“You Can Enjoy Rental Income without Owning a Property”

Founder of Africa’s Property Investment Group, Mr. Chudi Kalu, in this interview with Mary Ekah, speaks about investing in the real estate business as the surest way to building and securing one’s future, providing insights and latest money-making tips in the property market in Africa, among other issues

How would you describe Nigerians attitude towards investment in real estate?

So far we have realised that people fear that the recession in the nation will stop them from investing in property. But that is not the case because a lot of people are already taking advantage of real estate investment because they know that the way to come out of any form of recession is when they enjoy consistent cash flow. So a lot of people are investing in real estate at this particular time.

That is why we have been holding a lot of seminars and workshops lately aimed at opening the minds of investors to how they can change their financial levels for better by investing in real estate, the opportunities that are available to people and how ordinary individuals can take advantage of the investment opportunities available within the real estate sector without having to break the bank. And I think that for real estate industry to grow in Nigeria and for property business in Nigeria to be activated properly, investors should come in; and we cannot always expect foreigners to invest in real estate in Nigeria, we the local people should take advantage of the opportunities around us.

You have had series of conferences and workshops on real estate lately, what is the driving force behind all these?

We at AFPING are trying to give everyone an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment. Presently we have projects in Surulere, Yaba, Ijesha amongst other areas in Lagos and elsewhere. We also have some UK projects that we are pursuing at the moment. Anybody can take advantage of these opportunities and you don’t necessarily have to live in the UK to invest in the UK. To this end, we have been doing a lot of coaching on real estate investment and how people can take advantage of the rental market. We are particularly focused on educating people on how they can enjoy rental income without owing a property of your own.

People keep wondering if this is possible. It is actually very possible if you understand how it works. Now because of the challenge of buying property in certain areas, a lot of people have lost money because of “Omo onile” and they bought property expecting that some of those property will appreciate but after 10 years, they probably do not know where the location of that property is and at the end they would realise that they must have been duped. So it is better to play within a particular market where you can easily take advantage of. Now how do you participate in the Lagos market for example without getting your hands burned? At least we can see the population.

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When I see the Lagos traffic, I get so excited and then some people wonder why I am so. I feel so because as long as there are people within town, rent will continue to go up. And what drives rental income for landlords is the number of people that lives in a particular area. And how do I as an individual participate in that game without actually owning a house is what we have been able to figure out at these seminars and workshops. When you go round that, you see a lot of property that are empty and also property that the landlords do not have the required funds to put them in good shapes because they probably do not have a regular income and yet the property is within a good location.

All one needs to do is to invest in such property and renovate for better rental charges while both the landlord and investor share the profits. So, as an investor, you do not have to buy the property to share in the profits, All you need to do is just to invest some money for its renovation and then in return get huge rental income. That is what we coach people on during the seminars and workshops that we have been holding lately and you don’t have to be an expert in the industry before you can earn rental income but all you need is to have a little fund on ground.

According to statistics, we have 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria and if every household pays a hundred thousand naira from the 17 million housing deficit that we have in this country that will be more than 17 billion naira annually. So I would say that the deficit we are facing in the housing sector is an opportunity and not a curse.

And it is those people who see the opportunity within that market that would take advantage of it. If they say we have about 17 million housing deficit, what it simply means is that you have 17 million families who are ready to pay only for kind of houses they can afford, so that means that if anybody has the houses that fit their needs, they would be willing to pay. So the deficit is an opportunity for only those that see it as a business opportunity and can then thrive on it.

So it is a missed opportunity for me if I do not invest in such market. So real estate is a big market not just for the developers but also for people who can see opportunity in that area and grab it and this can only be achieved when I use my money to do renovations on some of these properties on ground.

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Many people have properties but they are still poor merely because they are not thinking creatively nor taking advantage of the immense problem of housing deficit and then convert that problem to their own advantage; and that is what our seminars and workshops are all about. We are trying to teach people how they can take advantage of the housing problem in Nigeria. Every problem is clothed with opportunity and how you take advantage of that opportunity is what this is all about.

How would the common man who could hardly save the miniature income earn benefit from this?

There is a scheme we have been doing for over four years now, where by certain people can put funds together to own high quality real estate investments. For example, there is a particular project somewhere in Ikeja that requires about N22 million. Now, if I come together with like 10 other people and together we raise N22 million, we all can buy and renovate that particular property and start enjoying cash flow from it. It simply means that 11 of us will share the profit based on the returns we get per year. That is what we are currently offering people right now, taking it to the market place, so that people can take advantage. We have already people buying into the idea and investing in real estate.

This also means that if I want to invest in a property in Lekki, I don’t need to have all the money for the property to invest in it, but it simply gives me an opportunity to invest in high quality real estate investment that may take me so many years of savings to be able to invest. So, we don’t just want to make opportunity for only those who can afford to buy plots of lands to make money, we also want those who have little means to also be able to invest in properties and make money. Why is it that it is easier for plumbers to own houses while a banker remains a tenant for a very long time? This is so because the plumber is thinking in terms of cash flow while the banker is thinking in terms of building and owning and so he waits for so long till he is able to save a huge amount to buy or build a house.

This is information that people in this sector may hardly want to give out so freely. So why and how are you doing this?

I have been using every platform available to me. I have been using the social media a lot to create awareness and I have been crazy about it and I know a lot of people that have taken this raw information and duplicate it for their own benefits and presently are having numerous properties around town.

This is to tell you that this actually works. It is better we cover this nation with success than preventing people from being successful because a lot of people have success but hide the secret of their success from others. The real estate market is too wide for me to hide anything. We have over 17 million people having housing problems in Nigeria; even I alone cannot serve half a million people. The market is too wide so there is no need for competition.

We hold seminars regularly on this. We just concluded one last week called the Rental Income Plan. It is all about helping people to understand how they can do these things on their own. People can be part of this by registering on our website, www.afping.com. We are thinking of holding these conferences at least once in two months, where we gather people in a class to learn. They don’t have to be real estate experts but those who are ready to take the opportunity in the real estate sector.

Husband and wives can also take advantage of this. We also do one-on-one training, leading people by their hand and helping them to explore the real estate market. And if someone says he doesn’t have the time because he has a regular job, then he/she can invest with us and grow with us. And investing in real estate is predictable, tangible and indestructible. That is why I am inviting everybody to do it and you don’t necessarily have to invest with me, you can do it on your own. I started doing this when I didn’t even have full information about the sector but for the fact that I had opportunities. So those whose eyes are opened to opportunities can take advantage of the real estate market.

How do you guarantee security for such investments and is the training free of charge?

Some amount of money is attached to the trainings because we bring in experts to coach these people. And the training one gets involved in also determines the amount one pays. When it is a class, that is a group of people, we give discounts. So the fee ranges from 50,000-750,000 naira depending on which class you want to attend. We also do executive class whereby after the class, you can pick a particular property and we would guide you by the hand, that means that we would follow you to where the property is, secure the property, negotiate the deal with the property owner and then show you by example how we do it.

And talking about security, we have, in the last seven years, been privileged to have sold more than 2,000 plots of lands; so what we do is that the same way we secure people’s property is also the same way we secure people’s investments. So you are not investing into any real estate project that is not insured. We are working with several insurance companies to ensure that people’s investments are secured and that they do not lose their investments in case of negligence on the part of the developers. So that is one of the ways we are guarding against people experiencing loss in their investments.

This Day

FMBN, NHIS, PenCom AND PENSIONERS

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are three major institutions that have profound influence in the way the welfare of Nigerian workers, retirees and pensioners is shaped.

The three institutions share certain features in common: one of the features is that Federal Government employees are automatically enrolled as contributors to the pool of money meant to make it easier for them to meet their need for housing and basic health care while still in service, and periodic pension payments on retirement, respectively.

The amount of money deducted from the salary of each worker as contribution to each of the trio is decided without any consultation with the worker. This feature, which negates the principle of participation, is also common to the three organisations.

The decision on how and when any worker can benefit from his own money deducted and lodged with them ostensibly to further the welfare of the worker is left to the three powerful institutions to choose. This is another shared feature.

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To illustrate, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria may only advance loans to a worker to build or renovate or purchase a house when its management deems fit to do so, not necessarily based on the urgency of the need of the worker to have accommodation. Likewise, the NHIS, in addition to severely limiting the type of health care accessible by workers, it totally denies retired contributors access to its services regardless of the extent of their need for such services.

They are denied, even at the point of death. On its part, the National Pension Commission is supposedly constrained by the Act establishing it to pay Federal retirees a single kobo out of their Retirement Savings Accounts, even in the face of starvation, except after the Benefit Redemption Fund is activated in favour of the retirees. Some people perceive this arrangement as absurd.

The way and manner the three institutions operate need to be tampered with a human face; with empathy and in the context of the spirit of the humane intention that justified the establishment of each of the three institutions.

While the PenCom was busy earlier this week talking to Directors of Pension Operations, frustrated retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme, which the Commission oversees, were crying out loudly for attention and payments of their pensions in several states of the country. So unsettling.

In the case of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, its Managing Director told State House Correspondents after his meeting with the Vice President of Nigeria that a fresh approach toward facilitating house ownership has taken off, thus raising hope on future housing projects for thousands of beneficiaries with zero equity subscription. This is a good initiative, but the reported case of 2017 and 2018 retirees who are still patiently waiting for the refund of their contributions to the National Housing Fund (NHF) by the FMBN should be treated with the urgency it deserves. September is especially significant as school children resume, and the refunded money can be handy for many in paying school fees.

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The sum total of this article is that the Acts establishing the three institutions, which came into being to preserve and advance the welfare of their contributors, should be usefully flexible: in the case of the FMBN the zero equity approach is good, the rent-to-own concept is wonderful with lower interest charges; the NHIS establishment Act deserves amendment to extend access to basic health care to pensioners who were contributors. The PRA 2014 should be revisited to make it possible for retirees to access part of their savings while remittance to their RSAs from the Benefit Redemption Fund is processed.

The three institutions should be the drivers of the process of making their operations flexible in the interest of their clients.

Salisu Na’inna Dambatta

 

Buyer apathy threatens Abuja new estates

…developers see positive prospects, say prices to rise soon

Many new private estates in Abuja face poor patronage due to perceived high cost, a Daily Trust survey in the sector has shown.

The findings showed that the rate of sales of estate flats that has remained low despite flexible payment plans and juicy discount rates to attract potential buyers.

As such, some of the completed estates spread across the city have remained unoccupied with many more still under construction.

Low and middle income earners in the capital city for whom these new estate homes are supposedly targeted, lack the financial capacity to pay for the houses. A lot of them prefer, instead, to acquire land in the outskirts of the city, which they consider cheaper.

But a cross section of marketers, promoters and estate developers interviewed said they are not disturbed by the current rate of  low sales.

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The  survey carried out within the central part of the FCT metropolis, Lugbe, Apo, Kubwa and Karmo, showed that over 20 new estates have either been completed or are at various stages of completion in the last three years.

Urban Shelter Limited, a key player in Abuja’s real estate market, made up about 30 percent of the new residential developments in the FCT surveyed for this report.

One of the estates, Bellevue Residences, located in Life Camp, according to the company, is an “opportunity to respond to the socio-economic needs of the people by creating a privileged, safe and accessible residential development.” The price for a five bedroom villa at the residence goes for N150 million while a four bedroom town-home costs N70.5 million.

The price range for a home at its 30 apartment’s Lugbe estate begins from N9.5m. A two bedroom semi detached terrace apartment at its Sarauniya Estate Lugbe, which are at the building stage, cost N17.5m under a two-year payment plan.

A marketer of the estate said a subscriber who is unable to meet up with the two-year plan can opt for five-year plan but at a total cost of N22.75m.

Prices for a home  begin from N12m at The Brick City View, another member of the Brick City family in Kubwa.

The cost of an apartment at The Brick City Spring, an affordable luxury homes, situated in Jabi District begins from N9.5m, same as Brick City Valley estate along Kubwa-Zuba express way.

Prices start from N4m at its Kyami Estate, close to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Dantata Town, is another fast rising  estate developers in the FCT promoted  by Dantata Town Developers Limited, a real estate/construction firm. At the moment, it is marketing its newly developed Dantata Housing Estate Kubwa phase 1, 2 and 3 as well as the Dantata Mabushi Terrace Housing Estate in Mabushi Abuja in addition to those in Gwarimpa.

A two bedroom semi detached uncompleted apartment goes for N13.5m while the completed counterpart is N19.5m and an interested buyer is expected to make initial deposit of 30 per cent of the total cost, to spread the balance in instalmental payment.

Other ongoing estate developments surveyed included Brains and Hammers estates Apo 4-5 and Games Village, Flourish Estate Lugbe, Didi Estate Karmo, Park View Estate opposite Games Village, Kukwuaba where a  well finished, fully detached 5 bedroom luxury duplex goes for around N150m.

Some estates marketers, who spoke on the rate of subscription, however, said demand for estates is high because of the corresponding high demand for housing in Abuja due to the influx of people into the city.

“Many people have subscribed or have started buying,” said a representative of Urban Shelter Limited who markets Sarauniya Estate, Lugbe.

“In four months’ time the prices will even go higher because demand is high,” he said.

A marketer for Dantata Town Estate in Kubwa said there are now about 800 residents within all the phases in the estate.

However, some federal civil servants interviewed said the price of an average  estate home for workers on levels 8 to 10 was beyond their reach, and above the Federal Mortgage Bank Housing loan. But the developers blamed the high prices on cost of imported building materials as well as local ones.

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“The cost of land, building materials and logistics is actually why the cost is high,” said a developer who doesn’t want to be named.

Some developers said they are upbeat that the market will pick up particularly as the 2019 general elections draw near.

“After the 2019 general elections, the expectations are that new members of the National Assembly would buy personal houses in Abuja and likewise their aides.

“There might be new set of ministers, MDs and DGs who may be living outside Abuja before their appointment and by their appointments may need new homes. If the purchase of new homes does not rise by then definitely rent will increase,” he said.

By Daniel Adugbo & Malikatu Umar Shuaibu

 

South Africa: Affordable Housing – City of Cape Town and Developers At Crossroads

Politicians, civil servants and people in Cape Town’s property industry are at a crossroads. The next few months will tell who is committed to building an inclusive and spatially just city.

A black majority live on the densely populated urban periphery, in townships, as backyarders or in informal settlements, while the wealthy continue to live in low density mostly white suburbs in well-located areas.

Over the last year, Ndifuna Ukwazi has been objecting to exclusive and unaffordable private developments across the City of Cape Town. Our concern, shared by many, is that this pattern of spatial planning has negative long-term fiscal, social, environmental and political costs and is ultimately detrimental to the sustainability of the Western Cape economy. In effect, this pattern replicates the apartheid city.

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For example, to buy an average one-bedroom apartment selling for R1,250,000, a household would have to pay at least R12,270 per month in bond repayments. To pay this a household would need to earn a minimum monthly income of at least R36,800, assuming that the bond repayment is no more than one third of income on a bond.

Most poor and working class families are between three and five people in the household, so even if the family can afford to buy a one-bedroom property they may not be able to fit. So to measure access we need to be able to determine how many household can both afford and fit. Our estimate is that a maximum of four people could fit into a one-bedroom home comfortably.

Based on 2011 Census data, only 118,133 of all households living in the city, or 11% could both afford and fit into a one-bedroom property. If we break the number of households down by race, the results are staggering: Black African households who can both afford and fit represent only 1% of all households in the city; likewise Coloured households represent 2.2%; Indian households represent 0.3%; and White households represent 7.3%. It demonstrates the extraordinary exclusion of the majority of residents from the housing market, which is most acutely felt by black (Black Arican, Coloured and Indian) households.

The basis for Ndifuna Ukwazi’s objections is the Spatial Planning Land Use Management Act of 2013 (SPLUMA), which establishes a set of compulsory principles applicable in every land use decision. These principles are spatial justice, spatial sustainability, and spatial efficiency.

The principle of spatial justice, in particular, is consistent with the Constitution’s transformative aspirations. It aims to address spatial imbalances by improving access to land. Land use decisions must address the colonial and apartheid era dispossession and exclusion of black people, and provide new opportunities today.

To date, the City of Cape Town has not implemented their statutory obligations. This means a core legislative principle that should be at the heart of all planning approvals has not been realised practically in land use management on individual applications.

Both the City and the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) are mandated to redress spatial imbalances and empowered to impose conditions that mitigate against exclusionary developments. One way to do this would be for the City to ask for a fair and proportional contribution from developers towards affordable housing. To date, both city planners and the MPT have refused to do this, arguing mainly that there is a lack of policy guidelines.

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Internationally, cities have passed inclusionary housing policies to secure a fair and proportionate contribution towards affordable housing on-site (in the development), off-site (on well-located state owned land), or as a fee in lieu in exchange for the value unlocked through the granting of land use rights.

To address this, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development (TDA), Brett Herron, has committed to bringing a policy to Council as a matter of urgency. Last week, the City’s Mayoral Committee approved a concept document on inclusionary housing, which now opens the way for engagement.

While the TDA is in the process of drafting policy, it is not certain. Some politicians and officials seem adamant to shut down the inclusive agenda that the TDA has embarked on in the belief that a policy would be damaging to the property and development industry. This would be a mistake.

A good inclusionary housing policy would, in fact, stimulate density and new development in well-located areas and along transport corridors. This could be done by creating a density overlay zone in the current by-law, which would grant additional rights as an incentive in exchange for affordable housing. Developers would be able to build higher and denser as long as this is more inclusive.

This would only work if the inclusionary housing policy was responsive to the ebbs and flows of the property market and across different areas. A blanket percentage would not work. So, for example, in areas where the value of land is high and the market is hot, the contribution would be higher. In areas which are well-located but have less hot markets, the City could increase the incentive but reduce the contribution.

An inclusionary housing policy should not be punitive, and the contribution could be paid for through any additional profits, efficiencies in the planning application system, and the ability to negotiate down land costs.

An effective inclusionary housing policy would dovetail with and help to unlock the City’s significant stock of smaller parcels of land for social housing that it is unable to develop itself due to the small economies of scale. Inclusionary housing, could be the very mechanism that is needed to advance inclusive transport orientated development.

It is clear that a change in the by-law and a policy is needed urgently to create certainty and manage the significant risks that must be navigated in the current economic environment. Further delays from the Mayoral Committee and within Council present the greatest risk to the industry.

Policy would be preferable but it is not required for the City and MPT to impose conditions to secure affordable housing.

It is up to developers to justify how their development complies with principles of spatial justice, and why a condition for affordable housing should not be imposed.

In a ruling on an appeal to the development application for Zero2One skyscraper, Mayor Patricia De Lille, after seeking the opinion of senior counsel, confirmed that the City and the MPT can impose conditions for the contribution of affordable housing in private developments without having a City policy in place.

According to the mayor’s ruling, a condition for a fair and proportionate contribution towards affordable housing in a private development can be imposed if three requirements from section 100 of the City of Cape Town’s current Municipal Planning By-Law are met, namely, the condition must be: 1) objective; 2) reasonable; and 3) “arise from the proposed use of the land”.

If it is undisputed that a development is spatially unjust, and the City and MPT has the power to fix the problem, neither the developer nor the City or MPT can ignore the problem. Approving a spatially unjust application with no reasonable justification or attempts to fix the problem is unlawful. This opens up the decision to be reviewed in the courts.

Depending on how you view the situation, this poses a choice for developers: Wait for policy to be passed, which will provide more clarity for what is expected from developers; or preempt policy and possible delays by submitting applications which include a fair and proportionate contribution of affordable housing now.

There are four good criteria to think about when considering whether a housing project in the private sector advances spatial justice. It must promote equal opportunity to black households, be truly affordable based on income, be well-located and use the right mechanism to ensure it is retained in perpetuity (which means it stays affordable in the long term).

There is now an opportunity for developers to make sure that an inclusionary housing policy works for them not against them, to explore ways to build affordable housing feasibly, and to contribute towards an inclusive, efficient and sustainable property developments that bring both economic and social returns for the industry and our city for generations to come.

By Jonty Clogger and Jared Rossouw

Barclays and UK government plan £1bn housing fund

Bank chairman John McFarlane says fund will address ‘vital need’ for new homes

Barclays and the UK government have revealed plans for a £1bn fund to help property developers meet what the bank’s chairman calls a “vital need” for new homes, including social housing and retirement homes.

The UK bank will commit £875m to a new Housing Delivery Fund, alongside £125m from Homes England, the government’s national housing agency. Small and medium-sized house builders and developers will be able to take loans of between £5m and £100m to fund their projects, with a loan-to-value ratio of up to 70%.

The goal is to diversify the housing market, Barclays said in its statement on the fund, adding that almost two-thirds of homes are currently built by just 10 companies. The fund will be open to existing Barclays clients as well as new customers and will prioritise builders of social housing, retirement homes and homes for private rental.

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The interest rate of the loans was not disclosed, but Barclays said they would be “competitively priced”.

Barclays chairman John McFarlane said: “There is a vital need to build more good quality homes across the country. This £1bn fund is about helping to do exactly that by showing firms in the business of house building that the right finance is available for projects that help meet this urgent need.”

James Brokenshire, the housing secretary, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to not only get more homes built but also promote new and innovative approaches to construction and design that exist across the housing market.”

Then-housing secretary Sajid Javid launched Homes England in January as the successor to the Homes and Communities Agency.

The government has set a target of delivering an average of 300,000 a year by the mid-2020s. Its housing white paper, published in February 2017, described the UK’s housing market as “broken”.

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In her foreword to that paper, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote that the government’s goal is to “fix this broken market so that housing is more affordable and people have the security they need to plan for the future”.

May went on: “The starting point is to build more homes. This will slow the rise in housing costs so that more ordinary working families can afford to buy a home and it will also bring the cost of renting down.”

She added that diversifying the housebuilding market would involve “opening it up to smaller builders and those who embrace innovative and efficient methods”.

Tim Burke 

Delta outlaws ‘deve’ to protect property developers, investment

 

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has taken a bold step to sign a bill outlawing ‘deve’ in the state, in an effort aimed at stopping the harassment of property developers by the youths and to ensure the state witness speedy development.

‘Deve’ as it is popularly called in local parlance, is ‘illegal and forceful entry into development sites.’ Youths are seen to be more into this negative act that is believed to be scaring investors away from the state thereby slowing pace of development.

Okowa, while signing the Delta State Public and Private Properties Protection Bill 2018 into law, weekend, lamented that harassment of property developers in the name of “deve” had chased away a lot of developers.

He expressed confidence that with the signing into law of the bill prohibiting illegal and forceful entry into development sites, the state would witness speedy development. “We will collaborate with the Delta State House of Assembly to ensure that laws are passed to impact positively on the lives of our people,” he assured.

He went on to express, “I am glad that this bill to prohibit the forcefully entry into public and private properties has been passed into law as it will stop youths from trespassing into property development sites in the state and make investment to thrive.”

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He said the prohibition would impact on the lives of Deltans and bring investment sanity into the state.

Speaker of the state’s house of assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, presented the bill to the governor at Government House, Asaba. He was in the company of the clerk of the assembly, Lyna Ocholor, and other principal officers.

The governor also assented to a bill to amend the Delta State Oil Producing Area Developmental Commission (DESOPADEC) law just as he promised to assent to other bills that have been passed by the Delta State House of Assembly.

Speaking on the DESOPADEC amendment bill, the governor explained that the amendment was meant to ensure that no vacuum was created in the leadership of the commission as government can now extend the tenure of the board under given circumstances.

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He commended the speaker and members of the house of assembly for their cordial relationship with the executive arm in bringing development to the people and impacting on the lives of Deltans.

Oborevwori had while presenting the bills for assent, told the Governor that the bills passed through all the processes required for them to be passed, stating that the bills were meant to impact on Deltans, create peace, boost the economy and bring development to the state.

Mercy Enoch

Hong Kong developers to hold biggest weekend property sale in six months in rush to beat rate rise

 

Hong Kong property developers will put 597 new flats on the market in the biggest weekend sale in six months, as competition to lock in buyers heats up before the era of cheap mortgages comes to an end.

The sale comes as brokerage Nomura became the latest to predict sharp falls in property prices in the city, the world’s least affordable housing market, seeing a 13 per cent drop next year as higher rates bite.

Interest rates are expected to rise by the end of the month, with Hong Kong set to follow an increase by the US Federal Reserve, a move that is likely to dampen demand.

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“Buying interest will drop and more buyers will take a wait-and-see attitude when the prime rate rises,” said Lung Siu-fung, analyst at China Merchants Securities International. “Developers want to sell before the prime rate rises.”

Nan Fung Development said it would offer 487 flats at the LP6 project in Tseung Kwan O on Saturday, a day ahead of rival Sun Hung Kai Properties’ sale of 72 flats at Cullinan West II in Sham Shui Po on Sunday. Meanwhile, Wheelock Properties picked Friday for the sale of 38 units at its Monterey development in the same area.

“You only have a set number of buyers. Your buyer pool is finite, so I think right now it’s giving buyers a little bit more opportunity to look around, not only in terms of product but also in terms of pricing,” said Denis Ma, head of research at JLL, referring to the keener competition for homebuyers.

Nomura’s prediction followed warnings from Citi, UBS and CLSA of price falls of up to 15 per cent, sparked by interest rate rises as well as a slowing economy and falling Chinese yuan currency that could crimp buying from mainland China.

“Remember what happened in late 2015 – prices dropped about 13 per cent in only six months, and the trigger was the Fed’s rate hike,” Joyce Kwock, head of Hong Kong property research at Nomura International (HK), was quoted by Bloomberg as saying at a briefing in Shanghai. “The entirely same situation may repeat again.”

Adding to the pressure on developers is a series of measures announced by the government in June to try and cool prices. These include a proposed tax on unsold units, aimed at preventing developers from hoarding supply while prices rise.

In the past two months, buyers have splashed out in excess of HK$52.88 billion (US$6.7 billion) on new flats, according to Ricacorp Properties, most of which went to Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest holder of completed but empty flats.

“The launches were rushed because developers also want to clear stock before the vacancy tax is passed [in the Legislative Council],” said Vincent Cheung, deputy managing director for Asia valuation and advisory services at Colliers International.

Developers also have a wary eye on the annual policy address due to be delivered by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in October. Some analysts said she might announce areas set for land reclamation.

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“While land reclamation will not affect the land supply any time soon, the market will feel that the supply of land has gone up, and this will have an immediate impact on demand,” said Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerage.

“Those who are willing to wait might not want to buy property right now as the supply will rise in the future.”

FCT HOUSING COMMITTEE SET TO PUT AN END TO ILLEGAL LAND ALLOCATIONS IN THE FCT

 

The Chairman, Sub-Committee to investigate the process of land allocation in the FCT Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi has said that submissions made before the committee will go through exhaustive investigations in other to put together a good road map for the future of land allocation processes in the FCT.

He made this statement during an adjourned session of the committee with the CEOs of the affected estates in the FCT at the National Assembly yesterday.

During the session, the CEOs of affected estates present made their submissions on oath adopting and taking full responsibility of the submissions made. Amongst those who made their submissions were; Shelter Origins, Jedo Investments Ltd, River Park Estates, Osilama Gardens Estate, C2Q Properties & Investment Company, Leisure Courts, Crown Luxury amongst many others.

The adjourned session was to enable those affected get the relevant documents of their properties for investigation by the committee. However, companies who were not able to meet up with their submissions were granted grace to make their submissions on or before 11th of September, 2018.

In response to the submissions made by those present, it was agreed by the committee that after the submissions have gone through proper scrutiny, consultations from the issuing agencies and necessary further investigations have been made, a time-table will be drawn for individual companies to appear before the committee for further investigations.

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Speaking on the way forward Hon. Gaza said “we are going to go through your submissions, as we see the need, invite parties individually after we must have engaged with the other parties involved who are the government parties and done exhaustive work on your documents in other for us to be able to address what has happened before and put together a good road map for the future.

He further stressed on the Publication made in the Punch Newspaper on 23rd of August, 2108 which was negatively affecting some of the estate developers “ this is not a witch-hunt, we in no way intend to affect anybody’s interest… if your documents are legit, you won’t have any problem whatsoever”

On the side line some of the persons present spoke with HousingNews Correspondents on their views about the proceedings; Mr. Jagunmolu Akande Omoniyi (FCA) CEO of C2Q Properties and Investments Company appreciated the committee on their efforts. He said, “This proceedings is face-saving for genuine developers in the FCT and I’m sure at the end of the day all the parties will be happy for it.

Mr. Osilama Osilama CEO and owner of Osilama Gardens Estate said “for me I think it’s the best thing because the issue about Lugbe has dragged for too long so I’m sure if they do this, it will help both the people investing their money and the developers who have been in between.”

Barr. Ejeh Monday, Legal Counsel to Crown Luxury Estate said, “for me I have some legal issues with respect to their publications and the impression it gives to the members of the public as members of the public were advised not to have any dealings with the affected companies. I feel this should be done after the investigations not before as the publication makes it look as if they acquired the properties illegally”

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Speaking with HousingNews Correspondents, Hon. Gaza stated that the process was aimed at finding out deficient laws regarding land allocation and processes in the FCT as well as mapping out ways to strengthen these deficient land laws and processes.

He added that “these processes is aimed at seeing whether any laws are deficient… so as to strengthen the laws that revolve around land allocation and processes as all these are creations of the National Assembly”

The Chairman of the Sub-Committee Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi appealed to those affected who are yet to make their submissions to do so to enable the committee carry out their constituted duties as is expected of them.

“those concerned should come and make their submissions so that their benefactors can be very comfortable with the fact that they are adhering to scrutiny”, he said.

Wilson Ifeoma – HousingNews, Abuja.

Growing rental market to create more Rental Management Companies

 

The growth in the rental market in India, presents an opportunity for rental management companies to step in. We examine the role that these companies can play and the benefit that they bring, to tenants and property owners

The rental market in India is gradually evolving, owing to a change in the mindset of people. Renting a house, is no longer merely driven by affordability, as compared to buying a home. Rather, people are now choosing the rental option, to be able to live in a preferred locality and also to avail of amenities that promise a good lifestyle. This changing trend, presents an opportunity for organised players and rental management companies (RMCs) to step in.

Vinayak Katkar, director and co-founder of Amura Marketing Technologies, points out that in India, traditionally, the rental market was driven by local brokers because the supply/accessibility to inventory was limited to brokers.

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“With various property portals available now, this inventory availability issue has been sorted. Nevertheless, brokers are still managing rental homes. What young people want, is not just a home but managed property services that take care of their daily needs and chores. Start-ups like Nestaway and Grabhouse, are managing properties and finding tenants for landlords. This has certainly helped people to find good places to live and has also boosted the rental yields for property owners,” Katkar explains.

How rental management companies (RMCs) can help property seekers
Communication and transportation, have also had a major impact on the rental market, says Kiran N, co-founder, RentMyStay.

“People are travelling, for pleasure or work, more frequently than before. For short stays, people earlier used to rely on hotels or serviced apartments, which can be very expensive. For example, if someone wants an accommodation for two months, hotels can be very expensive and flats have minimum lock-in period of six months. Consequently, a person may be forced to pay for six months, even if he stays for only two months. In such scenarios, a short-term rental plan, which allows customers to book a furnished flat for one day to six months, can be ideal. People can save a lot, by choosing such flats, instead of hotels and cooking for themselves instead of ordering food from hotels. Such needs, have created big opportunities for RMCs in India,” says Kiran, adding that tenants now prefer services that are transparent and customer-oriented, rather than the existing systems.

RMCs’ professional services to benefit developers
Kawal Nagpal, managing partner at Hi-tech Constructions, maintains that RMCs can also be very useful, in case of builder flats, till the time the ownership is not completely transferred. “They provide professional services, like security guards, maintenance of flats or the complete society, like operating the lifts and also take charge of electricity supply, horticulture requirements, etc. This happens especially in commercial properties. In this way, RMCs can help to generate good rentals and at the same time, it does not require a lot of time from the builder,” Nagpal elaborates.

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As the rental market grows, owing to the slowdown in real estate construction and high real estate prices, organised RMCs are bound to tap the opportunity. In the beginning, RMCs will be seen setting up their bases in the metro cities because this is where the real action is – in the form of jobs, as well as crunch of space to live. Moreover, these factors will also force people to search for a hassle-free accommodation that offers additional benefits. From a property owner’s perspective, however, before giving house on rent, it is important to ensure that the disadvantage of renting are outweighed by the benefits.

Pooja Bhatia

Guidelines for accessing National Housing Funds Loan From FMBN

National Housing Fund (NHF) is a Federal Government introduced scheme that mobilizes long-term funds from Nigerian workers, banks, insurance companies and the Federal Government to advance loans at soft interest rates to its contributors.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE PART OF THE 13TH ABUJA INTERNATIONAL HOUSING SHOW IN JULY 2019

The scheme was established by Act 3 of 1992 to enable Nigerians in all sectors of the economy, particularly those within the low and medium income levels who cannot afford commercial housing loans to own houses by contributing 2.5% of their monthly salary to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, managers of the fund.

Eligibility For (NHF)
To be eligible for the NHF loan, a contributor must be above the age of 18 and must have contributed to the Fund for a period not less than six (6) months. The applicant must have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee loan repayment.

How to Apply For National Housing Fund (NHF)
Except for institutional borrowers who can apply for the loan directly from Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), individuals can only apply through a duly licensed and accredited Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB) of their choice and not directly to the FMBN. Loan applications are also to be obtained from the same PMB.

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Requirements for accessing an NHF Loan
• Open a savings account with a registered PMB
• Contribution to the fund for at least six months prior to application.
• Have satisfactory evidence of regular flow of income to guarantee the loan.
• Submit photocopies of valid title documents (e.g. C of O).
• Approved survey/site plans
• Approved building plans
• Priced Bill of Quantities where applicable
• Valuation report prepared by a firm of registered surveyors and valuers where applicable
• Three years tax clearance certificate
• Letter of consent to mortgage to your chosen PMB
• Completed prescribed mortgage loan application form
• Evidence of NHF participation
• Copy of pay slips for the previous three months
• Equity contribution of personal stake of 30 percent, 20 percent or 10 percent depending on the loan amount applied for loans of N15 million, N10 million and N5 million respectively
• Offer letter/Acceptance and Allocation letter (in case of government projects)
• In case of registered self-employed applicant, a copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association and a copy of Certificate of Incorporation as evidence of employment status must be submitted.

FASHOLA IS CERTAINLY ONE OF BUHARI’S GREATEST ASSETS

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How Much to Apply For?
An individual borrower is entitled to a maximum of N15 million. No individual shall be granted a loan in excess of 90% of the cost or value of the property to be mortgaged.

Security for the Loan
The property (residential accommodation) for which the loan is sought shall serve as security for the loan. The property must have valid title documents (C of O, Deed of Sublease, Deed of Assignment or Letter of Allocation). The property shall conform to the existing planning laws and regulations and building plans approved by the appropriate authorities. The mortgage property must possess sufficient value to recover the loan, and must be insured against hazards.

Source: MBAN

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