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Lekki Residents, Stakeholders Fault AMCON on Victory Park Estate

Residents and stakeholders in Lekki estates have faulted the action of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) regarding the handling of the receivership case involving Victory Park Estate on the Lekki Peninsula, Lagos.

The residents, under the aegis of Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) which embodies all estates, communities and facilities from 1004 Estate up to Epe, contended that AMCOM could not be judge and prosecutor in its own case, more so as it violates court orders at will.

LERSA’s position was contained in a statement issued by the association and made available to BusinessDay in Lagos last week. It was signed by James Emadoye, the president of LERSA.

Emadoye, who led a delegation of LERSA members to Victory Park Estate on a fact finding mission, wondered why AMCON, a creation of government, would not obey court ruling and decided to move to the estate to harass innocent citizens.

He recalled that the harassment started just few days after a Lagos State High Court presided over by Honourable Justice Jos declared unconstitutional the provisions of Section 34(6) of the AMCON Amendment Act No. 2.

Emadoye called for immediate intervention of Lagos State and federal governments, stating that the country’s developmental dreams would continue to be a mirage until “the big and mighty allow the laws of the land to take effect and all Nigerian citizens are subject to the laws of the land.”

“We wish to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, chairman of AMCON, Muiz Banire and the managing director of AMCON, Lawan Kuru to the plight of the people,” he said.

Continuing, he said, “we are Nigerian citizens and we surely deserve the protection of the government. We cannot allow anybody to undermine the law of the land; in the matters of Victory Park Estate and other similar matters, we deserve the protection of the constitution of the land; we deserve the protection of our elected custodian of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

LERSA also called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to immediately direct men of the Nigeria Police not to allow themselves to be used by AMCON and their Receiver Manager, Lanre Olaoluwa, to disturb the peace of the residents and property owners of Victory Park Estate.

Emadoye lamented the plight of residents and landlords at the estate who invested their hard-earned money into premium real estate and now risk losing the product of their sweat to what he called “some spurious claims” from AMCON.

Addressing the leadership of the Victory Park Estate Owners & Residents Association, he noted that injury to one was injury to all and promised that LERSA would not relent until the residents and owners of Victory Park Estate got justice.

Housing Deficit

The LERSA Vice President, O.P.A Ladega, also condemned the impunity being displayed by the Receiver Manager,  pleading with the state and federal governments to call AMCON to order and to desist from further harassment and persecution of the legitimate residents and owners of the Victory Park Estate.

The chairman of Victory Park Estate Residents Association, Godfrey Efeurhobo, thanked the visiting LERSA team and promised that they would remain law-abiding and steadfast in the defence of their legitimate properties. He expressed gratitude to fellow Lagosians and other Nigerians from far and near; for the immense show of support and encouragement.

Source: businessdayng

South Africa’s Tech-Based Property Register Holds Lessons for Nigeria

In real estate development, South Africa has always been ahead of Nigeria. For Nigeria’s less than 1 percent mortgage contribution to GDP, South Africa has about 30 percent. In South Africa, it takes lesser time and costs less to register property. It is also less cumbersome.

Nigeria lags behind South Africa in terms of home ownership. For South Africa’s 56 percent, Nigeria has 25 percent home ownership level for its 200 million population and acclaimed largest economy in Africa.

The country comes far behind Indonesia and Kenya where the levels are 84 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
Recently, South Africa outpaced Nigeria with the development of its first blockchain-based property register made possible by a partnership between Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), research consultancy 71point4, and Seso Global.

A blockchain is an aspect of what is now popularly called PropTech, a short form of Property Technology which is a collective term used to define start-ups offering technologically innovative products or new business models for the real estate market.

The new development in South Africa will be the first working example of a blockchain-based property registry in the country. Aside from creating an immutable record of who owns which house, it will facilitate and record transactions such as sales and transfers out of deceased estates.

The blockchain solution comes with benefits.
Daniel Bloch, CEO of Seso Global, a blockchain property registry company, explained that the solution allows data to be stored in a decentralised, secure database that can be updated without any loss of historic data.

“This means there is a secure, back-to-back record of all transactions that is completely tamper-proof. Eventually the vision would be to integrate this record into the Deeds Registry when other impediments to transfer have been removed,” Bloch said.

This is a major lesson for Nigeria where getting data remains a big issue, making the property market in the country very opaque.

Abdulhakeem Sadiq, founder/CEO of Zama, a new PropTech company in Nigeria, said though PropTech is slowly gaining momentum in developed markets, it is yet to gain traction in Nigeria.

“And we feel a developing market like Nigeria can learn and re-calibrate itself for seasoned investors,” he said at a forum in Lagos.

Roland Igbinoba, president/founder, Pison Housing Company, agrees, stating that global investment in Prop-Tech has been significant.

“It surged from a mere $20 million in 2010 to $14 billion in 2018, and projected to hit $20 billion in 2019. The investments have been witnessed in virtual reality, real estate crowd-funding, big data & analytics, artificial intelligence, smart building technologies and portal listings among others,” he said.

Like Nigeria, South Africa has land titling problem. But unlike Nigeria, the country is thinking and working on solving that problem, hence the new development with its many benefits.

Kecia Rust, CEO of CAHF, said the South African government has built over 3 million houses since democracy. But CAHF’s analysis of deeds office data indicates that only 1.9 million of these properties have been registered. In Nigeria, only 0.5 percent of properties are in formal mortgage.

South Africa’s National Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation (NDHSWS) estimates that the title deed backlog for properties built prior to 2014 currently stands at 511 752. These properties were given to beneficiaries, but no title deeds were registered and handed over. At the same time, there is a backlog of 351,470 title deeds on newer properties.

Registering these properties so long after they were built and handed over to subsidy beneficiaries is an administratively complex task. In some cases, original subsidy beneficiaries are no longer living in the properties. Some beneficiaries might have passed on; some might have tenants in their properties while others have sold their houses informally.

Source: Businessdayng

Real Estate Woes: Important to Permit one-time Recast of Certain Loans, says HDFC chairman

Parekh argued that if these restructured accounts are considered as standard assets for a period of about 12 months, lenders will stop being so diffident.

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh on Wednesday said the crisis of confidence in lending to the real estate sector can be overcome if lenders are allowed a one-time restructuring of certain real estate loans – particularly for stuck projects where building approvals have been delayed. Parekh was delivering a speech at the India Mortgage Leadership Conclave.

Parekh argued that if these restructured accounts are considered as standard assets for a period of about 12 months, lenders will stop being so diffident. “This is not a new suggestion. An exceptional regulatory treatment was permitted by the RBI in 2008, which helped revive sentiment. This in itself would enable last-mile funding even to assets that have slipped owing to tight funding conditions and ensure that these projects are completed,” he said.

Parekh accepted that such a step may lead to arguments about it being akin to kicking non-performing assets (NPA) down the road again. “But my stance is that real estate loans are different. The value of the land is always there. Delays in granting building approvals is not always in the hands of the developer and we still don’t have a single window mechanism for such approvals,” he said.

Parekh said there are developers who genuinely need last-mile funding. “Many are being denied their rightful funding in an environment that has become wary of lending to the sector. At a time like this, one can’t afford to end up in a situation where oxygen is cut-off for even the stronger developers. This could happen if the risk averseness prolongs, he said.

On his outlook about the sector, Parekh said a formalised rental market will reduce the skew as more vacant homes will get occupied. “Housing is going to get more niche. For instance, in the recent period, student housing is gaining traction. It is estimated that currently only one in five students enrolled in higher education is fortunate to get accommodation in an institutional set-up, leaving most students to seek alternatives like rental accommodation. Real estate investors are finding that student housing can offer good returns on investments,” he said.

Parekh is optimistic about real estate investment trusts (REITs) emerging as a preferred alternative investment avenue with estimates indicating that nearly $20-25 billion could be raised by commercial real estate developers over three-four years.

Parekh believes that the laws of financial markets are such that one player never gets stronger at the cost of another’s failure. “It is always a rising tide that lifts all boats. And one entity’s downfall always has contagion effects. We have gone through an unusually difficult phase, but this too will pass.”

Source: financialexpress

Real Estate Market in Romania: Sale Ads And New Residential Projects

International company Flatfy operates in the real estate market in 30 countries. In 2016 they entered the Romanian market, launching the website Flatfy.ro. One year later, the company entered on the Moldova market, and in 2018 they launched their second website in Romania, Korter.ro, which lists all new residential compounds in Romania. 

Real estate website Korter.ro is dedicated to new residential assemblies, and it is the place you can find the latest constructions and projects. Korter.ro also presents the stages of construction, price/sqm, apartment sketches, as well as details about construction materials and finishing works. According to Korter.ro, currently, in Romania there are available apartments in over 700 new residential assemblies developed by over 400 real estate developers. Most of the residential complexes are in use, but some of them are still under construction. On the website you will find the stage of construction works and you will even be able to see images from the site. Another very important feature is the price chart. With the help of this chart, you can analyse the price evolution in the last year and find the best moment to buy an apartment.

Bucharest leads the ranking of cities with the highest numbr of new residential compounds that still have homes for sale. In second place is Brasov with 53 compounds, and the third place is occupied by Constanta, with 45.

Real estate sale ads on Flatfy.ro

Flatfy.ro has the main purpose to support the people from around the world in the process of acquiring a new  apartment. We know that the decision of buying a new house is very important, that’s why you shouldn’t hurry and analyse all the offers available. Now, this whole process can be realised from your home. All you need is a computer or phone with internet access.

To make everything even easier, on Flatfy.ro you can find the richest database of real estate sale ads. On this real estate website are published ads from dozens of sources that are centralized on its own platform. Visitors of the website can search their long-awaited house through available ads, that can be filtered depending on your personal choices.

Every day on Flatfy, you can find over 50,000 real estate sale ads for apartments, houses or farmlands for rent or sale.

 

“Using AI and data science, we pull relevant listings from an array of sources, analyze, categorize and group them into efficient search results. As a result, we make home search handy. Our team makes sure every customer has access to relevant real estate content,” say representatives of Flatfy.ro.

Flatfy records over 10 million visitors yearly. The company operates in the real estate field in 30 countries: Moldova, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Chile.

Source: business-review.eu

EFCC Arraigns Real Estate Developer For Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned one Joseph Idakho and his company, Zamtrac Management & City Investment Limited, for property fraud.

Idakho was arraigned before Justice D.Z. Senchi of the FCT High Court in Abuja on Monday for alleged conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust.

Detailing events that led to his arrest and arraignment, the EFCC in a post on Twitter said, “He allegedly defrauded one Hajiya Halima Babangida in a real estate development transaction that went awry.

“Babangida alleged in a petition to the EFCC that she entered into an agreement with the defendant’s company for development of six units of detached houses of five bedrooms each, including boys quarters, at Plot 2398 AO6, Cadastral Zone, Maitama District, Abuja.

“With her contribution being the land, while the defendant was to bear other costs of development.

“She claimed that they had agreed to share the property equally at the end of development but discovered to her chagrin that the defendant commenced sale of the property even before completion without her knowledge or approval.”

Source: saharareporters

‘Property Co-Ownership, Crowd-Funding Boosting Real Estate Investment’

The Managing Director, Drekford Global Concept Limited, Mr Daniel Oparinde, has said that property co-ownership and crowd-funding are boosting investment in the real estate sector in the country.

He noted that co-ownership of property had reduced the investment cost and enabled many young Nigerians to dabble in real estate business, which he described as viable, lucrative and more stable than the money market.

Oparinde told journalists in an interview in Abuja that his company was already providing a platform for co-ownership of properties for many Nigerians who could not otherwise afford the huge capital required in real estate investment.

He said his firm had democratised real estate investment by encouraging crowd-funding for property ownership, noting that Nigerians could now own property at a very low amount.

He stated, “We have tried to democratise real estate investment by making sure that people can come in with a small amount compared to the big amount that is expected in the times past and this comes by way of crowd-funding or co-ownership.

“For instance, in some of our projects like the Seasons’ Apartment, we have platforms for co-ownership. What that means is that you can co-own a property with other owners or other investors.”

Source: punchng

Lagos Commissioner of Housing Reveals Plans to Regularize State Real Estate Sector

The Lagos state Commissioner of Housing, Moruf Akinderu Fatai is emphatic about the efforts of the state to regularize its real estate sector, sanitize it and boost investors’ confidence.

He revealed this while speaking at the real estate stakeholders’ engagement forum organized by Lagos state estate agency regulatory authority on Wednesday in Lagos.

The event with the theme, ‘’Lagos Real Estate: Achieving 21st Century Compliance,’’ was an assembly of real estate stakeholders from across board to deliberate on how to reposition real estate practice in the state in a way that it can combat fraud and provide value.

According to Fatai, ‘’It’s a way of the government trying to meet the real estate stakeholders and look into this sector critically to resolve ongoing challenges. And one of those major challenges is people having one house and renting it to multiple people. On that, we already have court judgments against some of them.

‘’So what we want to do is to register everybody that is involved in real estate transaction, so that when you approach them, you have confidence that you are really dealing with the real people.

‘’Basically, we are trying to regularize the system in such a way that everybody will have confidence and those who wants to get involved, especially in getting finances from lenders abroad, will be assured that Lagos state has a system in place that they could put in their money without any issue.’’

Speaking further, he said the event demonstrates that the government is willing to partner with the private sector to develop the real estate sector.

The participating stakeholders agreed on the need for automated transactions and reliable data in the sector that will be available to the public. They settled that combating fraud in the sector is indeed a collaborative agenda.

Officials Worry About Unoccupied Houses in Abuja

Real Estate experts have canvassed the need for government to put in place policy that would compel developers to rent out completed but unoccupied estates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Unoccupied estates have become a trending issue mostly across the FCT in recent times with some of the buildings constituting social menace and hideout for criminalities in certain locations.The residential houses are located in, Apo, Kabusa, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, Gudu, Sunny Vale, Mpape, Bwari, Dei-Dei, Utako, Central District Area,Kubwa, airport road and Kure. Other areas include, Kuduru, Orozo, Karishi, Kubwa II, Lugbe, Mararaba, Zuba, Suleja in Niger State; Kado, Jahi and Guzape, behind Abacha Barracks in Kaduna road.

Investigation by The Guardian revealed that politicians, businessmen and women aswell as top civil servants own some of these unoccupied estates and structures while some developers on their part,  didn’t  do enough homework before investing in certain part of the city.In some of the projects, it was learnt that one and two bedroom apartments at Centenary Estate for example, goes for N100 million outright sales, while in some they are sold for N15 and N20 million. Civil servants who form majority of the occupants of Abuja can’t afford to buy such houses.

It was also gathered that since 1976 when the Federal Housing Authority, (FHA), was established and in the past nine years, the agency has no recorded low budgetary allocation, which hinders the development of more houses for the residents and Nigerians.Findings revealed that it has developed a little over 40,000 housing units in 77 estates nationwide, while four of those estates situated in Odukpani, North Bank in Benue State, Ogun and Kaduna states have not been occupied.

Experts told The Guardian that Nigeria might not meet up with the Sustainable Development Goals,(SDGs) in providing affordable houses for her citizenry if the situation persists amid the citizens’ huge demand for housing.The Deputy Director, Estate in Federal Capital Development Administration, Yemi Yemitan explained that housing deficit has come to stay, because of affordability of the available properties in the real estate market.

According to her, transform from the present experience, government’s policy on housing should be a social service, and not economic gain, or profit making.“Estates are littered in all nooks and crannies of Abuja, and its environs, not for low-income earners. Some developers don’t want people to know their assets. That is why they are unoccupied.”

An official of the urban and regional planning unit in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing said: “Factors that contribute to unoccupied estates, or houses in city centre, include court cases, high rental, non payment of collateral from banks. Others are, forfeited buildings and lack of infrastructure.”
Contributing, the Director, Public Building in the ministry,  Adinoh Uwodi said that housing deficit in the country affects mostly the  low income earners, adding that government gives out land to developers  only to build for high class of people in the society.

“They cannot get prime land to build for common citizens. No organisation can claim ownership of the data that Nigeria has 22 million housing deficit. We do not know to project into the future.High cost of accommodation causes low-income earners to seek alternatives in outskirts of Abuja. The government need to develop the economy of rural area, by establishing industries in those locations’’, he said.

Source: Guardianng

Lagos Unveils E-Platform To Curb Real Estate Fraud

Lagos State government has launched a real estate transaction portal to curb fraudulent practices in the real estate business.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the portal at a stakeholders’ meeting held at Eko Hotel & Suites in Victoria Island.

The portal, the governor said, will secure investments in property market by checkmating unscrupulous dealings in transactional process. It will also afford property owners and tenants to register and transact genuinely with one another without interference of third parties.

Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied to the event by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said that the launching of the portal became imperative to find lasting solution to incidences of fraudulent and unprofessional practices observed in the real estate sector. The initiative, he said, would promote transparency and best practice in the business.

“Apart from facilitating smooth business relationships between people selling or buying landed property, the portal will also be useful to those in leasing or renting of properties across the State. Removing fraud and doubts from their transactional activities will, in no small measure, contribute to the State’s GDP.

“The data collected from the portal will help the government to formulate policies and programmes to regulate, control and professionalise the real estate sector, which is one of the extremely important needs of mankind.”

According to Sanwo-Olu, the state had initially introduced Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) in its civil service in 2012 to regulate, monitor and develop the institutional framework that would enhance the integrity of the property market. The electronic platform, he said, was introduced to consolidate the activities of the department.

The special adviser to the governor on housing, Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said that Lagos had more innovative and sustainable plans to improve the fortunes of the real estate sector and promote the State as first destination for property business in the country.

She said the smart city aspiration of Lagos made it necessary for the government to track all real estate transactions and capture them electronically with access to data.

The minister for works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, represented by the Federal Controller for Works and Housing, Lagos State Field Office, Sarah Alawode, urged stakeholders to embrace the new initiative, stressing that the platform remained critical in strengthening ease of doing business in the country.

Source: Businessdayng

Opportunity For Nigerian Tenants As Kwaba Announces Rental Financing Platform

Kwaba, rental financing, and property listing company that assists low-middle income Nigerians to access properties and financial services has announced the unveiling of its digital platform.

The start-up is targeted at changing the approach to rent payment by harnessing the power of financial technology and the internet to solve the bulk rent system of payment in Nigeria.

With the most population in Africa, Nigeria has more than 20 million housing deficit. The high cost of acquiring properties in the country where millions live on less than $2 a day has left over 130 million people as tenants.

“During our business validation phase, in four weeks, we had over 1500 renters requesting rental financing of up to N300 million. This led to the development of our new user-friendly mobile app which will be released on the 6th of November 2019 on the google play store for android and the app store for iOS,” Obinna Molokwu, chief executive officer of Kwaba.ng said.

According to the Lagos-based company, Kwaba app has two available financial services platform. One of which is the Rent Now – Pay Later feature which avails users easy access to credit facilities towards paying their rent.

“Renters employ the services of Kwaba through the Kwaba app to help pay their rent, so they can pay back in monthly convenient instalments,” the company confirmed in mail response to BusinessDay.

With an increasingly urban population at about 4.6 percent growth rate per annum and the fragile economic growth which has eroded the purchasing power of many Nigerians, renting has become more unaffordable.

“The other financial service available on the Kwaba app is an interesting target saving feature that offers users the opportunity to save a certain amount daily, weekly or monthly,” Molokwu said.

The Save for Rent feature is a proactive measure designed to create a feel of monthly rent payment as well as reward users for saving towards their rent monthly, with an impressive 10 percent interest per annum on the total amount saved at the end of their desired savings tenor, the company said.

According to Molokwu, Kwaba is looking to efficiently bridge property and finance seamlessly and redefine its impact with its product offering.

The rental financing services by Kwaba is at the moment available to only salary earners. However, the company has said it is optimistic that business owners and others in the informal sector will soon be able to access the service.

For a 6 percent interest rate, the rent repayment is spread between 6-12 months. “We are actively working to push the interest rate down to about 1percent but our current rate is due to the cost of funds. As soon as we get cheaper funds, the rate will become much lesser than what we have now,” the company said.

Other features on the Kwaba App include: Property search- through this feature, property hunters can gain access to various properties for rent, sale, including student accommodation across Nigeria.

Users are also able to rent, lease or buy properties of their choice from thousands of listed properties on the app with options to pay in full online.

Video viewing is another function of the app, according to the company, the Kwaba app comes with a live-video viewing feature which is a passable alternative to physical viewing or property inspection with agents, especially for busy, working-class individuals who are at work all day.

In his comment, Molokwu said the video viewing feature is also perfect for people abroad who want to rent, lease or acquire properties in Nigeria.

On how the Kwaba.ng works, Molokwu explained that the app and site have been designed for easy accessibility on mobile devices or laptops. In his words: Download App, sign up on the app, select service- find property/rent now pay later/ save for rent, get sorted, and the app is completely free to use.

“With an emphasis on seamless user experience, aesthetics, and convenience, the new Kwaba Mobile App promises ‘best-in-class’ in mobile property search and rental financing services. If a tenant is unable to pay his/her rent in the current apartments they are living, we can come in and pay the rent on their behalf,” Molokwu assured.

Source: businessdayng

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