ETFs are similar to index funds and mutual funds in the fact they come with the same broad diversification and low costs over all.

If you’re angling to invest in real estate but also want to diversify, investing in a real-estate themed ETF can be a smart move. Vanguard’s VNQ, for example, is a real estate ETF that invests in stocks issued by real estate investment trusts (REITs) that purchase office buildings, hotels, and other types of property. IYR is another real estate ETF that works similarly since it offers targeted access to domestic real estate stocks and REITs.

There are plenty of other ETFs that offer exposure to real estate, too, so make sure to do your research and consider the possibilities.

#2: Invest in real estate mutual funds

Just like you can invest in real estate ETFs, you can also invest in real estate mutual funds. A colleague of mine, Taylor Schulte of Define Financial in San Diego, says he swears by a real estate mutual fund known as DFREX. Why? Because its low costs and track record help him feel confident about future returns. In addition to low costs, Schulte says the strategy of DFREX is backed by decades of academic research from Nobel Prize winning economists.

TIREX is another real estate mutual fund to consider with $1.9 billion in assets, broad diversification among real estate holdings, and low fees.

#3: Invest in REITs

Consumers invest in REITs for the same reason they invest in real estate ETFs and mutual funds; they want to invest in real estate without holding physical property. REITs let you do exactly that while also diversifying your holdings based on the type of real estate class each REIT invests in.

Financial advisor Chris Ball of BuildFinancialMuscle.com told me he personally invests in REITs for the diversification and for the “non-correlation” with other types of equities. He says he likes the long-term data despite the typical mood swings and ups and downs of the real estate market.

“It also gives me exposure to real estate without having to be a landlord,” he says. Ball also says a lot of his clients agree with that position and invest in REITs as part of their portfolio as a result.

With that being said, I typically suggest clients stay away from non-traded REITs and buy only publicly-traded REITs instead. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently came out to warn against non-traded REITs, noting their lack of liquidity, high fees, and lack of value transparency create undue risk.

#4: Invest in a real estate focused company

There are many companies that own and manage real estate without operating as a REIT. The difference is, you’ll have to dig to find them and they may pay a lower dividend than a REIT.

Companies that are real estate-focused can include hotels, resort operators, timeshare companies, and commercial real estate developers, for example. Make sure to conduct due diligence before you buy stock in individual companies, but this option can be a good one if you want exposure to a specific type of real estate investment and have time to research historical data, company history, and other details.

#5: Invest in home construction

If you look at real estate market growth over the last decade or longer, it’s easy to see that much of it is the result of limited housing inventory. For this reason, many predict that construction of new homes will continue to boom over the next few decades or more.

In that sense, it’s easy to see why investing in the construction side of the industry could also be smart. An entire industry of homebuilders will need to develop new neighborhoods and rehabilitate old ones, after all, so now may be a good time to buy in.

Large homebuilders to watch include LGI Homes (LGIH), Lennar (LEN), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Pulte Homes (PHM), but there are plenty of others to discover on your own.

#6: Hire a property manager

While you don’t have to buy physical property to invest in real estate, there’s at least one strategy that can help you have your cake and eat it, too. Many investors who want exposure to rental real estate they can see and touch go ahead and buy rentals but then hire a property manager to do all the heavy lifting.

Lee Huffman, a travel and lifestyle writer for BaldThoughts.com, once told me he owns rental property in North Carolina but actually lives in California. While he tried to manage his properties from a distance at first, he ultimately chose to work with a property manager to save his sanity and his profits.

While he forks over 8-10% of gross rent to his manager, it was still “one of the best decisions he’s ever made” as a real estate investor, he says. “They take care of the rental property basics – minor repairs, vetting prospective tenants, collecting rents – so that I can focus on my career, family, and locating the next profitable rental property investment,” notes Huffman.

In that sense, he gets the benefits of being a landlord without all the hard work. “One of the most important roles that a property manager plays is that they act as a buffer between the tenant and me,” says Huffman. “I don’t receive random calls, texts, or emails from tenants at all hours of the day or night.”

The key to making sure this strategy works is ensuring you only invest in properties with enough cash flow to pay for a property manager and still score a sizeable rate of return.

#7: Invest in real estate notes

Real estate notes are a type of investment you can buy if you’re interested in investing in real estate but don’t necessarily want to deal with a brick-and-mortar building. When you’re investing in real estate notes through a bank, you’re typically buying debt at prices that are well below what a retail investor would pay.

I’ve invested in real estate notes in the past via an individual investor I know who purchases and renovates property. So far, my experiences have only been positive. However, I would conduct due diligence to ensure you know what you’re getting into whether you invest into real estate notes with a bank or a real estate investor who is actively pursuing new properties.

#8: Hard money loans

If you don’t like any of the other ideas on this list but have cash to lend, you can also consider giving a hard money loan. My friend Jim Wang of WalletHacks.com says he is currently investing in real estate with this strategy since he wants exposure but doesn’t want to deal with being a landlord. He also says the ROI (return on investment) for his time wouldn’t be as great as other opportunities since his time is valuable.

Hard money loans are basically a direct loan to a real estate investor, he says. Wang offers real estate loans to an investor he knows in person, and he receives a 12% return on his money as a result. Wang says he feels comfortable with the set-up since the investor is someone he knows, but he isn’t sure he would be comfortable with a stranger.

Either way, hard money loans directly to real estate investors are another strategy to consider if you want to invest in real estate but don’t want to deal with a property and the headaches that come with it.

#9: Invest in real estate online

Last but not least, don’t forget about all the new companies that have cropped up to help investors get involved in real estate without getting their hands dirty. Websites like Fundrise and Realty Mogul let you invest into commercial or residential real estate investments and receive cash flow distributions in return.

Investing with either company is similar to investing in REITs in that your money is pooled with cash from other investors who take advantage of the platform. The cash you invest may be used to purchase residential property, commercial real estate, apartment buildings, and more. Ultimately, you get the benefit of dividends and distributions and long-term appreciation of the properties you “own.”

While neither company has been around for too long, they are both performing well so far. Fundrise returned an average of 11.4% on invested dollars in 2017 net of fees and 9.11% in 2018 after all, and you don’t have to be an accredited investor to open an account.

Source: Forbes Media LLC

Innovation Shaping Future In The Land Of The Co-Living

How big is the co-living movement? So big Cushman & Wakefield recently published a state of co-living industry report to gauge the state of the phenomenon.

The report noted many urban residents are cost-burdened by their rents, sending more than 30% of their income to their landlords. Citing the United Nations, the report stated 55% of the world’s population resides in urban areas, a proportion projected to grow to 68% in the next 30 years.

The numbers of 18- to 28-year-old individuals opting for city living has increased 40% in the past two decades. Meanwhile, ability to save for a home down payment has been eroded for many by the burden of college student debt. And societal shifts have destigmatized the option of renting as a housing choice.

All of which has led to a wholly expected result. In the next few years, the number of co-living housing units nationwide is anticipated to triple.

One of the wellsprings of the co-living movement has been, not surprisingly, San Francisco. The city by the bay is among the most difficult to afford, with just one new home being built for every 4.5 jobs created.

Supply and demand being what they are, rents go on rising. The problem is unlikely to be solved by development of new units. Among reasons: Developers are incentivized to construct luxury rental communities, land costs continue rising and ever-present NIMBYism obstructs the creation of more affordable rental apartment buildings.

Existing stock

One person who experienced these woes firsthand is Andrew Collins, who after stints in other cities moved back to San Francisco to find his old rental had soared 80% while he was away in business school. He also found the apartment search process outdated and inefficient.

He thought to himself, “The digital age has revolutionized and democratized every industry down to the way we travel in cities. Why not the way we live in them?”

With a co-founder, he launched Bungalow, along with an innovative approach to co-living. Founded more than 2 years ago in San Francisco, Bungalow taps the unrealized potential of private homes, reallocating their space to allow for multi-unit rental housing.

It’s a radical departure from other co-living models, and has enabled the company to best other developers by delivering greater numbers of housing units to the market in less time with less capital.

For cash-strapped would-be renters, leasing a unit with Bungalow means spending 30 to 40% less than they would a studio apartment in the same city. The company also provides the conveniences of roommate matching and furnished common areas, as well as picking up the tab for utilities that include WiFi and monthly housekeeping.

Those renting with Bungalow can move between homes within the same city and between cities without breaking their leases. The company plans events each month for its residents, enabling their clientele to meet new friends, an important plus when in a new city.

Expanded presence

On June 6th, Bungalow expanded its Bay Area presence, which until then had been confined to the East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula, into San Francisco proper. It unveiled more than 30 rooms across 10 properties in the Mission, Castro, Noe Valley, Lower Pac Heights and Japantown, with plans to add more than 150 rooms in these enclaves by year’s end. Expected rents: $1,200 to $2,000 a month, with utilities and housecleaning included in rent.

Having launched in Boston earlier this month, Bungalow is now in 10 markets across the country, managing more than 2,500 units across 500 properties.

“We considered buying or developing properties, but we were working with minimal capital and that forced us to be creative,” Collins says. “We realized that U.S. cities with housing shortages actually have unused housing stock sitting right under their noses in the form of single-family homes that aren’t being used efficiently. So we built a platform that essentially re-allocates single-family homes as multi-unit rentals.”

Source: forbes

Knowing what Leads to Building Collapses can help make African Cities Safer

(MENAFN – The Conversation) It’s a sadly familiar image in several developing countries’ media reports: people frantically searching the rubble of a collapsed building for survivors.

The data is disparate and scattered. But what is known confirms what the images tell us: building collapses are a common, tragic occurrence in developing countries’ cities.

In Kampala, Uganda,one study counted 54 building collapse deaths and 122 injuries between 2004 and 2008.Another study identified 112 cases in Lagos, Nigeria from December 1978 to April 2008. Between February and May 2019, 29 deaths and 76 injuries were recorded from 13 building collapse incidents across Nigeria.

Ghana and Kenya , too, have recorded a number of fatal incidents in recent years.

This isn’t a uniquely African problem, though. It Occurs In the rapidly urbanising parts of Asia as well.

I set out to understand this rather under-researched phenomenon of building collapse in developing countries’ cities. I wanted to know the range of agencies, motivations and causes that propel the widespread creation of unsafe buildings in cities in developing countries. I also wanted to know why so many of these buildings collapse.

This is important because of how quickly cities in the developing world are filling up. Today around 40%of those in Africa live in cities – that’s around 500 million people. This is projected to rise to more than 1.4 billion people in the next few decades.

Urbanisation is here to stay . It’s up to authorities to make sure that the people arriving in their cities don’t end up suffering such incidents.

The ‘pathology’ of cities

Studies suggest that the social problems experienced in cities usually have a uniquely’urban’ dimension . In this way of thinking, urbanisation processes – the concentration of people and socioeconomic activities in cities – affect the extent to which problems occur and the particular forms they take in those places. Studies of this nature are classified under the broad term’urban pathology literature’ .

I drew on the ideas and methods of urban pathology literature to explore the phenomenon of building collapse in cities in developing countries. To do this, I reviewed contemporary and historic documents on housing and construction, media, scholarly and investigative reports on building collapses and other cognate materials on the growth and development of cities.

Here’s what I found.

The more people come to a city, the more demand for buildings is amplified. People need accommodation, offices, or both. This demand creates pressure from which a range of agencies, motivations and causes arise. And that often encourages shoddy construction and building use practices. Buildings are hastily built. Those which already exist are hastily converted for uses that weren’t built into the original design. Extra floors are added atop old buildings.

Usually, city authorities would step in to enforce safe building regulations and guard against these practices. But too often in the developing world, institutional cultures like corruption and political interference undermine authorities’ responsibilities. Add to that a dearth of building inspectors or other resources, and unsafe building practices multiply.

In the end, huge stocks of unsafe buildings are created, sometimes in hazard-prone locations. This, then, can lead to disaster.


Understanding context

All of this means that building collapses in cities are a pathological feature of urbanisation.

One insidious dimension of the problem relates to how socioeconomic inequalities associated with urbanisation processes impede poorer people from finding safe, sturdy accommodation. This exposes them to tremendous risk , forcing them to either rely on or undertake construction practices that are inherently unsafe. Two issues could be addressed to ease this problem: the high cost of urban land and unfavourable mortgage and credit schemes that lock people out of accessing building or accommodation finance.

Essentially, unless conscious efforts are made to address the building needs of Africa’s urban poor, the creation of unsafe (illegal) buildings in hazard-prone areas cannot be prevented.

Source: menafn

 

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