REAL ESTATE NEWS UPDATE| August 21st 2017 #3inews

Building Professionals Charged to Integrate Innovative Technology in Construction

At the annual Builders Conference which was the 47th in the series, professionals in the field were admonished to seek improved methods of delivering quality buildings and affordable housing through a mixture of innovative building materials and construction technology.

This year’s general Meeting of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) held in Bauchi State. The state Governor, Mohammed Abubakar while addressing the attendees at the conference said there was the need for builders to revitalize the ailing economy and fight corruption as well as reform the building industry with a needed package to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The governor, who was represented by the speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Kawuwa Shehu Damina said attaining this required that builders in the industry remain focused despite the present economic challenges confronting the country.

He also added that “today offers a platform for understanding and relationship within the construction sector which account for 40 percent to 60 per cent of Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF).”

In his remark, Tijani Shuiab; president of NIOB called on the federal government and professionals in the built construction industry to take a holistic view of activities going on in the fields of construction.

NIOB president also emphasized that the conferenced is aimed at providing essential insights for business leaders in the built environment, policy makers, researchers and community influencers to adopt advanced construction technology which requires an appropriate design, commitment from the whole project with suitable procurement strategies, good quality control, appropriate training and careful commissioning.

Shuiab also noted that for the built and construction industry to grow in Nigeria, it will require advanced construction technology which includes a wide range of modern techniques and practices that encompass the latest development in materials technology, design procedures facilities management, services, structural analysis, design, and management studies.

Furthermore, he said that “Incorporating advanced construction technology into practice can increase the level of quality efficiency, safety, sustainability, and value for money, therefore, is often a conflict between traditional industry methods and innovative new practice and this is often blamed for the relatively slow rate of technology transfer with the industry”.

Prof Y. Izam, the Chairman, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Committee, said the institute has adopted a major resolutions, which include committed leadership, synergy between professional bodies and deliberate policies on institutional training and capacity building in the building information modeling, designers of building should utilize tourism potentials of the environment with respect to materials, culture and construction technologies.

Izam, who doubles as the second vice president of the Institute, stressed the need for a paradigm shift from conventional waste management practices to modern waste practices such as construction material recycling.
Culled from: The Guardian

Lekki Free Zone: Illegal Structures to be demolished

LAGOS State Government said it will soon start demolishing all illegal structures on land within the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ).

Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, said in a statement that private estate developers and land grabbers have illegally encroached on the land and will face the wrath of the law.

He said the massive encroachments were needless on a land already acquired by the government and committed to a project that would bring succor to residents of the State.

Ogunleye advised members of the public to be wary of dubious advertisements on land purchase besides the Lekki Free Zone sponsored by private estate developers, stressing that  the 16,347 hectares Lekki Free Zone land acquired for development by the state government remains a ‘No-Go-Area’ for any developmental activities other than the purpose for which it was acquired.

He said, “Any private developer or land speculator deceiving members of the public into purchasing the parcels of land at LFZ are on their own because the state government will start demolishing all illegal structures already erected within the acquired areas by the Lagos state government.”

The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose, also advised potential land buyers to always approach the Ministry for necessary planning information that would be provided free-of-charge.

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Muslim Folami, urged residents of the area to key into the long-term benefits of the Zone to the various communities instead of encroaching on the land.

According to Folami, “The benefits to Lekki Free Zone to Epe division is enormous, about 750 hectares of land had been given as resettlement, in addition to the excision granted by the state government and several other interventions in form of monetary compensation from the state government to the beneficiaries”.
Culled from: The Vanguard

Architects Resolve to Amend ARCON Act

In her bid to find lasting solution to all infractions in the architectural practice, and proposed the amendment of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Act, members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) rose from its Emergency General Meeting (EGM) held at Ibadan, Oyo State, agreed to send a delegation of past presidents and elders to Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to intervene on the matter.

At the meeting that was attended by 161 members from 19 State chapters in line with Article 24.6 of the NIA Constitution, members frowned at the secretive attempt to amend the ARCON Act at the National Assembly without the involvement of the Institute and other key stakeholders.

Although they resolved that where it was desirable that the ARCON Act be amended, it would only be effectively done by the full participation and input of the Institute and other stakeholders as well as empowering NIA president to set up a committee of Past Presidents and Elders, to reflect the six geopolitical zones, to receive Memoranda from Members for proposed amendments. Memoranda to be aggregated and recommendations made to National Assembly before the public hearing.

The General Assembly among other things also agreed that input to the amendment shall include but not limited to tenure limitation for every appointee or representative in the ARCON Council, which shall not exceed two terms as a State Representative, Ministerial Nominee or Academia Nominee, while the ARCON President shall be the Immediate Past President of NIA making him a Member of NIA Strategic Committee.

In a resolution signed by Mrs., Abimbola Ajayi, the General Secretary of the institute, members called for immediate and unconditional registration of all the successful candidates of the September 2016 and March 2017 NIA PP Examinations, now Full Members of NIA, as well as Candidates of subsequent NIA PP Examinations as well as the issuance of Certificate of Professional Competence from the Institute, as stipulated in Section 11.1 of the ARCON Act, with immediate effect.

While the collection of Examination Fees from Final Year Students of all Nigerian Schools of Architecture by ARCON, the architects said must stop, and as such, the Institute should write to all Schools of Architecture and ARCON to that effect. All monies hitherto collected to be refunded.
Culled from: The Guardian

Presidential Lodge Marina Now Owned by Lagos State Government

The ownership of the Presidential Lodge located in Marina, Lagos previously owned and maintained by the Federal Government has been officially handed over to the Lagos State Government.  The federal government delegation that was led by Alhaji Jalal Arabi, Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, while the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr.Tunji Bello, led the Lagos state delegation to the signing of document ceremony at the Lodge, Victoria Island.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the handing over of the presidential lodge to the state Governor sometimes last year, as a way of complimenting the efforts of the states in developing its cities into a major business hub in Africa. The Lagos state government subsequently, announced the receipt of the Lodge at Marina area of the state from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Other personalities at the signing and hand-over ceremony were Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Energy Wale Oluwo, Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya, Commissioner for Special Duties, Seye Oladejo and Special Advisor on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Yetunde Onabule, among others.

According to a statement from the state government, “Buhari’s gesture followed a request by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to have the lodge released in its bid to transform the Marina-Onikan axis into a world-class arts and tourism hub”. The state government under the then Governor, Babatunde Fashola, had complained about the lodge that seemed to have been abandoned.

With the presidential approval, Ambode, consequently unveiled plans to turn the lodge into ‘The Heritage Centre for Leadership’, which would be redesigned and equipped as a landmark research and tourist area that will be open to local and international visitors.

In his appreciation statement, the Governor expressed gratitude on behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, to President Muhammadu Buhari for his kind hand-over of the Presidential Lodge in Marina to the Lagos State government. “This, in my opinion, demonstrates the President’s special interest in Lagos State, which is in line with the promise he made in Lagos during the electioneering campaign, that the interest of Lagosians will always be paramount in his heart”.

The Lagos state government added that President Buhari’s approval had come at a time that the old Lagos State House in Marina, which is next door to the Presidential Lodge, is also being prepared for a transformation to The Lagos History Centre, as a mark of honour to and celebration of all former governors of Lagos state, as well as for the benefit of humankind as a whole.

The state executive council had approved the Lagos House Marina to be turned into Lagos History Centre for tourism purposes. “With the handing over of the Presidential Lodge to Lagos State, the Lagos state government will begin a process that will transform the whole area into a culture zone in the next two to three years that every Lagosian will be proud of,” Ambode assured.
Culled from: Vanguard

Provide affordable accommodation – Obasanjo urges local Architects & Engineers

Nigeria’s former Head of State and Democratic president Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday urged local architects and engineers to provide decent and affordable accommodation for Nigerians. He made the call in Abeokuta at the third Distinguished Lecture organized by the Nigerian Institute of Architects at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

At the event chaired by Obasanjo, the Ex-President said the call became necessary following the projected explosion in the country’s population in the next 35 years. According to him, Nigeria’s population may be up to 400 million during the period, with over 50 per cent of it residing in the city.

He said: “We have to think of how to make the cities livable in terms of sanitation and other areas. The country would be in trouble if we don’t start building our shelter to provide affordable and decent accommodation to our teeming population.

Obasanjo urged architects and engineers to tackle the challenge more seriously so that a one-room and one-sitting room shelter could be provided for a bachelor or a couple at not more than $15,000 and $20,000.

According to him, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode had also recently asked him how affordable houses could be provided for Lagos residents. While probed about the frequent building collapse, Obasanjo faulted government agencies for defaulting in ensuring that professional standards are maintained. While urging the agencies to stop building collapse in the country, he blamed engineers for not providing adequate structural support.

The former president further buttressed that architects and engineers are creative artists, adding that there is the need for durability, utility, and beauty in the building. A renowned architect, Olufemi Majekodunmi delivered the lecture, which had as its theme, “Architecture: The Cradle of Civilization.”

Majekodunmi said the cradle of humanity resides in Africa, saying local architects should ensure that the whites emulate them in building and not the other way around. He cited the case of Eredo monument in Ijebu, which was discovered by Patrick Darling in 1999, as attestations to the position of Africa in the ancient world.

He said the monument, which measured a towering 70 feet, signifies that Africa is the birthplace of human existence and the original people and parents of all humanity.
Culled from: The Guardian

Conference Calls for Greater Land Ownership Rights for Women in Africa

Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat hosted a conference focusing on land governance and management in Africa in Pretoria. Influential women from across Africa shared their findings on (among other things) and policy initiatives, including women’s rights to own land.

“The Partnership for Action Conference saw an opportunity for policymakers, academics, and members from many organizations to share valuable information to help the transformation of policy development in Africa,” said Tamzin Hudson, an advocacy specialist for Habitat for Humanity International. A common thread was the issue of gender inequality and the high priority it should take when working on land governance-related policymaking.

“We need to address equal rights to ownership to land, and ensure that the land policy framework that we develop guarantees equal rights to all people, including women, who have been excluded historically from inheriting land in Liberia,” said conference attendee Ellen Pratt, the commissioner of land use and management with the Liberian Land Authority.
Education and information are also paramount to ensure women are aware of their rights to land and the right to have their names on documentation. “Women need to have the right to bequeath land, trade land and cultivate land with the knowledge that the land belongs to them,” said Jacqueline Amongin, Uganda’s representative of the Pan African Parliament.

Marc Wegerif has worked on development and human rights issues in a range of organizations for over 25 years and is currently the Land Rights Policy Lead with Oxfam. Speaking on gender and women’s rights, at the conference, he pointed out that in communities where women have stronger land rights, there are lower levels of both of hunger and of violence against women. “With control over the land they depend on for their livelihoods, women are able to take more control of their lives. Women also play a vital role in the betterment of their families and communities, giving them secure land rights should be imperative,” said Wegerif.
The land is essential to securing shelter, for agriculture for food security, for mobilizing investments and for sustainable management of resources. “Including women in decision-making in land policy, and creating programs that give women the necessary tools to secure land ownership, will address the challenges facing most African countries,” Hudson said.

The conference took place in partnership with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), Pamoja Trust, the Huairou Commission, and Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI). Stakeholders from multiple sectors came together to explore approaches to land governance for inclusive and sustainable development in Africa
Source: African Property News

Botswana’s property market offers huge growth potential

Botswana’s residential property market remains largely underdeveloped but seems to offer huge growth potential. Because of the absence of official and timely house price statistics in Botswana, it is difficult to analyze the market, but local real estate experts say that house prices in the country have continued to rise in recent years.

The relative lack of housing supply has led to high rental yields in Botswana, according to research conducted by Global Property Guide suggesting that yields of 6.5% to 9.5% can be enjoyed on residential property in Gaborone and Francistown. This is supported by a recent research conducted by Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), which shows that rental properties in the city center currently offer high gross rental yields of 7.9%. Residential properties located outside the city center also offer healthy rental yields of about 5.5%.

The price of a newly built house measuring 60 square meters (sq. m) starts at BWP370,000 (US$36,000) in 2016, while the average rent for a residential property stood at US$315 per month, according to the CAHF.

Botswana is rated the most attractive investment destination in Africa by the Africa Investment Index 2016 published by Quantum Global Research Lab, due to its improved credit rating, favorable current account ratio, import cover, and ease of doing business.

Botswana is also considered one of the freest economies in the region by Heritage’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom. The government’s regulatory environment encourages growth and openness to trade and foreign investment.

The Botswana Government actively seeks out foreign investment and is happy to sell land to foreigners. Only tribal land and state land cannot be sold to foreigners, and in most areas of Gaborone (and indeed Botswana) and can be bought.

According to the World Bank, it takes about 12 days to register a property in Botswana in 2016, compared to an average of 57.5 days for sub-Saharan Africa. The process costs around 5.1% of the value of the property. To increase tenure security and improve transparency on land and property ownership, the Ministry of Lands and Housing is implementing a nationwide land registration system.

According to the IPD Botswana Annual Property Consultative Index, which is published annually by investment research firm MSCI, the total return for all properties (residential and non-residential) in Botswana stood at 16.5% in 2015, from annual returns of 11.5% in 2014, 21.5% in 2013, 17.9% in 2012, and 20.9% in 2011. For residential properties, total returns stood at 6.4% in 2015. The income return for residential properties was 4.1%, whilst the capital return was 2.2%.

Both demand and property values in Botswana are expected to continue rising modestly this year, amidst improving economic conditions, according to local property experts.

According to Lloyd Sungirirai of real estate investment and development company Vantage Properties, the residential real estate market remains upbeat, with demand for low to mid-income properties expected to be very high, amidst inadequate supply. However, Sungirirai noted that the tightening of lending criteria and the rising popularity of unsecured credit, hinder the growth of the real estate market.

Botswana’s economy grew by 2.9% in 2016 from a year earlier, an improvement from a contraction of 1.7% in 2015 but still far below its average annual growth rate of 6.9% from 2010 to 2014. The economy is projected to grow by a healthy 4.1% this year and by another 4.2% in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund(IMF).

Source: Globalpropertyguide

Mortgage Applications in U.S. Jump 3.0 Percent in Early August

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 4, 2017, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.3 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 46.7 percent of total applications from 45.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.8 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 percent from 10.1 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from the week prior at 0.8 percent.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to 4.14 percent from 4.17 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) decreased to 4.07 percent from 4.11 percent, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.02 percent from 4.07 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.41 percent from 3.45 percent, with points decreasing to 0.41 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.31 percent from 3.30 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
Source: World property Journal




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