Real Estate Professionals Should be taken Seriously; Olapade to State and FGN

Chief Adio Oluwafemi Olopade

Experts from the built environment have urged the National Assembly to make adequate provision through law to protect and project the real estate professionals in the country.

During the investiture  of the 25th Branch Chairman and Executive committee members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State Branch, Chief Adio Oluwafemi Olopade, a structural Engineer made this plea for the recognition of the sector’s professionals while noting that the profession, which is one of the best in the world, has been relegated to the background due to the influx of non-professional into the business.

The elder statesman, who also serves as the President of the Metropolitan Club said, to reverse the negative trend, practitioners must collectively rise to protect the industry by constantly lobbying those in the authority for adequate recognition.

Almost in the same breath, he also admonished the well-established members to give young professionals in real estate, the opportunity to grow by sharing their wealth of experience, promote professionalism and work together for the growth and development of Nigeria.

Also speaking at the event, a professor of real estate management from the University of Lagos, Mrs. Modupe Omirin backed the call for the creation of the office of the “Valuer General” to advance the fortune of the real estate sector.

According to her, “The office of the “valuer general” will improve the perception of valuation work within ministries and outside the ministry which will result into a better grasp of the need to patronize estate surveyors and valuers.

She also lamented that many young Nigerians are shying away from the profession due to their belief that it is a difficult terrain to breakthrough financially. She, therefore, tasked practitioners to encourage them through mentorship while members must also boost the relevance of the profession across the board by acquiring new skills for job performance.

Dr. Chidi Amuta, who was the guest speaker, said there was a need for practitioners to collaborate with government and the private sector in the proper management of lands to solve the problem of homelessness, which he noted, has reached its peak in the country.

If the current deficit in housing must be conquered, practitioners in real estate must strategically engage with governments at federal and state levels to address the housing needs of the nation.

He said: “In Nigeria, 50percent of our estimated population of 184 million lives in urban areas already. Our urbanization is growing at an estimated average of 3.75per cent of the population, creating an ever-bulging demand for affordable housing. As it relates to housing supply and delivery, the migrations into the urban areas of Nigeria mainly Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano/Kaduna have already created a housing deficit for Nigeria.”

He pointed out that the Nigeria’s embarrassing housing deficit is worst in an area that only government intervention can make a difference, namely, public housing. For him, the provision of houses for federal and state public servants, local government employees, rural and semi urban dwellers do not make sense to private real estate investors. He said only the government could take the necessary risks in a segment where the risk to return ratio is heavily weighted on risk.

Dr Chidi appealed to the new executive council to work assiduously in eliminating charlatans and touts who he said have invaded the profession.

Culled from: The Guardian

United Nations Human Settlements Programme Adopted by Niger State

Executive Director, UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos

The National Urban Development Policy, which is now 5 years since its launch by the Federal government of Nigeria, is being adopted by the Niger State Government under a new initiative that will explore the potential of its rapidly growing urban centres and utilising the advantage of their proximity to the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), is partnering with the State to provide technical assistance as a platform to enhance social and economic well being of its citizens. This milestone initiative will effectively commence next month.

Another aspect of the initiative includes; preparation of physical plans for the development of a new ‘Smart City’ near Suleja, on the proposed bypass between Minna-Suleja oad and Zuba, along Kaduna–Lokoja highway; and preparation of a Niger State Urban Development Policy (SUP).

Already, a team from UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, has visited the state on a scoping mission, with a view to survey and intimate the agency on the situation in the state toward the drawing up of the work plan for the exercise.

The Commissioner of Lands and Housing, Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi on behalf of the state government hosted the team that came in for the survey and expressed delight that the framework for actualizing the vision of the state was finally about coming to fruition.

Reacting to the hospitality shown to their team, the leader of the UN-Habitat Scoping Mission, Dr Remy Sietchiping, who is Head of the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit at the agency’s head office in Nairobi, commended the state government for taking the initiative to conceive the programme, which he said would set a sound basis for the future development of the state.

“We are grateful for the invitation extended to UN-Habitat to support the state in this very important exercise. We consider this mission to be a very important step towards actualizing the terms of our collaboration on this project, which we have been discussing for some time now. We are very open to the demands of the state and pledge our maximum commitment to the success of this initiative. We hope that by the end of this mission, we will be able to jointly draw up a road map that would guide our joint efforts,” he said.

There are expectations that the terms of the collaboration between the Niger State Government, the UN-Habitat and the Government of South Korea would be drafted in coming weeks, which will culminate into a formal endorsement of the five-year cooperation agreement by end of August at the UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi.

The Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello at the International Conference on National Urban Policy Government in Paris, secured the support of the Government of South Korea, with funding drawn from its commitment of $2.6million towards the development of National Urban Policies in Nigeria, Iran and Myanmar.

This programme will make Niger State become the first to adopt a State Urban Development policy in lines with guidelines prescribed in the revised National Urban Development Policy adopted in 2012. The proposed document will set out a frame work for the development and management of urban centres in the state, thereby setting a basis for improved local economic development and environmental sustainability.

The new ‘Smart City’ project will essentially ease the development pressure on the city, while also exploiting its proximity to Abuja to promote the manufacture of complementary renewable energy systems and components, such as solar water heaters, fans, refrigerators and LED lights in partnership with Korean companies which would be sold within Nigeria and in other African countries.
Culled from: The Guardian


2017 Budget; FGN invests N1trn in Real Estate.

Mr. Larry Ettah, The Chairman of Chemical and Allied Products, CAP, Plc, has said that the plan by the Federal Government to roll out N1 trillion real estate fund as part of efforts to develop the infrastructure base of the nation will trigger investment opportunities in the industrial goods sector of the economy.

Ettah said the plan by the government to commit 31 per cent of the 2017 budget capital expenditure would also boost activity in the building materials, construction and real estate sectors. He stated this at the company’s Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos.

He noted that CAP Plc was positioning to leverage on the opportunities proffered by the 2017 budget for the real estate sector to drive growth, adding, “We will be future-proofing our business by focusing on innovation and expanding local product offerings. We will also pilot colour advisory services to professionals in the building industry to further consolidate our leadership in the industry.”

Reviewing the company’s operation during the year, he said that a combination of forex scarcity, the high cost of funds, rising cost of inputs and downturn in the real estate sector impacted the company’s planned growth during the year. Consequently, the company recorded sales turnover of N6.81 billion, representing three per cent decline over N7.06 billion posted in 2016, while the operating profit was down 10 per cent to N2.12 billion during the year under review.
Culled from: Todayng


CORBON; Council Tackles quackery in building profession

In its bid to kerb the reoccurrence of building collapse in the country, the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) has renewed its commitment to eradicating the activities of quackery and sharp practices in the building sector.

CORBON is a government regulatory agency, established in 1989 to regulate and control building technology, profession and practices under the supervision of Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

The registrar of CORBON; Dr Peter Kuroshi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday that the council would ensure the arrest and prosecution of quacks in the profession. He also warned that the council would also penalise any registered builder involved in malpractices, adding that if the menace was not kerbed it would continue to contribute to substandard building resulting in collapsing building in the country.

According to him, the council has a major challenge in the industry, which is the challenge of quacks. “Quackery is a big problem that we have been trying as hard as we could to address”.

“For instance, if a builder, who is a trained professional but not registered and licensed by CORBON is involved in building production management, we consider such a person as a quack.

He further said, “Quackery has been responsible for many of the substandard buildings you have seen. Quite a number of buildings that had collapsed were works of quacks”.

Buttressing is the point, Kuroshi noted that quacks could be involved in the planning or design in a building but the area where quackery could be more prevalent was the production stage of a building project delivery.

“In each building that you see standing, all the professions should be involved. This means professionals are responsible for the design, some are responsible for the generation of cost implications, some provide planning information, some are strictly responsible for the marketing of completed product,” he said.

According to the CORBON boss, a builder is responsible for the production of the buildings but will rely on the input from designers like Architects (architectural drawings and specifications) and Engineers. Also listed were Quantity Surveyors (Bill of quantities) and town planners (land use and land use information and analysis reports).

The registrar noted that the council’s periodic inspection of building sites would also assist in kerbing the menace of building collapse in the country while stating that the measure was aimed at establishing and sustaining standard in building production processes.

“Every professional, participant, contractor, manufacturers and suppliers involved in building delivery is supposed to be regulated strictly.

“Unless we are able to establish standards and sustain these standards with respect to resources that are used and personnel that are involved in building production processes, we will continue to have challenges,” he said.

Kuroshi called for collaboration among various professions to ensure regulation and stringent monitoring of the activities of contractors.

He decried the way and manner actual execution of construction processes were being managed in the country.
Culled from: The Guardian

Oworonshoki Water Front Estate to Boosts Lagos Mega City Dream

In its drive to meet the housing deficit crises, the Lagos state government through its LAGOS Mega City project has boosted its resolved towards achieving this goal via the Oworonshoki Water Front Estate.

According to the developer, the Estate which is strategically located within the central area of Lagos inside the Oworonshoki urban village and is positioned to be the new spot for foreign investors, also attracting those with a love for the good serene environment due to its positioning to the lagoon.

“Oworonshoki water front estate also referred to by some as “the new city on the lagoon” is strategically located in between the Lagos island, mainland and other meaningful places in and out of Lagos, which puts it at an advantage for easy access in and outside of the water park.

The project developer further said that the ongoing plan for the Oworonshoki Water Front Estate will enhance the plan and projection for the Lagos Mega City by Governor AkinwunmiAmbode,”. The new developing estate which has been a tourist attraction since the expansion process began has the structures and landmark in this part of Lagos and its environs. A resident at Oworonshoki said: ‘It is a welcome estate development, considering the high rate of building collapse incidence in the country. We believe strongly in the poise of the developer to complete the project that will certainly stand the test of time.

Industry professionals and investors consider Oworonshoki water front estate as the new city on the lagoon to beat and emulate.
Culled From: Vanguard

Group targets four states in new housing index

House prices in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna and Rivers are to be tracked by the Roland Igbinoba Real Foundation for Housing and Urban Development. Roland Igbinoba, who is the founder of Roland Igbinoba House Price Index (RI Index), said the group plans to increase the coverage of the house price index on a quarterly basis until it fully covers all major cities that will enable investors adequately track house prices. The RI Indices will reflect the effect of the recession in most of the areas in Abuja, Lagos, Rivers and Kaduna for the Q2 2017 RI Index.

The Foundation has successfully published “The State of the Lagos Housing Market – 2009 and 2016 editions”; and also “The State of Abuja Housing Market Report– 2017 edition”.

In his statement, he said, “With the level of acceptability and positive feedbacks received with respect to the publication of the first quarter RI Index for Lagos and Abuja, our plan is to repeat this achievement on a quarterly basis for the existing cities; and launch the RI Index for other major cities. In the second quarter, RI Index, Kaduna and Port Harcourt is under our consideration”.

Igbinoba stated that prospective beneficiaries of the RI Index are the stakeholders that have a primary interest in residential real estate market of Nigeria. These beneficiaries include; institutional investors, financial institutions, foreign investors, private equity firms, real estate developers, home buyers, government agencies and other individuals considering housing market as part of their portfolio to leverage on emerging opportunities in the fast-growing market.He added that “The RI Index will provide necessary handy information to make a decision on when to purchase a house, where and even what type of house to buy.

Analysts are also enhanced with the usage of the RI Index to monitor long-term trends in house prices. The information on the index is not limited to buying a property but also when making rental decisions”.

This index aids optimisation of choice. “The usefulness of the RI Index cut across all levels of government (in making appropriate housing policy); and investors using the information to know the best location to invest or the type of housing that will maximize investment in the medium and long term, as well as individuals, in providing guidance when making the choice of purchasing your first home or making an investment in housing”, he noted.
Culled from: The Guardian

Caterpillar: Boosting sales and alleviating poverty


Caterpillar is not a new-comer, having begun doing business on the continent in 1926 and currently in 53 countries of the continent, with about 15,000 people on the ground through its independent dealer network. The company sells equipment for major infrastructure projects like rail lines, airports, dams – earth moving of any kind, and has a resource industries division which is in mining and extractive industries. This in addition to an energy and transportation business that provides electric power generation, diesel, gas and renewable and marine propulsion systems and locomotives for rail.

Following up an announcement made in September last year by the CEO of Caterpillar Doug Oberhelman on the company’s plans to invest over $1b in Africa over the next five years, David Picard, Caterpillar’s regional manager for Africa and the Middle East, described some of the steps that have been taken since last year’s announcement. This was done at the last US-Africa Business Summit that held recently in Washington, DC.
The billion-dollar commitment is a combination of Caterpillar, dealers, and the Caterpillar Foundation. The investment is going directly into facilities with a recent example being the state-of-the-art facility opened by one of the company’s dealers Mantrac in Cairo. In August, caterpillar would be inaugurating a new 645,000 square-foot distribution centre that’s going to be serving all of southern Africa with critical replacement parts that its customers need. According to David, “We’re looking at a parts’ facility in Abidjan as well, and we’re investigating opening an office in Nairobi as well”.
The regional manager also added that “The Foundation is focused on poverty and has launched the ‘Together. Stronger’ platform to help 50m people rise out of poverty by 2020. One focus is empowering women because we believe that girls and women are at the core of success across Africa. We invest money through advocacy, but also through microfinance projects to help women entrepreneurs enter the business and bring their wares to market”.

One challenge the company faces as outlined by David is skilled, but plans have been rolling out to overcome this challenge. An example of such plans is Technicians for Africa, which is an online e-learning curriculum that Caterpillar has put out there. It is absolutely free of charge for any African who would like to educate themselves, with the only requirement being an access to a computer with connectivity to the internet. In early 2016, this scheme was piloted in three countries – DRC (The Democratic Republic of the Congo) in French, Mozambique in Portuguese and Nigeria in English.

“Another challenge is finance. Particularly for entrepreneurs that are entering construction, getting affordable finance. I’ve been hearing horror stories of 20% to 30% interest rates in several countries. It’s hard for an entrepreneur who wants to get into the construction business, who wants to buy a backhoe loader or a small excavator. It’s very difficult to make their numbers work when they have to pay that kind of interest” he said.

Zeroing in on Nigeria, he said “Nigeria has become the largest economy in Africa, and they’ve demonstrated the kind of growth that we think we’re going to see in the rest of Africa going forward. There are challenges right now due to the falling oil price. But we’ve had success historically and currently as well. Our dealer in Nigeria, Mantrac, has facilities strategically placed throughout the country. They’re in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and a number of other key locations. They also have mobile service capability, and they can mount a temporary service shop to support big projects outside of the cities.”

Mantrac does a terrific job. They’re our partner in eight different countries in Africa. They’ve been a Caterpillar dealer for many, many years. And they understand Africa, how to do business in Africa and how to be successful. We’re very satisfied with the support that they have been providing in Nigeria.
Culled from: allAfrica

BON Hotels Increases Footprint in West Africa; Signs Twelfth Hotel in Nigeria

BON Hotels has increased its footprint in West Africa with the signing of its 12th hotel in Nigeria – making the group the largest hotel management company in the country.

Together with acquisitions in East Africa – in Uganda and Ethiopia – and continued growth prospects throughout the continent to add to their South African and Namibian portfolio, including the doubling in size of the five-star boutique hotel BON Hotel Abuja to 60 bedrooms (which is about to commence), and the current upgrades and refurbishments underway at their existing hotels, Director of BON Hotels International West Africa (BHIWA) Bernard Cassar says the group remains committed to moving onwards and upwards and continuing its growth trajectory in the region.

The two new hotels currently under construction are being built to international standards and specifications with the latest technology and facilities. BON Hotel Lekki, situated on the Lekki Peninsula, Victoria Island, is due to open in June 2018 and will provide a four-star, international, 45-room hotel catering to the corporate and business market. The second acquisition is BON Hotel Elvis Wuse2, a four-star, 85-roomed, luxury hotel located in the heart of Abuja, primed for the business traveller, due to open later this year.

CEO of BON Hotels Guy Stehlik says that within a short space of time the group has become a number one player in Nigeria, which just reiterates their belief in and commitment to the region. He adds that BON Hotels’ success has been made possible largely by the experienced staff in place and the considerable time and energy the group has engaged in skills development and transformation in Nigeria

“The reality is that we have gone from having no presence in the area to becoming the largest operator, based on hotels, in less than 12 months, which demonstrates our primary strength at identifying and managing hotels under difficult circumstances in Africa,” he remarks.
Source: bizcommunity

Trump’s Trade Policies Tank Home Builder Confidence

U.S. homebuilders should be feeling pretty good about their business, given the nation’s severe shortage of homes for sale, but a sharp spike in the cost of lumber is weighing heavy on their bottom lines.

A monthly index of homebuilder confidence in the single-family market fell 2 points in July to 64 from a downwardly revised June reading. Economists had expected a reading of 68. Anything above 50 is considered positive, but this is the lowest reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index since November — before the presidential election.

“Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is hurting housing affordability even as consumer interest in the new-home market remains strong.”

Builders were initially euphoric following the November election of President Donald Trump, hoping the new administration would lift some of the heavy regulations that now account for about a quarter of the cost of putting up a new home. Builder confidence jumped 6 points from November to December (63 to 69) and then jumped again to 71 in March, following the administration’s repeal of certain environmental regulations specifically involving water.

Now, new tariffs on Canadian lumber of up to 24 percent announced by the Trump administration in May, as well as the expectation of additional tariffs on other home building materials imported from overseas, are overtaking the benefits of deregulation. The cost of framing lumber has spiked in recent months and continues to rise today, which only exacerbates already rising prices for land and skilled labour.

“Builders will need to manage some increasing supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

The median price of a newly built home sold in May rose to a record $345,800, according to the U.S. Census. Homebuilders claim they are shifting focus to cheaper, starter homes, as demand by first-time buyers rises, but construction costs are simply too high to profit in that segment of the market.

“We juggle it,” said Stephen Paul, vice president of homebuilding operations at Maryland-based Mid-Atlantic Builders. “It’s a challenge if you sell homes under contract months in advance because you’re exposed to those price increases.”

Of the index’s three components, current sales conditions fell 2 points to 70 and sales expectations over the next six months dropped 2 points to 73. Buyer traffic lost 1 point to 48, the only component in negative territory.

Regionally, on a three-month moving average, builder confidence in the Northeast rose 1 point to 47. The West and Midwest each fell 1 point to 75 and 66, respectively. Sentiment in the South dropped 3 points to 67.

Source: CNBC

Hong Kong Skyscrapers; Most Expense Real Estate Assets in the World

According to global real estate adviser Knight Frank, office skyscrapers in Hong Kong are the most expensive commercial real estate assets in the world in 2017.

According to Knight Frank’s analysis, which uses rental values as at Q4 2016 and prime yields as a basis, pricing for skyscrapers in Hong Kong has reached $8,000 per sq. ft, over 60 per cent higher than tall buildings in Tokyo, where pricing is estimated at $4,900 per sq. ft.

Hong Kong developer Henderson Land recently paid $3bn for an old five-storey car park, indicating the frenzied state of Hong Kong’s property market. The price was a record lump sum for Hong Kong and a record also per square foot. The sale sets the world’s most expensive city even further apart from its rivals.

The top five of Knight Frank’s Skyscraper Capital Values Index is completed by Manhattan, where tall buildings have an estimated value of $3,700 per sq. ft, San Francisco ($2,500) and the City of London ($2,450).

Andrew Sim, Head of Global Capital Markets, Knight Frank, commented, “For the first time we have comparatively analysed the capital value of the world’s skyscrapers, which are seen by many as a bellwether for the commercial property market as a whole.

“Pricing is highest in Hong Kong which reflects the world’s highest skyscraper rents, and the lack of available land for future development. Similarly, pricing in major financial centres such as Shanghai, Singapore, Manhattan and London is supported by the high level of demand for space in these buildings from financial services businesses, in particular.

“However, pricing for tall buildings in Sydney, Melbourne and Taipei is likely to move more rapidly in the next two years, and we expect to see investors in search of trophy assets looking beyond the major financial centres.”
Source: WorldPropertyJournal

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