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NIESV Urges Government to Establish Housing Data Bank

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), has urged the Federal Government to establish a housing data bank to enable the nation plan purposefully and effectively. President of the Institution, Rowland Abonta, who made the call in PortHarcourt at the body’s national council quarterly meeting, said, without the data bank, it would be difficult for government to plan effectively to meet its target.

According to him, for government to successfully meet its target of addressing the housing deficit in the country, it should as a matter of urgency, carry out a survey on the housing needs of Nigerians. Abonta noted that the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who attended its national conference early this year in Lagos, agreed that the nation needs a data bank for housing and real estate to ensure effective planning.

He said, “This administration should start with a proper housing survey that would establish the housing needs and stock of Nigerians, it is when you have these data that you can plan effectively.

“The returning Minister of Works and Housing, Fashola was in our national conference we had early this year in Lagos and we agreed that the nation needs a good data bank for housing and real estate.“We have agreed to work together to bring the data bank to be, because housing needs to be properly planned for to be delivered to meet the set target of government”, he said.

The NIESV President also charged the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to drive the housing delivery in Nigeria, as well as remove bottlenecks in the process of land acquisition and access to mortgage finance by Nigerians.“Government should restrict itself to policy formulation, planning, evaluation and monitoring to ensure the private sector drive the housing delivery in Nigeria.

“It is an offence for a private developer to go into a virgin land and start developing without the government’s provision of roads and other infrastructure, government should make sure that service plots are made available to engender good estates for developers”, he added.

Source: guardianng

Court summons AGF, EFCC over Yari’s property

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, summoned the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to appear before it over plans to seize the property of the immediate past Governor of Zamfara State, Mr Abdulaziz Yari.

Justice Nkeonye Maha, who gave the order after listening to the arguments canvassed in a motion exparte by counsel to Yari, Mahmud Magaji, SAN, adjourned the matter until August 30.

The motion ex parte, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/948/2019, was brought pursuant to section 46(1) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and order 4, rule 3 and 4, of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009.

The AGF is the 1st respondent while the EFCC is the 2nd respondent in the suit.

Justice Maha equally ordered that the respondents be served with the court processes within 48 hours before he adjourned further proceedings.

Delta to clamp down on violators of property protection law

The Delta State Government has resolved to fully implement the Public and Private Properties Protection Law also known as ‘anti-deve” law that proscribed forceful entry into development sites, illegal collection of development levies and extortion by thugs to pave way for accelerated development in the State.

The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor stated this on Friday at the meeting with Petroleum Depot operators in the State at Government House Liaison Office, Warri.

While warning violators to stay clear of any site, Mrakpor assured property developers and investors in the state of the full implementation of the law that prohibits forceful entry and collection of development levies by touts, stressing that offenders will be prosecuted.

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He assured Tank Farm owners that the government had taken step to resolve complaints of multiple taxation and other irregularities faced by the operators in the state in the hands of different MDAs in charge of revenue collection and their agents, noting that Okowa’s administration was not resting on its oars in providing a business-friendly environment for investors to operate.

He stressed the need for the oil depot owners to have a robust Corporate Social Responsibility agenda for its host communities as part of its contributions to support the government in providing social amenities to the people.

The Commissioner further advised the operators of the petroleum depots to comply with the local content act by providing skilled and unskilled employment for youths in their area of operation and carry government along when carrying out their Corporate Social Responsibility to their host communities.

To harmonize revenue bills sent to them on environmental fees, tenement rates, business premises registration and renewal, fire certificates, waste disposal and treatment Plant permit, AG promised to consider their observations while undertaking the amendment of the revenue laws of the state.

The Oil depot operators had appealed to the Attorney-General to assist them to resolve the conflict arising from multiple taxation by various agencies of government.

Lagos State Government Plans Temporary Shelters, to Tackle Illegal Developments

The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako has urged residents and property developers in Lagos to voluntarily comply with existing regulations on building development to improve the state of planning in Lagos. Salako stated this when members of the town planning profession, Lagos chapter held an event in his honour, in Lagos. He assured them that the ministry would ensure a physical planning environment that would be more proactive to its mandate.

According to him, government would ensure zero tolerance to illegal development and promote policies that would uplift Lagos economy to a 21st century where things work. He described the appointment as a call to serve the people of Lagos state and help the state governor achieve programmes that would engender a greater Lagos state.

“We will encourage people to build by obtaining their planning permits to reduce illegal developments. Town planning as a profession will be given its pride of place in the state. We will encourage professionalism and ethical practice by practitioners”, he said.

The NITP Lagos chairman, Bisi Adedire, advised the commissioner not to forget his background stressing that the future is more important that the present. Speaking during a mentoring session for young town planners organised in honour of a former commissioner for the ministry, Toyin Ayinde who celebrated his birthday, the guest speaker, Bright Okwuenga charged professionals to open up opportunities for young planners to lead the future by giving them sound professional training and mentoring for career growth.

On his part, a former National President, Nigeria Institute of town planners, Alhaji Waheed Kadiri, emphasised that mentoring, is a two-sided affair between the mentor and mentees.

Meanwhile, the state government is considering the option of providing temporary shelter for distressed and vulnerable members of the society.Destitute and vulnerable people constitute a large chunk of the state population because of escalating conflicts across the nation, thereby compounding the huge housing deficit in the state estimated to be about three million units.

The Guardian learnt that the state is witnessing high influx of people including people displaced and distressed as result of crisis and insurgency.But the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Adetoke Benson-Awoyinka said the ministry of housing will look into the provision of temporary shelter for the distressed and vulnerable people in order to reduce the problem of homelessness and destitution in the state.

Similarly, Commissioner for Housing, Maruf Akinderu disclosed that the ministry is disposed to speedily complete some of the ongoing housing schemes while private sector participation will be energized to yield an added value in the sector.According to him, the state has the wherewithal to compete favourably with smart cities of the same category all over the world in provision of housing. Maruf Akinderu-Fatai further called on all stakeholders in the housing sector to support the government in order to speedily achieve the vision of providing qualitative and affordable homes for all classes of people in the state.

Source: guardianng

WeWork Leases Leave Landlords Exposed to $40bn Rent Commitments

Hundreds of landlords are exposed to WeWork via $47.2bn of rental commitments, with little recourse if the office space company fails to pay. More than 220 landlords have leased space in the US to WeWork and more than 50 in the UK, according to CoStar, a real estate data firm, as the company expanded rapidly to become the largest office tenant in Manhattan and central London.

The CoStar data show that TIAA-CREF, Boston Properties, Beacon Capital Partners and Moinian Group are among the biggest US landlords to WeWork, which published its prospectus last week ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering. WeWork sublets the space to businesses from start-ups to large corporations on a short-term basis. The mismatch in rental periods is seen by many in the industry as a potential weakness in its model during a recession.

“There are so many WeWork leases in town, and I think there are a lot of landlords who are very cautious, not about the quality of service but about the financial model. I’m one of them,” said one large London-based landlord who has opted against direct exposure. If WeWork does hit trouble, there are limits to what landlords can do to enforce rental commitments.

The company, like others in the shared office sector, creates special purpose vehicles for its leases, meaning landlords do not have direct recourse to the parent company if it fails to pay rent. In the past, companies in the sector have changed the terms of their leases when downturns hit. Regus, now IWG, renegotiated leases in 2002 when the end of the tech boom cut into its customer base. More recently, an IWG subsidiary that leased a site near Heathrow airport applied for voluntary liquidation.

To counter such concerns, WeWork has guaranteed a portion of its rental payments, though a small fraction of the overall obligation. About $4.5bn of rent payments are backed by corporate guarantees and $1.1bn by bank guarantees, according to the group’s pre-IPO filing. It has paid more than $268.3m in cash deposits to landlords and used another $183.9m of surety bonds, a form of insurance.

That leaves more than $40bn of rent payments, stretched over a typical 15-year lease length, with no such backing, though the group maintains in its filing: “Our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations depend on our subsidiaries’ ongoing compliance with their leases.” WeWork’s $47.2bn of lease obligations dwarf the £6.6bn held by its largest rival, IWG; its leases last a typical 15 years, against IWG’s 10 years.

Meanwhile, landlords have paid cash to WeWork in the form of “tenant improvement allowances”, upfront payments that enable the group to transform buildings into its signature style. WeWork collected almost $455m of these in the first six months of 2019. Analysts at Fitch said: “We believe WeWork assumes an even greater proportion of gross capital expenditure being funded by landlords [in the future].”

As WeWork tends to lease offices from large landlords, it makes up only a small percentage of any individual landlord’s portfolio. But the group and its flexible office competitors are increasingly important to the health of certain markets. In London, shared office groups together have accounted for 15 per cent of all new deals by square footage over the past five years, according to the property agents JLL. In the UK, the property developer Almacantar has about 280,000 square feet devoted to WeWork and the owners of Canary Wharf Group have more than 280,000 sq ft, although the financial risk is borne by the European Medicines Agency, which sub-let its office there.

Other landlords with exposure include Columbia Threadneedle, the German fund Deka and the Tesco pension fund. Another big UK landlord said: “There’s potentially a question of ‘will the whole thing explode at some stage?’. But that’s a question you need to apply to a bunch of companies in every landlord’s portfolio.”

Source: ft

Regent’s Park Properties are the Cream of the Crop

In June, a leasehold property on Chester Terrace, a grand run of John Nash-designed homes on the edge of Regent’s Park in north-west London, sold for £15.5m. The house is on one of the best-preserved Regency terraces in the capital, but even at £3,449 per sq ft, it is a relative steal compared with some of the trophy homes that overlook Hyde Park — it is less than half the £7,000 per sq ft achieved by a property in the One Hyde Park development.

According to data from LonRes, the average price per sq ft in Regent’s Park is £1,133. In Mayfair, on the eastern edge of Hyde Park, the price per sq ft is £2,214; in Knightsbridge, on the southern edge, be prepared to pay £2,181. For some local residents, though, there is no comparison. “Hyde Park is like a motorway,” says Gilda Hamilton, the tenant of a two-bedroom apartment on York Terrace West, beside the southern boundary of Regent’s Park.

“This feels like a village.” Many properties in and around Regent’s Park are owned by the Crown Estate and are leasehold, which puts off some international buyers, agents say. In contrast, houses overlooking Hyde Park are typically freehold, and even the apartments in One Hyde Park are sold with leases of up to 999 years. Sentiment may be changing, though. “Since 2002 the lengthening of leases from 60 to 150 years by the park’s freeholder, the Crown Estate, has made buying a home there more of an attractive long-term investment,” says Rosy Khalastchy of Beauchamp Estates, an agency.

“The improvement of neighbouring Marylebone and St John’s Wood high streets has made living in the park more appealing.” The 486-acre park was conceived by Nash in 1810 as a vast garden for a new palace for the Prince Regent, later George IV. The palace was never constructed and only nine of the planned 56 villas were built — along with six designed by neoclassical architect Quinlan Terry, built between 1988 and 2004. In the 1920s, many of the large villas were taken over by public institutions, but they have since been sold back into private hands — and in some cases, royalty.

Nuffield Lodge is owned by the Sultan of Oman, St John’s Lodge belongs to Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, and The Holme, on Regent’s Park Inner Circle, is owned by the Saudi royal family. Hanover Lodge, a Grade II*-listed mansion, is being refurbished into what Beauchamp Estates expects to be among the most expensive properties in London, with a projected value of £200m-£250m. Winfield House — once known as Hartford Villa — was rebuilt in the 1930s and is now the US ambassador’s residence.

The owners of the terraces lining the park enjoy protected views over it — no new buildings will suddenly appear to obscure them — but they must paint their properties “Crown cream” every five years and are vetted before buying (purchasers must provide financial and personal references to the Crown Estate). “The fact that not many houses have private gardens pushes some buyers to St John’s Wood, as does a preference for houses across fewer floors,” says Marc Schneiderman of Arlington Residential, an estate agency. On Grade I-listed Chester Terrace — which has a 300-metre communal garden and its own security-controlled private road — there is a six-bedroom house for sale at £12.5m through Arlington. An elegantly refurbished five-bedroom townhouse on the same terrace is for sale at £14.5m through Beauchamp Estates.

“I modelled it on the classic style of The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong — luxurious yet homely,” says its owner, Anglo-American interior designer Tiggy Butler. “I love the tranquillity and the lack of light pollution that comes with having a vast nature reserve on my doorstep with only the sounds of ducks or herons.”

Buyers today mostly hail from the US, the Middle East, Russia and India, say agents. Americans are attracted to the area by the American School in St John’s Wood. “Chinese buyers are increasingly keen on the park for its combination of nature and history,” says Schneiderman. Apartments in and around the park — there are 367 in total — are increasingly appealing to British and European downsizers, agents say.

“Buyers swap large family homes in Hampstead or Highgate worth more than £10m for generous lateral apartments,” says Khalastchy. Beauchamp is selling what he calls an “entry level” three-bedroom apartment on Cumberland Terrace for £3.75m. Three-bedroom mews houses on Chester Terrace cost around £2.5m. A major building project is taking place on Park Crescent on the park’s south-eastern corner, near the Regent’s Park tube station. Here, a swath of offices is being redeveloped into luxury residences by CIT. Prices start at £2.9m, available through Knight Frank.

Source: ft

Optimism Returns to Johannesburg Housing Market

Cyril Ramaphosa hailed a “new era” for South Africa when he was sworn in as president after May’s general election. In Johannesburg, the country’s largest and most populous city, it is hoped he can restore stability to a country blighted by corruption and inefficiency. But what will Ramaphosa’s presidency mean for the city’s property market?

In theory, the city has a lot going for it. “Jo’burg is very much the commercial hub of South Africa,” says Richard Smith, an area manager at Pam Golding Properties, estate agent Savills’ associate in South Africa. “If you are coming for a big corporate job, this is where you will come.”

According to the local government website, the city is home to 74 per cent of South Africa’s corporate headquarters and generates 16 per cent of the country’s economic output.

The housing market, however, is less eye-catching: prices rose 3 per cent last year, real estate services company CBRE has reported. This took the average price to just over R3m ($200,000), which is less than half the R8m figure for Cape Town, where values increased 8.7 per cent over the same period.

Growth has also slowed, notably in high-end areas such as Randburg and Midland, where values increased 0.4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively last year despite the areas’ proximity to the city centre. In Sandton, a prestigious neighbourhood popular with expats, prices fell 1.7 per cent in 2018, with prices now averaging around R3m. City-wide, the first quarter of 2019 saw price growth decelerate for the 13th consecutive quarter.

Still, there is optimism, says Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties. “The generally market-friendly result will in all likelihood create a degree of certainty and go some way towards addressing the issues currently affecting confidence in the South African economy — and as a consequence have a positive effect on the South African residential property market,” he says.

The market will not pick up immediately, however, predicts Smith. “There are not huge numbers of investment buyers around, as rental returns are down, but there has been a push by developers to deliver housing at different price levels, which creates an oversupply of stock,” he says.

Oversupply extends to the top end of the market. Because of this, “virtually all properties” in areas where average prices exceed R3.6m have sold for less than the initial asking price so far in 2019, according to the FNB Residential Property Barometer. The difference between asking and selling prices in the second quarter of 2019 was 9.9 per cent.

Until the economy improves, that pattern is likely to persist. What Johannesburg really needs, says Smith, is investment. “To revive interest, we need political stability, growth, lower unemployment and a return of business confidence. In other words, we need to improve the feelgood factor.”

With Ramaphosa in for a five-year term, agents’ outlook for the next quarter has shifted from neutral to “general optimism”, according to the FNB report.

But any uptick in prices will take time to materialise, Smith predicts. “We’ve probably got another six months to a year before prices rebound. If we can see positive stuff coming through from the government, in terms of encouraging growth and rescuing state-owned enterprises, that will send out a positive message,” he says.

Source: propertylistings.ft

nigeria as the poorest country

FG To Deliver 1m Houses Per Year

The Federal Government on Saturday promised to address housing deficit by delivering one million houses per year to close the 17 million shortfalls by the year 2033.

The Minister of State, Works and Housing, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this in Abuja on Saturday during an inspection of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mass housing project in Zuba, Federal Capital Territory.

Aliyu said the government had decided to improve on current construction of 100,000 houses per years in order to meet the basic needs of the people.

“The production now is low; we are constructing 100,000 houses per year and we hope to improve it by constructing one million houses per year in order to close the gap of 17 million to 20 million housing deficits by the year 2033.

“That is the target of government, we are committed to doing that and to ensure that the programmes, policies are accomplished.

“We will provide enabling environment to attract investors into the sector to help solve the problem of housing deficit in the country and to achieve the government’s goal by 2033,’’ he said.

Aliyu also said that the problems associated with acquisition of lands would be addressed.

Speaking on the Zuba project, the minister said it was designed specifically to address the huge housing deficit for the middle and low-income earners.

He said the project which was to be completed by August was delayed because of the rainy season.

The minister gave assurance that the government would deliver the project as soon as possible.

“We will ensure that the project is completed soon, because it is one of our primary focuses.

“That is why it is our first point of call after inauguration,’’ he said.

Mr Umar Gonto, Acting Managing Director, FHA reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that the common Nigerians have access to affordable housing.

He said that the project was among many others spread across the country by the federal government.

Gonto said that the houses were designed for low-income earners both in the public and private sector and the self-employed, once they meet up with the criteria.

Mr Ibrahim Shuaibu, the Project Manager, who took the minister round the site, said the 764 housing units were at 75 percent completion stage.

The housing project is located near the Zuba Model Market, the Zuba Spare Parts Market and the FCT College of Education.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

Dubai Residential Property Prices Continue to Dip

Residential property prices in Dubai continued to fall, extending the correction process that has been under way for quite some time.

While apartment sales prices in the first half of 2019 are 11.7 per cent cheaper than they were two years ago and dropped 3.9 per cent compared to second half 2018, villa prices have become 12.1 per cent cheaper than they were in 2017, according to data in the ‘Property Finder Trends’ report, released earlier this month.

Apartments for sale fared worse than rentals, with low to mid-single-digit percentage drops right across the country, the report said.

“The ongoing correction is expected to bring prices down further along with the rentals that have yet to see the bottom as overall residential stock in Dubai is expected to reach 637,000 units by the end of next year, an increase of 10 per cent,” said Meeran Najeeb, managing partner of Almas Real Estate Brokers.

Most experts believe a price correction and higher supply will promote Dubai as an affordable market, aside from offering residents and investors an opportunity to bargain a better property deal in one of the most popular and developed cities of the world. Analysts at Kamco Research said that the highest rental declines in second quarter was witnessed in the affordable housing category – compared to two years ago, apartment rents are more than 20 per cent cheaper.

The Property Finder Trends report said that for Dubai apartments, the median advertised price is Dh1,163 per square foot. Ras Al Khaimah apartments for sale had the biggest decline in prices in first half 2019, dropping 6.2 per cent to an advertised median price of Dh560 per square foot; exactly half the median advertised price in Abu Dhabi which dropped 4.4 per cent to Dh1,120.

Ajman, with a median square foot advertised price of just Dh269, is still by far the cheapest. Prices dropped 3.9 per cent in first half. Sharjah apartments held their value best in first half as they have done for the last couple of years. They declined modestly by 1.5 per cent during this half-year to a median advertised price of Dh475 per square foot. Villa prices in Dubai dropped 4.3 per cent to an advertised median price of Dh855 per square foot compared to H2 2018. They are 12.1 per cent cheaper than they were in 2017. New affordable off-plan offerings in Dubai South, Dubailand and Town Square were popular with buyers, said the report.

Villa communities in Dubai that experienced the biggest decline in sales prices in H1 2019 were Damac Hills (-8.2 per cent), Emirates Hills (-6.6 per cent), Green Community Motor City (-5.4 per cent), Dubai Silicon Oasis (-5.2 per cent), Al Furjan and The Villa (-5.1 per cent). Communities like Living Legends, District One in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Mirdif, Green Community DIP and Palm Jumeirah Signature Villas recorded zero or a very marginal drop in villa sales prices.

Lynnette Abad, director of Data & Research, Property Finder, said that as new affordable villa communities are getting completed and handed over, there has been a migration to these communities from popular areas such as Dubai Marina. “Families are choosing to live a little further out in the suburban areas of Dubai in order to gain access to a larger property with outside space. We have also seen a large influx of renters converting to home buyers, especially in these new villa communities,” Abad said.

Apartment transactions in Dubai also saw a decline of five per cent but villa sales are up by 35 per cent while overall sales transactions are steady and in line with 2018.

“Dubai apartments remain the preferred property type, and although their year-on-year transaction numbers have declined, the value has increased. This is reflective of an end-user driven market. End-users tend to buy larger apartments and those in prime locations, while studios and 1-bed apartments that offer higher yields are preferred by investors,” said the report.

According to the report, Downtown Dubai saw the most apartment sales in H1 2019 at 1,586, of which 1,288 were off-plan transactions. Dubai Hills Estate (972 off-plan apartment transactions) and The Lagoons in Dubai Creek Harbour (853 off-plan apartment transactions), both Emaar developments, were also popular. Apartment communities in Dubai that witnessed the biggest sales price drop in H1 2019 were Al Sufouh (-10.5 per cent), Remraam (-9.6 per cent), Downtown Dubai (-7.4 percent), Old Town (-7.2 per cent) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (-6.5 per cent). Mirdif, Jumeirah Village Triangle, Dubai South, Arjan and Al Furjan stayed resilient and resisted the price drop.

Source: khaleejtimes

FCT Undeveloped Plots

Preparatory to the planned revocation of lands in the serviced areas of the Phases I, II & III of the Federal Capital City, Abuja, the FCT Administration has taken inventory of undeveloped plots of land.

The FCT Director of Land Administration, Adamu Hussaini, said this in his office, while receiving Masters students of the Federal University of Technology, Minna,  that were in Abuja for a study tour.

Hussaini, received the group led by the Director of the Centre, Prof Mohammed Nuhu.

He said, “The affected allottees have been reminded that failure to carry out improvement or development of such plot (s) contravenes the terms of Rights of Occupancy accepted by such allottees.”

Source: Punchng

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