REAL ESTATE NEWS UPDATE| JULY 31st 2017 #3inews

No Correlation Between Lekki flooding and Eko Atlantic Project – South Energyx Limited

Reacting to the allegations laid by some environmentalist and Lagos residents, penultimate week, that Eko Atlantic City, located beside the Bar Beach along Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos was partly responsible for the severe flooding that submerged the entire Victoria Island and Lekki corridor due to torrential rainfall that weekend, the management of the ongoing emerging city has debunked the allegations.

The complainants had noted that the construction of the sprawling project beside the Atlantic Ocean had narrowed the course of the ocean at the bar beach end with the reclamation of part of the ocean for the construction of the multi-billion dollars city, and according to them, the water that would have been retained within the ocean in times of surges is now being forced to flow to the neighbourhoods by the tide, thereby causing floods.

The management of South Energyx Limited, developers and promoters of the city while debunking the allegations, said that “Eko Atlantic City has not in any way contributed to the incessant flooding of Victoria Island, Lekki, and other adjoining areas.” Managing Director of South Energyx, Mr. David Frame, who said the project is aimed at changing the face of the Lagos shoreline by finding a permanent solution to the incessant ocean surge that is threatening Victoria Island and by reclaiming and protecting its infrastructure, added that Eko Atlantic project neither contributes nor interferes with the drainage of Victoria Island or Lekki.

According to Mr. Frame, “In the current stage of development, the site has minimal hard surfaces, meaning that most of the rain water infiltrates into the sand. He also pointed to the fact that the project has an Internal drainage system plan, adding that, “When fully developed, the topography and infrastructure of Eko Atlantic will manage the storm water through an internal drainage system with a major central canal that connects to the sea as designed, this ensures that no additional surface water will flow to Victoria Island or Lekki.

“Also important to note is that the storm water drainage of Victoria Island and Lekki is designed to drain towards the Lagos Lagoon, as such the presence of Eko Atlantic does not interfere with this in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, the general topography of Victoria Island slopes towards Ikoyi. This is readily observed along Akin Adesola Road linking Ahmadu Bello Way to Ikoyi via Falomo Bridge. The slope is clearly discernible. “The city has been designed to protect Victoria Island and parts of Lekki from coastal erosion and flooding. The construction of the project is carried out in line with international best practice. The company works with notable companies who have executed similar projects in other countries. One such company is Royal HaskoningDHV, the appointed marine engineers for the Eko Atlantic Project.

The team is on the ground to monitor the daily progress of works and ensure compliance with International standards. “Eko Atlantic City has constructed over six kilometres of the 8.2-kilometre-long “Great Wall of Lagos”. It is a revetment which serves as the defence structure. The basic principles of the revetment, as a proven engineering solution for river and coastal protection, have been used for centuries, if not millenniums, around the world. The sea wall is designed and tested to handle the worst storms in a hundred years, putting into consideration global warming and rising sea levels”, South Energyx boss stated.
Culled from: The Vanguard

A National Housing Council Should Be Created; Stakeholders

At a talk shop that held in Abuja and ended last week, key stakeholders endorsed a workable guide for with an aim to positively change status-quo about housing and settlements development in Nigeria.
This move for change that was catalysed by the 11th Abuja Housing Show organized by Fesadeb Limited yielded a lot of dividends. The stakeholders agreed on the need to create National Housing Council, where operators and professionals generate viable solutions as interest rates of 27-30 per cent cannot build houses for rent or for affordable long term outright sale.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who led discussions, noted the urgency in critical reform in the housing sector to tackle shortage of skills, lack of artisans, and create jobs opportunities as well as bringing down interest rates, ensuring government incentives to both individual and corporate interests as it is practiced across the world.
“Affordability is not cheapness; rather it is a system that allows one to buy what he would not be able to purchase at the moment and conveniently pay later. The views of some of the participants were that the government can and need to intervene in critical sectors like housing because of its potentials to generate employment and curb corruption.

“We need appropriateness of innovative finance and infrastructure to address the country’s housing deficit of over 17 million units. This by interpretation is that there is the need to build at least one million housing units per year in spite the problems of high cost and high-interest finance, through appropriate government policies.”

A participant noted that housing for the poor or social housing programme needs at least N1 Trillion, and although efforts of the private sector are commendable, public sources are equally essential to also stimulate economic growth for the entire country. Hence, the federal government should contribute N100billion and be mobilizing business and private sectors to also partake in the programme. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) needs to be recapitalized to provide decent houses for people in line with the provisions of the programme.

The stakeholders observed that multi-finance approach to housing programmes also requires critical evaluation to enable partners, like the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), play their roles effectively.

Participants at the summit also commented that attention of experts is needed to address deficit issues by examining the increasing phenomenon of vacant houses in Abuja in order to be made affordable to those in need. Affordability test, for example, can determine those in need and can afford a house, because salary alone cannot fund the mortgage.

In the communique issued after the summit, they advocated for full involvement of public sector as exemplified by Lagos and Bauchi states in funding more infrastructure resulting in housing delivery and job creation. They agreed that subsidies must reach single digit lending rates by banks and mortgage companies.

If the right attention had been given to housing, the country would not have been in regression today. Issues of equity contributions, loans to construction companies, and high interest bank guaranties, often faced by financiers can be tackled if government can fix limits to their demand. The government need to leverage land acquisition, titling processes and charges in addition to providing durable infrastructure. This will bring the needed vibrancy to the sector, allow private sector to do and achieve high results.

There is the need to have uniform underwriting standards for the self-employed, non-interest, and fore-closure laws. Mortgage banks are to be encouraged to give out more loans”. Also, different approaches like rent-to-own, can be used to provide affordable housing to the people, and for wider innovative solutions, we need to get other parties in the business of housing and real estate development involved for affordability, availability, and acceptability of housing and housing infrastructure.
Culled from: The Guardian

Resolving  Impact of Fiscal Policy on Construction Sector

In the face of the uncertainty in the nation’s foreign exchange regime and other fiscal policies, built environment professionals have called for urgent steps to address the growing unemployment rate and job losses in the construction sector, adding that except some contradictions in the Nigeria’s economy is successfully resolved, the construction sector, which is a barometer to measure economic success will continue to remain uncertain, thereby creating private investors’ reluctance to ramp up the industry.

The president, Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE), Mr. Olusegun Ajanlekoko who spoke at the 9th yearly distinguished lecture of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) held in Lagos, on the theme: “Foreign Exchange Problems. Prospects and Solutions in Nigeria: Construction Industry Perspectives”, expressed worries that the condition has caused uncertainty on cost projections in the construction industry.

Mr. Ajanlekoko, who was a past president, NITP, suggested that builders should adopt bricks in the construction than sandcrete blocks to ensure affordable housing. “We have large residue of clays in the country, with demands and economic of scales, it seems cheaper, reduces the cost of cements, and can build more, it is irresponsibility for any nation not to be able to put a roof over its citizenry. He then appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to give discretionary interest rates to active participants in the construction industry to reflect on the overall cost of housing.

For the Director, Property Development at UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), Mr. Yemi Ejidiran, “the uncertainty in foreign exchange regime has caused delays in some on-going projects, while some others are being slowed down or stopped with new entrants practically fizzling out. He said that Grade A and B commercial residential buildings are witnessing low or poor demand, with no new development, while the dollar rated houses are evaporating.

Ejidiran called for the local production of the finishing building materials in Nigeria, adding if most of the building materials are sourced locally, it will reduce pressure on dollars since the real estate is seriously affected by the liquidity fleece.

Also contributing his quota, the president, of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi looked at the international conspiracy against the foreign exchange dynamics, saying there is need to identify the real population who are really in need of housing, because there are influx of foreigners who are compounding the housing problems.

Providing a synopsis on the impact of the foreign exchange to the nation’s economic activities, a renowned economist and Managing Director of Allied Technol System Limited, Mr. Henry Boyo noted that CBN’s failure to successfully manage an irrepressibly surplus naira supply has continued to drive higher inflation rates for several years, with profound consequences for the purchasing power, consumer demand, productivity, investment and social welfare. He lamented that with an abiding tradition of systemic surplus naira liquidity driving higher inflation, it would be presumptuous to expect any economic succour from the critical monetary indices, which sustain inclusive economic growth.

The economist solicited for the payment of dollars allocations with dollar certificates, so that dollars will always remain domiciled in CBN, even after banks have purchased the certificates in a free market, outside the present monopolistic framework, from constitutional beneficiaries.

The banks would subsequently sell their dollar purchases in an open market (devoid of naira liquidity surfeit) to local importers to pay for only approved and attested import bills. The commercial banks would subsequently instruct the CBN to directly pay such overseas suppliers from the forex credit balance in the respective bank’s forex domiciliary account with CBN on presentation of validated shipping documents; obviously banks would resist any attempt to maintain such transparency in the forex market.

NIQS president, Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, who was represented by the deputy President, Obafemi Onashile extolled the Lagos branch for sustaining the yearly lecture, saying it benchmark how an individual can see your contribution to the running of the economy.
Culled from: The guardian

Nigeria’s has Better Roads than Some Countries— Fashola

Even with the complains with regards to the poor road directions the across country, the federal government has revealed that Nigeria’s roads are far better than what some other countries in the world can boast of as road infrastructure. This revelation was made by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, at the just concluded 23rd National Council of Works meeting in Abuja, pointing out that the country can no longer depend solely on road maps which do not cover notable places in the country.

Fashola who said he had visited some countries in the world and observed that the quality of materials laid on Nigeria’s roads are far better that what they have over there, adding that “While our ongoing road projects across the nation are still in various stages of completion, our economic needs has resulted into some level of impatience on the part of citizens for the projects to get to the stage where we begin to confer the benefits of lane marking and street signage.

The Minister also noted that “Regardless of the economic situation of the country, the Ministry has refused to wait for funds before commencing on marking roads, installation of street signs for Nigerians who want them to see good road. We have met in the Ministry and agreed to compile the list of roads where significant sections have been completed, and prepare them for procurement and award of sub-contracts in collaboration with our main contracts, and this procurement will then be advertised as required by law and subject to an open and competitive bid”.

Also speaking on the importance of road signage, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT,  Muhammad Bello, said road signs are particularly important in the FCT due to the increasing number of vehicles plying its roads on a daily basis. Bello who stated that the Works’ meeting was key to the Capital Territory, added that the outcome of the deliberations would provide the needed input for policy making to address the problem of inadequate and poor road signage on some of the Capital’s highways. Represented by the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Eugene Jubrin, an engineer, the minister said, “I urge you all to bear in mind that your decisions will have far reaching impact on this administration’s efforts at ensuring improved safety and comfort on our highways, which is demonstrated by the huge budgeting provision to the Works sector by the administration in the last two years.”

Director, Highway Planning and Development, Chukwinike Uzo, an engineer, said the theme of this year’s meeting addressed the need to ensure safety on the country’s roads. According to him, “The meeting of the National Council on Works provides a forum in which stakeholders in the Works sector will deliberate concerning the road sector with a view to coming up with the decisions on how to solve problems associated with the construction and maintenance of highways/roads in Nigeria”, Uzo said.   Mr. Kayode Olagunju, Assistant Corps Marshal, Policy, Research and Statistics, said that it is at the Ministry’s Council meeting that decisions on roads are taken in partnership with the FRSC, pointing out that the FRSC produces standard road details in line with the 1968 convention which are meant to give direction to road users across the country “Those signs are meant to inform, they are meant to direct, they are also useful in guiding officers who work.

If there are dangers ahead the road signs will tell you for example, a sign to let you know that there a narrow bridge or bend ahead, so that before you get there, you are already aware of it, and you will know how to slow down to avoid danger”, Olagunju said.
Culled from: The Vanguard

 

Nigerian Surveyors can excel on the Global Platform with Relevant Certification

At the 7th Building and Construction Economic Roundtable (BCERT 7), held in Abuja, construction economists were urged to obtain international certifications as means of playing their game in the global construction sector of the economy. This call was made by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Fashola, who was represented at the event by the Director, Quantity Surveying in the Ministry, Dickson Onoja, noted that globalisation had enhanced mobility of labour, stressing that the present administration was determined to encourage professionals to engage in globally competitiveness.

On his part the President, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), Mallam Murtala Aliyu urged members of the profession to key into global competitiveness and ensure best practice in terms of quality of their professional services by giving serious attention to standardisation, metrology, conformity assessment, certification and accreditation.

Aliyu observed that the role of quantity surveying in putting Nigeria on the cutting-edge of global competitiveness should be interrogated. He added that implicit in a globally competitive economy is the availability of massive employment opportunities especially for youths and very active population.

He also noted that the building and construction together with the real estate sector of the economy are amongst the most strategic sectors of any economy as their collective effect can be seen and felt in all activities sectors of all global economies.

Aliyu who decried the dismal performance of Nigeria in the 2016 – 2017 Global Competitiveness Index where it ranked 127 out of the 138 countries studied, stated that the focus of BCERT 7 is the on global competitiveness of Nigeria’s quantity surveying in driving national development.

“The interpretation is that, we are one of the least productive economies of the world. This surely calls for sober reflection. It shows the extent to which corruption has harmed and hurt Nigeria’s economy”, he added.

He argued that as laudable as the objectives of BCERT are, Sustainable economic development can be achieved through strict adherence to corporate governance, value for money principles, probity and accountability as a national ethos.

Aliyu observed that quantity surveying is a development profession because it is fundamentally underpinned on good governance, value-for-money, transparency, probity, accountability, anti-corruption and efficient allocation of resources without which there cannot be development on a sustainable basis.
Culled from: The Guardian

Bobby Bensons’ Property Converted to Emergency Centre – by LASG

Hotel Bobby Benson’s property owned by popular musician, Bob Olabinjo Benson, a.k.a. Bobby Benson, the once meeting spot for Lagos socialites in the 80s is poised to assume a new status, with the recent move by the Lagos State to rebuild the property.”

The property located between Onipanu and Fadeyi bus stops along Ikorodu Road, Lagos, has been a shadow of its former self as a result of the death of Bobby Benson, an individual that admirers described as Nigerian’s biggest musical exports to Europe.

Unfortunately, since Bobby’s demise, the structure has become a hide out for hoodlums who use it to perpetuate their despicable activities to the disappointment of his fans and residents. These acts led to public outcry and subsequent government acquisition of the property and in response to that, the property is undergoing renovation for the use of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) as an emergency centre.

The L-shaped structure is about 80 per cent completed and it is to accommodate the agency Emergency Response Team members, the Paramedics, and offices for dispatchers who will receive calls and forward calls as well. Other design for the project includes, an ample parking lot for equipment and vehicles.

General Manager of LASEMA, Mr. Adeshina Tiamiyu told The Guardian that the abandoned hotel suddenly became a hideout for criminal elements who were unleashing terror on people around Fadeyi and the neighbourhood. According to him, there used to be Bobby Hotel on that land until there was nothing on it and for many years, nothing was going on in the place and the place was taken over by hoodlums. I am sure that the public would prefer that we have an emergency response centre than have a building that is housing hoodlums. That is exactly the reason for government intervention”, he said.

“With the support of the family, government acquired the place for public good. What is springing up there is the LASEMA Response Unit Base where emergency response activity around that axis will be taken care of. This means that if there is any emergency activity on Ikorodu road, towards Yaba, Ebute-Metta, Surulere and Mushin and most especially Olateju area and Ilupeju, LASEMA can response and reach any of those places very quickly. It is a very good location for us to do our work”.

What remains to be fixed in the project include; the roof, the interlocking and the painting and barring any unforeseen circumstances, the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will commission the project by September.

When asked if there was compensation paid to the family, the General Manager said:” That is beyond me. All I know was that the state government acquired that place. If there is no agreement between the family and the government of course you would have been hearing a lot of stories. I am sure the government must have done the needful”.
Culled from: The Guardian

Western Cape proposes affordable houses near Waterfront

The Western Cape government has proposed to rezone the Somerset Hospital Precinct. It will be used for both businesses and homes.

Situated between the V&A Waterfront and the Cape Town Stadium, it includes Somerset Hospital (which will become a clinic under the new proposal), the Old City Hospital and the Helen Bowden Nurses Home.
The proposal by the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) aims to change the “character of the area from an underutilised largely inaccessible, institutional precinct containing redundant and dilapidated buildings to a more intensive mixed-use precinct with public access and a pedestrian-friendly environment at street level”.

It also includes 300 affordable homes, or social housing. This would be for low-income earners, such as workers in the area.

However, Ndifuna Ukwazi has taken issue with the amount of social housing in the proposal. In a press statement it says the proposed 300 units would account for only 4% of the land.

In response, Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for MEC for Transport and Public Works Donald Grant, said this number “only relates to the Helen Bowden portion of this precinct”.

The nurses home has been renamed Ahmed Kathrada House by activists from Reclaim the City who have been occupying it since March. The protest, supported by Ndifuna Ukwazi, started after the province chose not to build affordable housing on the Tafelberg property in Sea Point.

“As it stands, the proposal is not aligned with the province’s obligations to redress spatial apartheid,” read a statement by Ndifuna Ukwazi. “The vast majority of the site could potentially be owned, occupied and used by wealthy corporations and an elite few which would entrench unequal and segregated access to land and opportunities.”

But Dube said that the proposal has four phases and “detailed development planning is still required for each precinct”. This suggests the province may set aside more affordable housing.

Ndifuna Ukwazi has lodged a complaint against the proposal: “Unfortunately, much like we saw in the process leading up to the disposal of the Tafelberg site, the department seems to be acting unilaterally, furthering an agenda to strip public land for maximum profit.”
Source: Bizcommunity

Redefine to launch industrial estate in Germiston

Redefine Properties, a diversified real estate investment trust, will soon launch the S&J industrial estate in Germiston, as it aims to invest further into high-tech industrial real estate rather than smoke-stack factories.

Industrial property has been a strong performing subsector of listed property. It was the top performer in 2016, with a 13.6% return, outperforming traditional frontrunner retail at 12.6%, according to the IPD South African Annual Property index.

The prime S&J site is 90% owned by Redefine Properties and 10% is owned by developer Abland. Redefine has committed R154m for the bulk infrastructure so far.

The estate, which was once part of larger Simmer & Jackowned mines, covers more than 163ha of developable land along the N3.

“Forming part of the greater bulk services project, construction on the two main roads within the estate has started. Once completed these roads will unlock 118ha of developable land, of which about 60% will be available for disposal to end users,” said Redefine CEO Andrew Konig.

The project could accommodate manufacturing, logistics and included opportunities for a fuel station and retail centre.

“The acquisition meets Redefine’s strategy of identifying quality property opportunities in desirable nodes, enabling the business to secure strong lease covenants,” said Johann Nell national asset manager: industrial. “We have received inquiries for over 380,000m in industrial land sales and development,” Nell said.

“We expect market interest to increase further once the major bulk services and roads, due for completion early in 2018 are established,” he said.

Most of the new lending for the property has been for the funding of large-scale logistics, distribution and assembly facilities in industrial and activity parks, said Robin Lockhart-Ross, managing executive at Nedbank CIB Property Finance.
Source: Business Day

New York City Home Sales Spike in Q2

According to the Real Estate Board of New York’s latest Residential Sales Report, New York City residential sales market registered a 19 percent rise in citywide consideration (monetary value for completed transactions) totaling $13.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the second quarter of 2016.

The average sales price for a home (cooperatives, condominiums, and one-to-three-family dwellings) in New York City rose three percent year-over-year to $1,050,000 in the second quarter of 2017.

New records were set for condo average sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens, for the coop average sales price in Queens, and for one-to-three family dwelling average sales prices in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The average sales price for a condominium in Manhattan was $3,023,000 this quarter, a six percent increase year-over-year due to strong demand in the middle and lower third of the market. The median price of a New York City home increased eight percent to $630,000 in the second  quarter of 2017, signaling again that the demand for New York City homes is not only at the upper end of the market.

Home sales volume increased year-over-year citywide. The number of sales for all homes in the City rose a striking 15 percent from the second quarter of last year to 12,721.  The total number of home sales rose 17 percent to 3,984 in Queens; six percent to 3,268 in Manhattan; and 15 percent to 3,034 in Brooklyn.

Total residential sales consideration also increased in each borough, and with considerable increases outside of Manhattan.  Year-over-year, total consideration increased eight percent to $7.02 billion in Manhattan; 37 percent to $2.97 billion in Brooklyn; 28 percent to $2.24 billion in Queens; 25 percent to $426 million in the Bronx; and 54 percent to $703 million in Staten Island.

All Homes

The average sales price of a home in New York City during the second quarter of 2017 was $1,050,000, a three percent increase from the second quarter of 2016.  The average sales price of a home in Manhattan increased one percent from last year’s second quarter to $2,149,000.  When compared to the second quarter of last year, the average sales price of a home in Brooklyn rose by 19 percent to $977,000; in Queens, grew by nine percent to $561,000; in the Bronx, increased nine percent to $416,000; and in Staten Island, rose by 12 percent to $498,000.

Condominiums

The average sales price of a condominium unit in New York City decreased three percent to $1,889,000 in the second quarter of 2017 from $1,945,000 in the second quarter of 2016.  This decline is not indicative of weakness in the market, but rather a larger share of home sales occurring outside of Manhattan, where prices are lower. The average sales price of a condo in Manhattan reached $3,023,000, a six percent increase year-over-year.

The average sales prices for a condo unit in Brooklyn and Queens reached new record highs in the second quarter of 2017.  The new $1,166,000 Brooklyn record average sales price for a condo, a 26 percent increase year-over-year, was largely driven by high-priced sales at the Pierhouse development at Brooklyn Bridge Park and The Boerum in Boerum Hill.

The new record average sales price for a condo unit in Queens was $678,000 this quarter, a 27 percent increase from last year’s second quarter average.  The average sales price for a condominium unit in Queens was boosted by the borough’s strong residential market as well as high-priced sales at the Flushing Commons and Grand One developments.  The 548 condo sales in this borough was also a new record high.
Source: WorldpropertyJournal

Affordability in Australia declines due to record high prices

Housing affordability in Australia continued to decline in the second quarter of 2017 this year as prices reached record highs, the latest index shows.

It comes as a time when the Australian Government has announced it will do more to ease the situation by making more help available to first time buyers and by adding to restriction on overseas buyers.

The second quarter affordability index from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says that buying a home is becoming less affordable largely due to a rise in the median dwelling price of 9.1% to a record high of $540,200.

It points out that the growth in house prices in the second quarter outstripped the growth in wages resulting in the deterioration in affordability and overall the index is down by 0.3%.

New South Wales was the most significant negative influence with affordability in Sydney now down 0.7% and the rest of the State down by 2.2%.

‘Acquiring and servicing a mortgage on a house in Sydney now requires more than two standard Sydney incomes. Sydney is the only market to have achieved this outcome in the 15 year history of this report,’ it says.

Affordability Melbourne improved marginally in the second quarter but remains 6% less affordable than this time last year but affordability has improved in six of the eight capital cities.

The largest improvement was in Darwin, up 4.3%, followed by Adelaide up 2.9%, Hobart up 1.6%, Brisbane up 1% and Canberra and Melbourne both up 0.8%. But as well as Sydney falling 0.7%, Perth affordability was down by 1.3%.

‘The Perth deterioration in affordability appears to contradict the soft conditions in that market but the fall in average wages in Perth in the quarter outweighed the positive impact on affordability from the falls in home prices,’ the report adds.
Source: Property wire

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