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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.”



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.


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.


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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

Family Homes Fund drives affordable housing with 500,000 Houses


Family Homes Funds, the largest affordable housing focused fund in sub-Saharan Africa – a collaborative fund chartered by the Federal Ministry of Finance Inc and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, has launched a recruitment campaign through international recruitment firm, Price WaterHouse Coopers. Boasting a projected capital base of N1 trillion by 2023, the primary objective of the fund is to facilitate access to affordable housing for millions of Nigerians within the low to medium income bracket.

At the core of this incandescent partnership is the visionary objective to support the delivery of over 500,000 homes, parallely fulfilling an underlying 1.5 million jobs creation target. Hence, the launch of an extensive recruitment campaign designed to secure high cadre human capacity to ensure optimum quality and on-schedule delivery of the affordable housing programme, one of the critical areas of the social intervention programme activated by the Nigerian Government.

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Family Homes Funds has taken proactive steps to meeting its affordable homes target by delivering 400 housing units in Grand Luvu, Nasarawa state at a competitive rate of N3.5million only; a major partnership milestone which satisfies 10% of homes presently under construction across Ogun, Kano, Delta, Nasarawa and Kaduna states. In addition, the fund is in concluding parts of negotiation talks with development partners to kickoff construction of 30,000 homes by November.

The fund envisages human capacity gaps in tandem with construction growth, imperative to fulfilling an earmarked 8000 homes by December 2018. With over 13,000 created jobs through concurrent constructions and an estimated 360,000 more in the coming year, the project has met with success at its infantile stage.

The Grand Luvu project, a supplier of 8000 of these jobs has seen the employment of graduates like Kabiru Usman, a 26 year old who was engaged in training within the construction value chain guaranteeing him sustainable income to support a young family. Unskilled and unemployed youth like Hassan have not been left out, receiving inclusive training and employment in masonry, emerging from chronic socioeconomic dependency on his extended family.

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The Millennium City project in Kaduna directly accounts for the employment of 200 artisans including carpenters, bricklayers, masons, iron benders, electricians etc. Unemployed youth like Abu Imitaz, a graduate of accounting from Kaduna Polytechnic secured a job as site accountant while Yusuf Ishaq an unemployed bricklayer has a stable source of income at the Kaduna construction.

The Family Homes Funds which spent 9 months on the drawing board to enable a solid foundation for success, aspires to create affordable homes for low income earners while ensuring its investments provide opportunities for this demography to consistently earn decent wages. It is poised to achieve these objectives through strategic partnerships with various players in the sector and a crop of reliable Development Finance Institutions.

Koko Ombu, HousingNews, Abuja

FHF invests to provide homes and create jobs

Family Homes Funds (FHF) through International recruitment firm – Price Water House Coopers has launched a recruitment campaign to secure top quality capacity to deliver an ambitious, affordable housing programme as a key aspect of the Government’s Social Intervention Programme.

By 2023, the Family Homes Funds – a special purpose investment vehicle having the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated as founding shareholders – aims to have supported the development of over 500,000 homes and 1.5m jobs for Nigerians on low income.

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Towards that goal, the Funds has recently completed the construction of 400 homes with an average cost of N3.5m in Grand Luvu, Nasarawa State – part of over 4,000 homes under construction in 5 states namely Ogun, Nasarawa, Kano, Delta and Kaduna. A further 30,000 homes are at advanced stages of negotiation with development partners and will commence by November 2018. As the new company builds capacity through the ongoing recruitment campaign, it will achieve a program of 80,000 homes by December 2019.

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Creation of new jobs is a critical element of the Funds programme. Ongoing investments are already making a real difference with over 13,000 jobs created and about 360,000 to be created from current development pipeline. The Grand Luvu Project in Nasarawa State has created about 8000 jobs.

Showcases of Edo-BEST, housing estate, others in Canada – Obaseki

In a concerted effort to get the buy-in of the state’s Diaspora community, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, will be showcasing the revolutionary Edo Basic Education Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme and the 1800-unit Emotan Gardens project, among other growth and development enablers at the Edo National Association Worldwide (ENAW) Convention in Canada. Obaseki The four-day Toronto convention, the 27th in the series, will hold from August 31 – September 3.

It is arguably the single largest gathering of Edo professionals in the Diaspora, making it a key stakeholder in the state’s affairs. Governor Godwin Obaseki, will lead the state government’s delegation to the Toronto convention and will be showcasing a bouquet of projects, which needs the input and buy-in of the Diaspora community.

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Among the star projects listed to feature in the governor’s discussions is the Edo-BEST programme, for which approval has been given for full roll-out in three oil and gas producing local government areas, comprising Ovia North East, Orhionmwon and Ikpoba-Okha. A pilot phase is running in select local governments across the state. However, more investment is needed for full roll-out across the state. An initiative of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, the Edo-BEST programme, will develop a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Edo State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow; enhance the Edo State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering children to compete effectively in the world of work.

The programme is expected to leapfrog the basic education delivery systems by leveraging technology in education provision and to gather and utilise accurate and timely data to drive policy and planning decisions. In the programme, every teacher will receive tablets loaded with digital lesson plans for every lesson needed for each day. Head teachers are given smart phones and provided with monthly data to enable them use the software in the smart phone to register all children and take attendance and manage teacher performance in each classroom every day. The other project is the 1800-unit Emotan Gardens, an ambitious real estate project, that seeks to rejuvenate the state’s real estate sector and provide affordable housing to residents and those in the Diaspora. The state government is developing the estate through the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) in partnership with MIXTA Africa, a renowned real estate and property development company.

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Executive Chairman, Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), Isoken Omo, in the build up to the convention, assured that a mix of engagement strategies would be deployed in the state government’s effort to meet the housing and other needs of Edo people in the diaspora. According to her, “The Edo State Government and her partners are upbeat about the Emotan Gardens and similar housing projects coming on stream soon. It is an opportunity many of our people have been waiting for to acquire decent housing through a very transparent process devoid of encumbrances.”

She explained that “the appeal of Emotan Gardens has been phenomenal, as would-be subscribers are just waiting for us to open sales. Governor Obaseki is passionate about this product and will be exhibiting it at the ENAW Convention.” Another sector expected to be featured by the government at the ENAW Convention is the ease of doing business, specifically in the built sector, following the signing of the Private Property Protection Law, which has abolished the activities of Community Development Association (CDAs).


Estate Developers innovate to stay afloat, smaller now profitable

Faced with a sharp fall in purchasing power, real estate developers in the country are having to look for innovative ways to keep their houses occupied. Despite a housing deficit now estimated to be in excess of 20 million, many Nigerians are not in position to buy into the new houses being developed in many parts of the country due a sharp decline in the purchasing power of the middle class even as many seek greener pastures outside the country. Nigeria is currently estimated to be losing about 12 doctors every week to Europe and America even as other professional also flee the country.

Not surprising vacancy rates in highbrow areas of Lagos and Abuja are in excess of 40 percent for both commercial and non-commercial properties leaving many developers struggling to offload new developments into the hands of consumers who are not in a position to buy. Even though developers insist that the wide housing gap offers opportunities for developers to sell their property if the pricing is right.

“These opportunities are not for those we call ‘unmotivated sellers’ who cling to old prices and are not ready to make the shift,” explained Udo Okonjo, the chair/CEO, Fine and Country West Africa, who also pointed out that even in the highbrow locations like Ikoyi in Lagos where residential vacancy rate is over 40 percent, demand is still strong for apartments when the price and size are right.

Players in the industry says that the new reality of the market is that developers are experiencing over supply in high end residential buildings and also in A-grade commercial office space but under supply in the low end of the residential market where demand is weak.

As a way out of the over-supply, under-supply challenge, some developers are ‘redeveloping’ into smaller units of two-bedroom and studio apartments for the short-let market. In the case of office space, smaller spaces are now being offered for co-working stations.
Players in the industry have told BusinessDay that short-let apartments are now gaining momentum due to the challenging economic environment.

“This increased demand has spurred savvy business operators to accelerate their expansion plans, seeking out strategically located residential buildings or vacant apartments in prime areas to be converted into short-let apartments to meet the flexible needs of people who require such accommodation,” explained Tayo Odunsi, CEO, Northcourt Real Estate.

Besides security issues and the strong desire by young professionals who want to live in exclusive locations to have a feel of luxury living, Erejuwa Gbadebo, CEO, International Real Estate Partners (IREP), notes an upsurge in demand by corporates who would rather pay for short-let apartments for their expatriate staff, who may be in the country for short periods of time.

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In line with the increased demand, short-let apartments are now popular in places like Ikeja GRA, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Osborne Foreshore, Lekki, Festac Town, all in Lagos. In Abuja, they could be found in such expensive locations as Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, while in Port Harcourt they are found in Old GRA and Trans-Amadi.

“These are locations where house prices are quite high and the young professionals who cannot afford such prices still want to have a feel of such locations go for short-let apartments,” explained Azubuike Unigwe, Managing Partner, Unigwe and Co, a firm of estate surveyors and valuers.

Most expatriates, top executives and consultants to blue chip companies who wish to stay in town for a week or more, prefer these serviced apartments because of the comfortable ambience which most hotels lack. These apartments also offer some level of privacy which some hotel brands don’t give.

Analysts point out that another reason for the growth of shot-let market is the flexibility enjoyed by guests when compared to hotel rooms, explaining that it accommodates client’s guests, relatives, friends which are not allowed in some hotel rooms.

Another major reason is the affordability. findings reveal that short-let apartments are cheaper compared to hotel room rates. A two-bedroom serviced apartment in 1004 Estate in Victoria Island, Lagos costs N35,000 per night on short-let, while a standard hotel room costs an average of N60,000 per night within the same neighbourhood. A two-bedroom apartment at the estate sells for N45 million to N50 million.

In Festac Town where UPDC offers serviced short-let apartments at its The Residences, a two-bedroom apartment sells for N65 million, but the short-let goes for N30,000 to N40,000 per night. Golden Tulip Hotel, in the same ‘compound’ with The Residences charges between N50,000 and N60,000 per night.

In Ikoyi, a two-bedroom apartment lets for average of N50,000 per night, while at Parkview estate, Ikoyi it costs an average of N40,000 for same size apartment with clients expected to pay a minimum of one-week duration. This is a location where the minimum rent for a three-bedroom apartment is between N20 million and N25 million per annum.

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In the commercial segment of the market, developers are a lot more innovative and creative. This is one segment of the market where vacancy rate has gone up significantly because some corporate tenants have changed office location. Some that were in two to three floors have now scaled down to one floor because they have sent away a good number of their staff due to reduced business activities.

For retail, some retailers have had to move out of the malls completely. Some landlords have reduced rents. There are cases where landlords have asked tenants to stop paying rents altogether, but to just pay the service charge to enable them maintain the mall.

Gbenga Olaniyan, CEO, Estate Links, confirmed that some A-grade office buildings now offer smaller spaces like 200-500 square metres where a minimum of 1000 square metres were on offer before now, stressing that this was the only way to attract more tenants to such buildings and to increase occupancy level.

Tenants are also offered concessions in form of quarterly instead of yearly rents payment; reduced service charge, energy efficiency and reduced cost; and product differentiation aimed at attracting more tenants and increasing workers’ convenience and productivity in the building


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