Importance of Access in Nigeria’s Real Estate | #REU2016

In Nigeria, an estimated 17 million housing unit deficit shows that housing construction is crucial to the nation’s economy. In a report by housing finance Africa, 6 out of 10 people are expected to reside in urban areas by 2030.

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As at 2014, the real estate sector contributed 11% to the country’s GDP. With the projected demand, it is estimated that the N6.5 trillion market will grow at an average of 10% percent over the next few years. Developing access in Nigerian Real Estate will create the enabling environment for increased public-private partnerships and help structure private capital for infrastructure.

For example, China built 30 million housing units between 2006 through 2015.This Chinese made this possible because both government and stakeholders had access to finance, mortgage and land. In Nigeria, Investors and finance houses are needed to invest in the industry to create the environment for businesses to grow. Construction companies, legal firms and even unskilled labour are all needed to bring the lifecycle of a project to completion.

 

To develop the Nigeria housing sector, the following interventions are recommended;

Access to finance

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Access to finance refers to the availability of services in the form of deposits, credit, payments, or insurance to individuals or enterprises. Access to finance alleviates housing shortage. It is estimated that an investment of $363billion will be needed to build new homes. The objective of housing finance is to increase access of households to housing finance, especially low income households, by introducing new and innovative housing loan products combined with affordable housing designs.

Access to Mortgage and loans

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Through institutions like the Nigerian Mortgage refinancing company, prospective home buyers can have access to reduced mortgage and lower deposit rates. In some countries, mortgage loans are usually limited to a maximum of 15 years at a 30% debt to income ratio. An “affordable” house should cost between 3 and 5 times the mean annual income. In Africa, however, the average house costs 17 times the mean annual income.  At the just concluded AUHF hosted in Abuja, it was estimated that 35% of Nigeria’s urban population could afford to buy a house with a mortgage and proper financial planning. Housing microfinance provides microfinance institutions an opportunity to design new financial products and diversify their portfolios.

Access to favourable policies

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Government must develop housing policies and use their regulatory powers to influence private sector decisions regarding the availability of mortgages; the legal tenure of housing ownership, building cost and rent.

In 2013, the Lagos State Government adopted the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on Policy framework for Investment (PFI). The reason for this was to help the state improve its business climate. Well defined policies, with scheduled implementation plans are bound to have a positive effect on both the real estate sector and other businesses.

Access to a sound legal framework

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To encourage investors, the legal and regulatory environment should provide a platform that facilitates monitoring and enforcement of rules, ensures investor protection, improved systems for property titling, registration and enforcement of liens. To make the legal process firmer, access to foreclosure laws and expedited legal process for dispute resolution is needed to support the development of mortgage markets in Nigeria.

Access to information

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Access to information remains a major criteria for making sound investment decisions. An investor coming into the country for the first time will need basic data and information about the performance of the real estate sector before making concrete investment decisions.

According to McKinsey, 96 million urban households globally are financially overstretched.  Access to information will impact positively on the Nigerian real estate market. Prof. Charles Inyangete, CEO of NMRC says that although housing is paramount to the national economy, Nigeria, has an outdated housing data. For the discerning investor, this shortfall in information is a business opportunity.

Access to Labour

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The construction sector is a driver of economic activities. Availability of labour will create employment in a number of ways other sectors can’t. For real estate projects to be successful, there has to be access to skilled and unskilled labour; civil engineers, architects, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, lawyers, business developers, maison, scaffolders, welders, crane operators and carpenters.

Access to investment opportunities

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Nigeria currently has a mortgage value of N6.3million. With this, housing can be affordable to about 3 million urban households in Nigeria. With government’s current intervention in the economy, access to investment could create up to 4 million jobs. Investors want to put their money into long term opportunities that will yield profit. Despite the recession, there are tremendous opportunities for significant returns on housing investment while meeting a basic social need-shelter.

Access to land

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Enhancing the capacity of land administration, starting with the support of its computerisation and low registration charges will remove housing constraints and increase access to land. Formalizing process of customary rights to facilitate access to land could remove housing market constraints and give more room for developers and builders to build.

Real Estate Unite 2016

As part of the theme of this year’s Real Estate Unite “Filling the G.A.P.S”, we have identified Access as one of the gaps to be filled in the Nigeria real estate sector.

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To attend this event, register on www.realestateunite.com or send an email toinfo@realestateunite.com

 

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