REDAN Boss Ugo Chime Speaks on Need for Inclusive National Council on Housing

The President of Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) Ugo Chime has added his voice on the project of moving the real estate industry forward in Nigeria.

While contributing to discussion on affordable housing group whatsap platform this morning, he stated that the country needs an inclusive solution for the industry to thrive.

“Why should you have a National Council on Housing, and the Financiers and Investors are excluded. You don’t shave a man’s head in absentia, just like MKO Abiola said. Neither should you have a National Housing Finance Program that excludes Built Industry Professionals and Supply side stakeholders.

According to him, he has for many years proposed a NATIONAL HOUSING COUNCIL that would be inclusive of all stakeholders on the real estate value chain. “It will reduce transaction time/cost in managing issues in the sector.

“It’s quite unfortunate that years of professional advice on this matter have been disdainfully cast aside.

“We Must stop silo working, and work inclusively, otherwise our best efforts will be futile. Meanwhile the masses are getting restive for employment and socioeconomic enhancement. The clock is ticking and we must cast aside our differences in other to survive,” he said.

In the same vein, another member of the group, Hakeem Ogunniran, Founder of Eximia Reality Limited, who will also be speaking at the 2019 REDAN Expo coming up next Tuesday and Wednesday being 7th and 8th May 2019 at Yaradua Centre Abuja, stated that the need for an inclusive National Council on Housing is long overdue.

“Did we forget that Nairobi appeared on the JLL top 20 cities in the world on the JLL Index in 2015? And when Kenya was going to enact a REIT legislation, they created a proper “flow through”, transparent asset class in line with best practice.

“In Nigeria, we’re still struggling to force-fit REITs into a collective investment scheme framework! Why do we think that no REIT has been successfully floated since 2013? The regulatory framework is a nightmare

“On Tuesday at the REDAN Expo, I will be addressing some of these issues whilst speaking on ‘Harnessing Real Estate For Economic Development in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Solutions,’ and proposing a reform agenda.

“We have a sleeping giant on our hands. As the new government is coming on board, our voice must be heard by the various DMUs in government,” he said.

Ugo Chime also added that another key strategy to move the real estate sector forward is to deal with challenges in land administration collaboratively.

“We must get the foundation right before building the super structure. For example the idea of having an equitable mortgage as a basis for mortgage transactions is the height of recklessness.

“Not having a Foreclosure Law and a multidoor court process that shorten dispute resolution time/cost exposes lenders to huge risk,” he said.

‘Next Level’ and Problem of Land Title Regularization in Abuja.

Land is one of the major factors of production, which makes it a great asset; especially in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja. This value placement on land can explain why its title rights or lack of can often generate a lot of controversies.

The FCT occupies about 8000 square kilometres, while the Abuja city covers about 250 square kilometres of this.

The demand for land in the FCT continues to increase as more people and business move to Abuja. Since officially becoming the capital of Nigeria in 1991, most ministries moved from Lagos to Abuja. Even several private organisations have established and continue to strive to have a presence in Abuja given that it is the seat of power.

By the virtue of Section 297 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Sections 18 & 1 (3) of the FCT Act respectively has vested the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the land in the Federal Capital Territory to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and is being managed by the FCT Minister under a delegated responsibility.

But unfortunately, there was a previous practise were the FCT local government area councils were arbitrarily allocating lands to individuals and organisations without FCDA authorisation.

In 2006, the FCT administration had directed the Area Councils to discontinue allocation of land and requested that they update and forward their records of allocations for the commencement of the title regularization for thorough cleaning and validation.

To serve this purpose, a private organisation known as ACCTRIS, in partnership with FCDA was tasked to help regularise land titles that were previously given by FCT area councils.

Unfortunately, and according to our sources, the FCDA realised that this objective was not being achieved because of mismanagement. The Administration spotted some illegal allocation of papers being backdated by fraudulent ex-FCT officials and ex-Land officers at the Area Councils; fake letters of allocations and Certificates of Occupancy in circulation as well as farmers, village heads, community heads selling land in the Area Councils, thereby duping unsuspecting members of the public.

On completion of tenure, the partnership with ACCTRIS was not renewed. The FCDA has now allocated that responsibility to its department of land, now domiciled at Abuja Geographic Information Systems, AGIS, whose mandate is to provide a comprehensive, all-inclusive, state-of-the-art, fool proof, computerized, Geospatial Data Infrastructure for the FCT.

This lingering controversy has negatively impacted a lot of people, businesses and organisations. Even FCDA itself admitted that several thousands of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) as well as Rights of Occupancy (R of O) for Federal Capital City (FCC) titles are unclaimed in the Department of Lands Administration and called on the beneficiaries to come forward with necessary documents for collection.

Obviously, there has been a lot of mismanagement and shady deals, but in the spirit of NEXT LEVEL, many Nigerians believe that government institutions for land, building and housing should be responsible stakeholders and find a way around solving this land title regularisation crisis.

President Buhari is gearing up to constitute a new cabinet that will help the administration achieve its NEXT LEVEL objectives as promised during his re-election campaign. In NEXT LEVEL, the government and its party have promised to deliver on a promise of socio-political and economic elevation for the people. It is therefore the wish of many that this land title crisis in Abuja is looked into as the government plans for the next four years.

According to some Abuja residents who spoke with Housing News, this issue has even affected access to funding for SMEs and other ventures. Some of the cases are still pending in over stretched legal battles.

Stakeholders are also calling on the government to include in its NEXT LEVEL agenda, the mandate of resolving this regularisation crisis once and for all.

By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja

Brazil: Sales and Rental Prices of Commercial Real Estate Declines in 12 Months

From April 2018 to March this year, the average sale price of real estate fell by 3.49 percent. New rents were down 1.56 percent.

Sales and rental prices of commercial real estate fell over 12 months in the ten cities surveyed by FipeZap.

From April 2018 to March this year, the average selling price of real estate fell 3.49 percent. New rents were down 1.56 percent. Inflation (IPCA) was 4.58 percent in the same period.

Sale prices also fell in March. The decline was 0.2 percent in the month, over ten municipalities: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Brasília, Salvador, Campinas (SP) and Niterói (RJ).

In these cities, the rental price was slightly higher, by 0.07 percent, last month.

The only city registering a sales price increase over 12 months was Campinas (SP), 1.28 percent. The most significant drops were in Niterói (-8.34 percent), Curitiba (-6.25 percent) and Rio de Janeiro (-5.84 percent).

Rental prices, in turn, increased in three cities over the same period: Salvador (5.87 percent), Curitiba (4.07 percent) and Porto Alegre (0.97 percent). The highest drops were registered in Curitiba (-4.44 percent), Niterói (-3.7 percent) and Brasília (-2.26 percent).

By: Richard Mann

Real Estate Investment’ll Boost Economy– Group

The Chief Executive Officer and President of the Group, Mr Niyi Adeleye, said it had become necessary to encourage more people to see the real estate industry as a major driver of economic prosperity.

He added that with the country’s rapidly growing population and housing deficit, there was a need for innovative ideas to address accommodation challenges.

He said, “We have a deficit but people are not investing as much as they should; the economy will be better if people invest more in real estate and that is what Perfection Group is all about. It will involve trillions of naira to address the problem of housing in the country, meaning that only the government can’t do it.

“But leaving it to the government alone to address the housing needs of the country will be like a drop in the ocean, which is why people need to invest as individuals. Nigeria’s population is growing rapidly; this means we will have a lot of problems in our hands if we do not plan.”

Adeleye, who spoke at a forum for investors, tagged ‘Easter concert with Kanu Nwankwo’, said the purchasing power of many Nigerians had been eroded due to unstable economic conditions,  making it difficult for many to afford a home or invest in real estate.

He, however, said concepts and solutions as provided by groups such as Perfection could address such problems.

According to him, Perfection provides real estate income opportunities, homeownership schemes, land investment offers and ambassadorship, among others.

Nwankwo, who is Perfection’s brand ambassador, said the group aimed to make homeownership easy for Nigerians.

“The best thing that can happen to anyone is for them to have a place to call their own home,” he said.

The Managing Director, Perfection Betoniq International Development Company Limited, a joint venture company of Perfection Real Estate Investors Cooperative Society and Betoniq JV Nigeria Limited, Dr Ekejiuba Njoku, said the country’s 17 million housing deficit had been underestimated.

“With the growing population, if we continue with the way we are going with lack of planning, there is no way we can address the housing problem, we need to start planning today to get it right,” he added.

Source: Punchng

Apapa: Waiting for ‘Next Level’

Apapa, Nigeria’s premier port city, has been in the news for the wrong reason in the last 10 years as the most difficult destination in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre. But life and living in the sprawling city continue because its inhabitants see hope of a better tomorrow.

Increasingly, hope is becoming synonymous with living in Nigeria. That is, however, understandable in a country that has been adjudged the headquarters of poverty and the 6thmost miserable in the world, all summing up the level of suffering in an otherwise well endowed and well located country.

Though President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘Next Well’ remains largely nebulous and confusing, Nigerians are settling with that mantra simply because it is predicated on hope of better things to come and, consciously or unconsciously, the citizens have allowed themselves to be guided and even ruled by hope which, in religious parlance, is called faith.

The Christian book which serves as a code of conduct for the faithful, The Bible, remains the best literature ever written by man, more so in the exactitude and authority of its teachings, especially as they touch on man and his condition, hopes, aspirations, expectations and even frustration.

When Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Roman converts (Rm 5: 3-5), admonished them to “rejoice in your suffering, knowing that suffering begets endurance; endurance begets character, character begets hope, and hope does not disappoint us,” little did he know that his admonition, given over 2000 years ago, would garner as much universal relevance as suffering has become a universal phenomenon.

In Nigeria, hope, as elucidated by Paul, is a potent survival weapon because it is the reason many families are still clinging onto life in spite of suffering that has pushed them to the brinks, almost to the point of implosion. Hope remains the reason many prisoners of conscience, such as Leah Karibu, have continued to endure excruciating pain.

That hope, which underlies Buhari’s Next Level, is also the reason Apapa, where pain is palpable, suffering is pervasive just as environmental degradation is deep, still retains residents and keeps business owners, port operators and motorists expecting a better deal in the Next Level.

One taskforce after another and several stakeholder meetings dating back to 2010 when Goodluck Jonathan was president and Mike Onolememen was Minister of Works, Apapa remains a national disgrace, according to Kabiru Gaya, chairman, Senate Committee on Works.

Since 2012, vehicular movement in and out of Apapa metropolis, which houses the major economic gateways, Apapa and Tin-Can Island seaports, has been tough as the traffic gridlock into the port city, worsened without any hope in sight.

apapa

Alarmingly, the traffic situation continued to increase by the day as majority of the trucks going to the seaports and oil tank farms scattered all over the city were forced to pass through Ijora-Apapa-Wharf road, following the Federal Government’s inability to repair the failed Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, alternative access into Apapa.

Also, the failure of traffic managers put in place by the Federal Government to control traffic on the bridges and roads in Apapa, compounded the traffic situation. The situation was such that the recently introduced manual call-up system for trucks, to streamline the number of container-carrying trucks and trailers on the bridges to Apapa, also failed.

 investigation shows the Federal Government is yet to be committed to repairing the roads as well as ameliorating the plights of Apapa residents and port users, who spend substantial amount of their daily man-hour on the road, in order to have access into Apapa.

It has become very worrisome that government generates trillions of Naira from the ports annually, but has failed to invest a fraction of that revenue into the development of road infrastructure leading to the ports.

For instance, in 2017 and 2018 alone, available statistics revealed that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated over N2 trillion in revenue and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) declared revenue of over N350 billion. This is aside the hundreds of billions of Naira worth of revenue generated annually by agencies like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

“Seaports in Nigeria are the goose that lay the golden eggs for the Federal Government, yet the government has failed to invest in the development of port infrastructure especially roads”, said Tony Anakebe, managing director of Gold-Link Investment Ltd, a Lagos-based clearing and forwarding company.

Anakebe noted that many Nigerians have lost their lives due to the risk involved in travelling on the bad roads in Apapa amid tankers and trailers. He added that government must wake-up to their responsibilities of fixing the roads and providing transit parks for heavy vehicles, if Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking must improve.

we also discovered that the persistent traffic congestion on the port roads has been piling up cost of doing business for shippers and manufacturers, whose goods and raw materials spend days and weeks before getting to their warehouses.

apapa

If these consignments spend longer days in the ports without clearing, it compels shippers to pay more to shipping companies as demurrage for not returning the empty containers as and when due, and they also pay storage charges to terminal operators for occupying space in the terminal.

Recall that prior to port concession, Apapa port used to accommodate almost 60 percent of the trucks that are parked on the highway today. Then, truckers had holding bay inside the port, where they parked pending when they got another job after offloading the empty containers.

“Port terminals were concessioned, without reserving holding-bay for truckers to park”, said Jonathan Nicol, president, Shippers Association of Lagos State, who advised the incoming government to expedite action in building truck transit parks around the ports.

He said the parks would enable truckers and port authorities to make use of electronic call up system in streamlining the number of trucks coming into the ports vis-à-vis Apapa metropolis on a daily basis.

Pundits have also blamed the indiscriminate licensing and locating of oil tank farms around the Apapa metropolis for adding to the Apapa traffic problem, which port users and commuters face on the roads to Apapa.

Based on that, President Muhammadu Buhari administration in the next four years needs to either revive the refineries or make use of pipeline in evacuation of petroleum products to stop tankers from coming to Apapa.

“If the Federal Government reconstructs the bad portions of the roads leading to Apapa up to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway with these tank farms still here, the tankers will continue to convert the roads to park and Apapa problem will persist,” Anakebe said.

In terms of cost implication on haulage, it has been discovered that moving import and export cargoes in and out of the ports in Apapa and Tin-Can Island have more than doubled in recent time largely due to the persistent traffic congestion.

For instance, taking 20 foot containers from Tin-Can and Apapa ports to any warehouse in Lagos that used to cost between N80- N120,000.00, now cost N400,000.00; while 40 foot container that used to cost like N250,000.00, now cost N700,000.00

On the other hand, moving 20 ft and 40 ft containers from Lagos to the north that used to cost between N500,000.00 and N600,000.00; now cost between N900,000.00 to N1 million and N1.3 million in some cases while consignment to the south-east, which used to cost N250,000 now cost between N550,000.00 and 750, 000.00.

 findings have shown that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), the agency in charge of developing the rail system as well as rail operations, has failed to tap into the opportunities inherent in the movement of over 120 million metric tons of cargo available to be moved annually across the country.

As a result, businesses especially exporters and importers record losses due to high cost of moving their cargoes from either the hinterland to port cities or port cities to the hinterland.

Therefore, if the incoming government pays serious attention to having an effective railway system, shippers would save lots of money on haulage of cargoes.

“Time has come for the Federal Government to fully involve the private sector in the development of railway system. Over the years, the Federal Government has been making plans to concession the management of the railway to private operators. Thus, the need to fast track this move for greater benefit for Nigerian businesses,” said Emma Nwabunwanne, a Lagos-based importer.

There has also been the existence of multiple security checkpoints manned by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Army and other security operatives along the roads leading to the Apapa Ports, which has started taking toll on businesses.

READ ALSO : WHY THE ELITES HATE BUHARI

Originally, security operative were installed on the port roads by government to ensure sanity through proper control of traffic congestion within Apapa metropolis but the essence is becoming almost defeated as these officers use the opportunity to feather their own nest.

“These multiple checkpoints that came up in the last three years have helped in increasing the rate of corruption in the port system”, Anakebe confirmed.

“Corruption will continue to thrive in our ports if these checkpoints are allowed. It has become very absurd that when a Custom officer releases a container in Apapa, on getting to Area B, which is few meters away, the truck driver will encounter more than three Customs’ checkpoints and the cargo owner must grease their palm before passing,” he disclosed.

apapa

When Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President, came to Apapa and gave a 72-hour order to the security agencies to clear the gridlock on roads and bridges in the port city to no avail, all stakeholders, especially the residents and the stakeholders, knew that it would take long before respite came their way.

But disillusioned as they are, all eyes are on Buhari’s Next Level because, until the Senate Committee visited at the weekend to seek solution to the gridlock, nobody seemed to be interested, at all government levels, in Apapa and its choking problems.

“We have more or less resigned to fate in the matters of Apapa; we have been told that things will get better when we get to the next level; even if we have our doubts, we have no choice but to believe them because all stakeholders, except the government which has all the powers, are at the end of their tether in terms of solution to this problem,” lamented a resident who craved anonymity.

According to him, the Next Level solution to Apapa gridlock should be looking at a whole lot of issues beginning with infrastructure and port access. Expectedly, the new Trailer Park on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway will be completed and opened by month end while the reconstruction of the expressway is underway.

But that will not be all. Though Ayo Vaughan, chairman,  Apapa GRA Resident Association says Apapa master-plan has been distorted, the Next Level approach to the problem should revisit its regeneration strategy which seeks to restore the original structure and feature of the port city.

“Revisiting the original master plan and following it through, just like providing the necessary roads infrastructure, may not be the solution to this problem, but just a part it. The numerous tank farms and indiscriminate building of structures even on rail lines have to be reconsidered with a view to doing away with them,” the anonymous resident said.

Source: By Chuka Uroko & Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie

Saudi Arabia Real Estate Reform ‘on the right track,’ Housing Minister Tells Conference

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s real estate finance sector — crucial to the ambition of a home-owning economy under the Vision 2030 strategy — is maturing rapidly, a high-profile event in Riyadh heard on Wednesday.

“We’re on the right track,” housing minister Majid Al-Hogail told attendees on the first day of the Financial Sector Conference, designed to showcase Saudi Arabia’s finance industry to a world audience.
His comments came as financial institutions in the Kingdom announced a raft of measures to encourage more home ownership.


The most eye-catching was a plan by the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) — owned by the Public Investment Fund — to issue up to SR3.75 billion ($1 billion) worth of sukuk, or Islamic bonds, this year to finance home ownership plans.

Fabrice Susini, chief executive of the company, said SRC had spent SR1.2 billion buying mortgages from local mortgage finance companies and adding liquidity to these firms. SRC is often compared to US home finance group Fannie Mae.

Reform of the financial infrastructure of the property market is regarded as crucial to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plans, to ensure an ownership rate of 70 percent in the privately owned housing market by 2030.
In a panel entitled “Mortgages: Bolstering Industry Appetite,” Al-Hogail spoke of the unique position Saudi Arabia has in the housing market, highlighting the relevance of a database established by the Ministry of Housing to give a better and deeper understanding of the market. The diverse nature of the market presents its own challenges, he said.

“Every city has its own different set of challenges and we can’t generalize. With the establishment of the database, it provides the ministry with a better future outlook through more detailed information, obtained through various means — whether it were through the Electric Company, through the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, or through the General Authority for Statistics and their surveys.”

“Over 16 government agencies support the housing sector to achieve Saudi Vision objectives, to increase property ownership among Saudis to 70 percent by 2030,” he said.
An official report for the first quarter of 2019 revealed that the finance market reached SR5.6 billion last March. Some 12,800 citizens received loans, and 85 percent were subsidised.

Saudi Arabia last year announced plans to boost the size of the mortgage market to SR502 billion by 2020 as part of a comprehensive plan to provide housing finance to its citizens, facilitating a balanced and sustainable housing environment through the establishment and development programs.

In other deals, Bidaya Home Finance announced three initiatives to enhance the Saudi market. Its first initiative involved the sale of Bidaya’s mortgage portfolio to SRC, valued at SR500 million over a period of six months. SRC, formed in 2017, is also keen to tap foreign institutional investors for its debt sale this year, Fabrice Susini told Reuters in an interview. “Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” he said.


“We are really looking at probably issuing something between SR2 to 4 billion that we may be issuing in two tranches.”
He said SRC was looking at sukuk in the 10- to 15-year range, to help minimize refinancing risks. “Generally speaking we are trying to issue as long as possible,” Susini said. He added that the company was assessing whether it could also issue bonds in currencies other than the Saudi riyal.
In March, SRC completed a SR750 million sukuk issue with multiple tenors, under a program that allows it to issue up to SR11 billion of local currency denominated Islamic bonds.

Source: Arabnews

Real Estate Practitioners Undergo Professional Training in UK

Nigerian professional estate surveyors and valuers have undergone a week long training in the United Kingdom (UK) for the purpose of continuous professional development (CPD).

The professionals, under the aegis of the College of Estate Management Reading Alumni Association of Nigeria (CEMRAAN), undertook the training to update their knowledge on best practices in estate surveying and valuation.

The CPD training, held in the University College of Estate Management, Reading, UK, was to update the trainees on global standard practices in the real estate surveying and valuation sector.

The founder of CEMRAAN, who is also the second Vice President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Johnbull Amayaevbo, said the training would be an eye opener.

“The training is for continuous professional development in line with global standard practices and it will be centred on valuation of transportation infrastructure like roads, bridges, aircraft, ships/vessels, train/rail track, oil/gas pipelines, etc; valuation of oil wells/other minerals and how to handle environmental and oil spillage valuations,” he said.

Amayaevbo also said the training was a continuation of one previously held in several states of Nigeria in December last year, in partnership with the University College of Estate Management, Reading, UK, and it was focused on international standards of  valuation.

“I am confident that in this current training, a lot of professional knowledge will be impacted and a lot of modern techniques in valuation will be taught,” he said.

The College of Estate Management Reading Alumni Association of Nigeria (CEMRAAN) is an alumni association of students of University College of Estate Management, Reading, the UK, based in Nigeria.

Francis Arinze Iloani

 

How Dubai’s Real Estate Sector Created Economic Growth

Real estate sector in Dubai has always been a key source of remarkably contributing to the economy. Property developers and real estate agents are behind the success of the emirate’s booming property market, making all out efforts to supply units to meet the growing demand in the wake of high influx of expats.From time to time real estate agencies come up with innovative offers for the residents seeking better location, best price and a lot more attractions. Customers also look for saving money while renting a property.

With this regard, ‘Right Doors’, a young real estate broker in Dubai has come up with an innovative concept of charging flat fixed fee from the customer, instead of charging five per cent commission on the total annual rental amount, as is the normal practice in the country and all over the world.

The agency’s mission is to offer services that bring down the cost of living and not charging the commission as per market trend is a step forward in this initiative.

Right Doors charges flat Dhs999 from customers on each contract, instead of charging five per cent commission, saving a lot of money for them. This practice reduces the burden of rental amount on tenants.The Chief Executive and Founder of Right Doors, Zeeshan Shaikh, who spoke to Gulf Today, said, “We are Dubai’s first commission-free real estate agency. We do not charge 5 per cent commission from clients and save a lot of money for them.

I can give you a recent example, a client rented a property in Dubai’s prime location through us.

The annual rental of the property was Dhs540,000. We made a deal for him and charged only Dhs999, saving him Dhs539,001 in the head of commission.”He said, “Fixed rate commission will further boost the real estate market and make tenants and landlords satisfied.”He said, this idea of ours is based on doing more business with lesser margin of profits or income. And we are successful in our business because our idea and new concept of charging flat fixed fee is getting fame and we are receiving a lot of inquiries specially from hotels and companies who want big number of units for their staff. Our idea has also set an example for other real estate agencies who are appreciating our efforts.”

Zeeshan added, “This is our success that property owners are now approaching us to rent their properties. Also, a number of real estate brokers and agencies have contacted us to give them business as we will always be charging a flat fixed fee, be it a direct tenant of an agency.”He claimed that during the past four months we have saved Dhs600,000 in commission for hotel industry clients.”

In response to a question: ‘Is there any reaction or resentment from other real estate agencies on your idea of not charging five per cent commission and instead charging a flat fixed fee of Dhs999 as those agencies would be thinking that your concept is hurting their business?’ Zeeshan said, “We received mixed reaction to this concept. Mostly say, it is a wonderful idea and good ethics, facilitating the clients. In some cases, however, agencies opposed in the beginning but later they realised that this is the best business practice.”

He said, “I am sure that sooner or later other agencies will follow our footsteps.”He said, “Charging five per cent commission is a practice by the market, not a law. So, in my opinion, there should be a practice of facilitating people while doing business, and this is what we are doing.”

I want to make one thing clear, that we charge only Dhs999 from clients, and there are no other fees or hidden charges. Also, we do not charge a single penny from the owners for listing their properties with us.

The plus point is that knowing our business strategy of not charging five per cent commission, owners want to work with us.”

Zeeshan further mentioned that working with Right Doors hybrid estate agent, clients will have access to comprehensive and up-to-the-minute news and knowledge of the property market they target, allowing them to completely understand the opportunities and options currently offered.

He said, “Right Doors provides every client with extraordinary service in a booming real estate market in Dubai. With our initiative real estate will be easier, affordable, and transparent in Dubai by 2020. It’s time for a new wave. Right Doors promises to stay ahead of competition with an innovative approach and fresh business model.”

“Not only tenants can enjoy the extraordinary rent services offered by Right Doors, landlords can also get their properties rented faster by listing for free on Rightdoors.com,” Zeeshan added.

Guardianng

Drop in Real Estate Investment Affecting Nigeria’s Job Market

Amidst a large and growing population, Nigeria has a high unemployment rate which increased from 18.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017 to 23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Contrary to what obtains in most economies, a growing population in Nigeria means more citizens are getting poorer. A recent Bloomberg report quotes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as saying that the country’s population is growing while gross domestic product per capita is shrinking, adding that the trend would continue until at least 2024.

But this trend could be reversed or halted if more investment is encouraged and made in the country’s construction and real estate sector, analysts say. The construction industry, they note, has high growth prospects, predicting that by 2020, the country alongside India will enjoy higher growth rates than notable nations like China.

According to a 2012 report by Business Monitor International, investment inflows into Nigeria’s construction industry are expected to reach $9.4 billion (about N1.5 trillion) by 2021, giving the industry very bright prospects and outlook, especially in the areas of job creation and wealth generation.

However, these bright prospects are being eroded by heavy debt burden arising from unpaid contract jobs by the federal, state and local governments which runs into hundreds of billions of naira, discouraging fresh and increased investments in the sector.

Solomon Ogunbusola, former president, Federation of Construction Industries (FOCI), affirms that despite the prospects in the sector, investment in the sector remains very low because industry players are operating under serious constraints including high interest rate on bank loans.

Ogunbusola notes further that low investment in the sector means heavy job loss, explaining that even N100 million invested in the construction sector has the capacity to create jobs for over 100 workers besides the multiplier effect of job creation.

Paul Onwuanibe, CEO, Landmark Group, agrees, pointing out that millions of jobs are held back by low investment in the real estate sector where the construction of one square metre of real estate space creates three jobs.

Onwuanibe lamented that in spite of the growth potential coupled with opportunities in the sector, investment is still very low for reasons that ranged from unfavourable tax system to long, costly and cumbersome property registration and titling procedures.

“Some quality discussions one has had in the last six to eight weeks show that investors are ready and willing to come into this country to invest, but everybody is looking to see how things get better and easier. We are looking at $2-3 billion investment that is waiting to come into Lagos State alone,” Onwuanibe said.

“In real estate, that will make a huge difference. It is estimated that every one square metre space of construction creates employment for three people. So, when there is a real estate activity on 1,000 square metres of real estate, 3,000 jobs are created,” he added.

Onwuanibe argued that if an investor has $1 billion, he could build 200 housing units which translate to several thousands of jobs to be created “and those who are employed will be spending money they earn in the economy and the economy will be growing”.

“It is understandable that the government here is still emerging and so needs money upfront, but it is important not to kill the future by over-taxing and punishing businesses,” he warned, contending that Nigeria could change its unemployment and poverty story by making simple policy changes.

Only recently, Steve Hanke, a renowned professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, released the Misery Index 2018 which ranked Nigeria as the 6th most miserable nation in the world with a Misery Index score of 43.0.

Hanke explained that Misery Index score for any country was simply the sum of unemployment, inflation and bank lending rates minus the percentage change in real GDP per capita. This means that unemployment is a major source of misery and poverty both of which are prevalent in Nigeria.

Nigeria was recently adjudged the headquarters of poverty-stricken people in the world and, according to the World Poverty Clock, six Nigerians fall into extreme poverty every minute.
The Bloomberg report expressed the fear that if this current trend persists, more than 120 million Nigerians, or 45 percent of the population, will be living in extreme poverty, that’s less than $1.90 a day, by 2030.

Source: By Chuka Uroko

Smart housing could help reduce environmental impact of rapidly urbanising Africa

Hundreds of millions more Africans are predicted to live in cities over the next three decades as the continent rapidly urbanises. Many of these new urban Africans, however, are likely to end up in informal settlements. Already an estimated 200 million Africans live in informal settlements – often without access to energy and sanitation.

The growing class of urban poor need access to decent housing. But the challenge is that the global housing sector already emits almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses up to 40% of the planet’s total resources. New approaches are clearly needed.

As the housing sector grows — and it must grow if we want an equitable world — we need to reduce its environmental impact, not raise it,” said UN Environment acting executive director Joyce Msuya. “Smart design is the only way to meet our housing needs and stay within planetary boundaries.”

UN Environment, UN Habitat, the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture and associated partners are working on these designs, one of which is on display at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

3D-printed modular structure

First unveiled at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly, the 3D-printed modular structure, made from biodegradable bamboo, aims to spark ideas and debate on how future biomaterial processes can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals, Habitat III New Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement.

The pavilion shows how post-agricultural waste — like bamboo, coconut, rice, soy and corn — can be turned into construction materials. It demonstrates solar energy and water systems that make homes self-sufficient and zero carbon. It highlights how micro-farming can be achieved with plant walls. All these features, and more, are integrated, monitored and managed by sensors and digital controls.

“As urbanisation gallops forward, people around the world are tired of seeing precious natural habitats paved over with toxic, energy-intensive materials such as concrete and steel,” said Anna Dyson, director of the Center for Ecosystems in Architecture at Yale University. “In the 21st century, global construction practices must innovate towards nature-based solutions for future cities. Our research consortium with East African collaborators is devoted to advancing state-of-the-art locally produced building systems.”

It is fitting that the pavilion is based in Kenya, as the government there has prioritised affordable housing as a key pillar of its Big Four Agenda, which aims to make the East African nation an upper middle-income country by 2030. Over the next five years, the government plans to build over 500,000 affordable houses across the country to meet the ever-growing housing demand.

Sustainable construction

To achieve the low-cost housing agenda, however, the industry needs to embrace technological changes that will result in the use of innovative sustainable construction, the aggregate effect of which would be to lower the embodied energy and average cost of manufacturing and housing.

“Architecture must address the global housing challenge by integrating critically needed scientific and technical advances in energy, water, and material systems while remaining sensitive to the cultural and aesthetic aspirations of different regions,” said Deborah Berke, dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

The pavilion serves as a starting point for those in government and industry to think about what they can do better. It is part of a series of demonstration buildings, which started with a 22m2 “Ecological Living Module”, powered by renewable energy and designed to minimise the use of resources such as water. This module was displayed at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018.

Source: Biz Community

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