REAL ESTATE NEWS UPDATE| August 28th 2017 #3inews

FGN with Renewed Drive to Boost the Housing and Urban Development Sector

The Federal Government of Nigeria as again assured Nigerians of its drive to revitalize the land, housing and urban development sector for socio-economic development. This was made known at the 6th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development that held in Abuja by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; Alhaji Mohammed Bukar

Bukar noted “This present administration is not only concerned about the challenges facing the development of the sector but is determined to revitalize the sector. This passion explains the quantum increase in budgetary allocation to the sector in the last two years by the Federal Government”.

According to the permanent secretary, the sector is saddled with the responsibility of providing qualitative affordable housing as well as building houses for communities that were inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Bukar equally urged all the stakeholders in the built environment to make sufficient efforts geared towards proffering lasting solutions to challenges of the housing and land matters and to reposition the sector for the benefit of the citizens.

In his remarks, Mr. Chinyeaka Christian, Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who was represented by Malam Adamu Husseini (Director of Lands, FCT) said the FCT Administration was working hard to reposition land administration for a better result and has suspended land allocation.

He added that it has put machinery in place, including the constitution of the Land Use Allocation Committee to give advice in resolving lingering land cases in the FCT. “This administration has also resolved to fast track the process of converting the customary titles to be issued by the various Area Councils into Statutory.

The administration is also currently working round the clock in issuance and signing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and giving the needed approvals to all consents such as assignment and mortgages.

According to Christian, efforts are also being made to add value to land across the territory, through the provision of basic infrastructures. The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) provides infrastructure in the 250 square kilometers of the FCT, while Satellite Town Development Department (STDD) make such provision in the satellite towns by opening up feeder roads, culverts and bridges to create and ease access to land and development.

He further noted that its mass housing department always strives to monitor mass housing projects as well as estate development.

The council meeting was themed: “Building for Inclusion, Growth, and Prosperity”.

It availed professionals in the administration of lands, housing and urban development the opportunity to articulate a common front and proffered solutions to challenges in the sub-sector.
Culled from: PMnews

Oyo State Government Launches Electronic C of O

The Oyo State government made a move to embrace technological advancement through adopting and introducing the use of an Electronic Certificate of Occupancy in this state. This new initiative was made known to the public by the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

The governor during the official launch of the enumeration and assessment of properties in the state also ceased the opportunity to announce the Homeowners Charter Policy, which would enable homeowners in the state to regularize their land documents.

According to him, the e-C of O would have security features to make it a lot more copy proof. He said that the scheme was created to enable homeowners in the state, who had yet to obtain title documents like survey and building plans, to do so without delay and at an affordable amount of N120,000.

Ajimobi assured the people that the process would be transparent and devoid of unnecessary bottlenecks. “This is one of the measures being put in place by our government not only to lessen the pains of the current economic downturn on our people but to empower them for greater economic possibilities.

“The Oyo State Government is changing from the current use of the paper-based Certificate of Occupancy to ‘e-C of O’, the electronic Certificate of Occupancy with features to make it a lot more secure and copy-proof,” he said.

To ensure the success of the state property enumeration and assessment, the governor urged the people of the state to cooperate with members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Oyo State chapter, which has been assigned to handle the work.

He added, “Without a dependable data base, neither significant nor sustainable developmental objectives can be achieved. However and in order to generate and categorize this critical information, the state government decided to engage the services and collaboration of the Oyo State chapter of NIESV.”
Culled from: Businessday

Transport Master Plan Unveiled for Lagos Imperial City

The drive of the Lagos state government towards achieving the Mega City goal has been commendable, with various projects within the state buttressing the government’s efforts and push. One of such projects is the ongoing development of Imperial International Business City (IIBC) at Ikate-Elegushi, in the Elegushi Kingdom of Ajah. The developers of the project recently unfolded a transport master plan with fresh facts for mixed-use developments, which will reduce distance and modes of transport in the proposed urban development.

The design is expected to incorporate footways, and pedestrian cycle shared space Boulevard connecting the Marina to the central business district (CBD), as well as reducing the reliance on cars also as a means to reduce the level of air pollution.

According to Channeldrill Resources Limited the promoters of the IIBC, the objective of this design is to achieve a transport network aimed at promoting efficiency within the city and even beyond. The firm’s Managing Director, Mr. Femi Akioye, explained that the design will incorporate even pedestrians, hence shaded walkways will be provided to make walking safely under all weather conditions.

During the visit of the infrastructure consultants to the project, Mott MacDonald Limited, London, United Kingdom, Akioye said that for cyclists, segregated cycle paths would be built into the transport network to provide a safer environment where residents can feel more comfortable to cycle.

The leader of the Mott MacDonald team, Stuart Croucher, explained that the main mission of his team is to finalize preparations which will ensure that the IIBC, conceived to be the number one smart city in Africa, is sufficiently designed in the area of infrastructure sustainability and efficiency.

To see to the realization of this plan, Croucher said that the design of the city would be hinged on six infrastructural design drivers, which are: ensuring that the IIBC must be self-sustaining; must be a smart and an eco-friendly city; must have steady flow of traffic; must have a flood free lifetime of 100 years; have general utility efficiency, and leverage the best technology to archive the design drivers.

Given the volume of residential and commercial activities envisaged in the city, transportation network becomes a critical infrastructural consideration. Croucher explained the city is been designed to align with the future developmental expansion and population growth of Lagos state for the next 50 years.

Already, he revealed that his team’s dream of making this a reality has been further boosted with the Lagos state 2030 transport vision plans, which he claims will be very useful for IIBC connectivity design.

Croucher, however, disclosed that much as his team has a projected population data for the future city, he believes it is important to get the same for the entire Lekki-Ajah area, as this will enable them to develop a proper outside connectivity/access plan for the residents of the IIBC.
Culled from: The Guardian


Federal Housing Scheme; Construction Commences in 33 states

Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, said that the Federal Government has commenced construction of houses in 33 states for workers under its National Housing Scheme. This was made known at the sixth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development organized by the ministry last week in Abuja.

He noted that 653 contractors were engaged in the pilot scheme to deliver 2,736 units, while a total of 54,680 people were employed in the process under the housing program.

Fashola further said that the construction which was made possible because of the availability of land in those state was to fulfill commitments made in last year’s council meeting that held in Ilorin, Kwara.

“At the time of the council meeting in August 2016, I reported that we were finalizing designs to accommodate our cultural, climactic and other diversities and that when the designs were completed we will commence construction to pilot the designs and test them for affordability and acceptability.

“So I am pleased to report that construction has started in 33 states where land has been made available. This is in fulfillment of another commitment made at last year’s council by at least 90 per cent.

The Minister also noted that during the 2016 council meeting, the council resolved to facilitate the use of exchange of letters for the Transfer of Title to land when states were transferring land to the Federal Government.

He said that there has been inspiring compliance based on the several letters of exchange that he has received and duly signed thereby urging states yet to comply to do so.

Expressing gratitude to the state governments which offered their lands and ministry’s staff who worked hard to drive the program, he lauded the federal government for its commitment.

“I made visits to our sites in Taraba, Gombe, Ekiti, and Oyo, and what I saw demonstrates to me very clearly the impact of the programme, even at the pilot and inception stage, which brings me to the theme of this year’s council meeting which is “Building for Inclusion, Growth and Prosperity” because the artisans are gainfully employed by participating at the site.

“The opportunities for inclusion include masonry, electrical, plumbing, welding, supplies of materials, transportation and much more. Our desire is to multiply these opportunities this year and beyond.

Fashola however, advised that while being committed towards the national policy of delivering affordable housing, it would be important to look at short, medium and intermediate streams of opportunities for employment and productivity.

He said this was consistent with one of the pillars of the Economic Theory and Growth tagged: “investing in our people” inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On procurement, Fashola said he directed the ministry’s staff to review the procurement requirements and guidelines in consultation with its legal department, to ensure that it opened opportunities for participation.

“My experience in the last 20 months is that small businesses have difficulty complying with our procurement process and this requires not only policy reviews as I have ordered but also the legislative intervention by Parliament. This is one of the actions we must take to fulfill the objectives of the theme of this Council so that we can build for inclusion, for growth, and for prosperity”.

In an address, Mallam Muhammad Bello, FCT Minister said in order to tackle housing challenges the FCT Administration had initiated Housing and Urban Management Policy and Programmes.

Bello, represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, noted that the administration also ensured proper monitoring of construction projects to ensure qualitative housing delivery.
Culled from: PMnews

We Need a National Estate Agents’ Registration Board – Real Estate Experts

The high-level increase in the number of unlicensed individuals whose activities have led to the negative image branding of real estate agents both within the sector and the general populace, Real Estate experts have called for the establishment of an Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB)

According to them, the regulatory body would be charged with the responsibility of registering estate agents and ensuring that the competence and conduct of practicing estate agents are of a standard sufficiently high to ensure the protection of the public. And also checkmate fraudulent activities against the government and members of the public.

Tope Ojo; an estate surveyor and valuer who led the call at the first edition of 2017 yearly stakeholders’ forum organized by the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) in Ikeja, said a national and state board is needed for the standardization of the practice.

Ojo while expanding on the conference theme, “Standardizing Real estate Agency Practice in Lagos State”, noted that lack of regulatory framework has become a major bane to real estate agency in Nigeria.

To drive home his points, he used models from South Africa and Canada, revealing the existence of a board that regulate over 40,000 estate agents in South Africa, while also stating that one cannot practice in Canada without completing a course and pass the examination through the provincial real estate association against the free entry and free exit model practiced in Nigeria. According to him, creating estate agency board will ensure registration of all estate agents, provision of professional indemnity for the practice, insurance, and creation of categories of licensed members in Nigeria.

Lagos State Government’s Special Adviser on Housing, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson regretted that estate agency practice has become an all comers affair including those who do not have the basic training and qualification as a result of the lack of a central professional/ regulatory body that will set minimum standard and code of ethics for the practitioner.

She also noted that, one of the steps taken by the Lagos state government to redress the situation was the establishment of LASTRETRAD, a department saddled with the responsibility of not just ensuring that the stipulated rules and regulations guiding the real estate agents are strictly adhered to but also ensure that violators are made to account for their actions.

Aramide expressed the belief that this will ensure protection for citizens and reduce the tendency for fraudulent practices as well as enab the e government to adequately capture the data on property transactions on as regular basis as being done in most developed parts of the world.

She concluded by urging all relevant stakeholders in the real estate agency to partner government in the task of ridding the sector of dubious and unqualified agents.

Babatunde Oyebola; Director of Estate Department Lagos Ministry of Housing, in his remark stressed that the establishment of LASTRETRAD in 2012 was to among other responsibilities, regulate and monitor the activities of real estate agents in the state.
Culled from: The guardian

“My Own Home”; CBN & Stakeholders Partner on New Housing Scheme

Stake holders in the real estate industry has formed a partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria to unveil a new scheme targeted at providing improved access to housing finance to aspiring homeowners and will also provide awareness, education and practical tips to assist prospective homeowners in need of long-term housing finance.

According to the stakeholders, the public-private partnership scheme has the support of the World Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, as well as primary mortgage banks through equity stake taken in the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.

Mrs. Adenike Fasanya-Osilaja speaking at the launch of the scheme in Lagos stated that the initiative would provide mortgages, mortgage guarantee and insurance as well as housing microfinance to every Nigerian in need of a home.

“Every Nigerian has a right to own a home through mortgage. There seems to be a fear of taking mortgages but this programme seeks to dispel the style of building block by block. Nigerians should go to their banks and ask questions because this is a scheme to help every Nigerian who needs a home,” Fasanya-Osilaja said.

According to her, the initiative will provide housing finance to Nigerians who are up to the age of 21 and meet the borrowing requirements of a mortgage originating bank or a housing microfinance bank and this would also provide mortgage literacy and education, the occupation or literacy level of an aspiring homeowner notwithstanding.

She however noted that the scheme would not provide ready-made houses but was designed to jumpstart the housing finance market.

“Once it starts, the banks will take over to give loans, which will help aspiring homeowners. All they need to do is ask participating mortgage originating banks or housing finance institutions for requirements to participate,” she added.

Fasanya-Osilaja said, “It is an industry-driven programme and the industry will remain the same irrespective of government and political parties in power. The scheme does not have its base in social housing and so sustainability is assured; it does not discriminate on the basis of income.

“If you are able to pay your rent, then, you can subscribe to the scheme. It is a paradigm shift for homeownership in Nigeria and we will spread the initiative to all parts of the country.”

The scheme, would have a tenure of 15 years to 25 years, depending however on the age of the borrower, their income and desired tenure and would be available to eligible applicants with insufficient or no equity contribution.

The President of MBAN, and Chief Executive Officer of Trustbond Mortgage Bank Plc, Mr. Nyi Akinlusi, said the scheme was a major project involving both the primary and secondary markets.
Culled from: The Punch

Cape Town skyscraper to include “affordable” apartments

Cape Town property developers FWJK have promised that their planned city centre skyscraper will include affordable housing – and the price of the “affordable” apartments will be “less than R800, 000”.

If it is given the go-ahead, the Zero-2-One skyscraper planned for the corner of Strand and Adderley Streets will be the tallest building in Cape Town and will contain more than 620 apartments.

FWJK says affordable housing has been included in the plans through the provision of 104 apartments which will sell for “less than R800,000”, according to regional director Craig Armstrong. Armstrong told GroundUp the apartments would be sold on a “first come, first served basis to qualifying buyers”.

Asked to say who would be “qualifying buyers”, Armstrong said the target market was the “sectional title sale development market” and that the company believed “market forces will prevail through the provision of such low priced apartments in the city centre”.

“We are … not aware of any apartments currently selling in the city centre at well under R1m,” he said.

There is no set definition of “affordable” housing. But using FNB’s “affordability calculator”, in order to qualify for a loan of R800, 000 with only a small deposit, a household would have to earn more than R25, 000 a month. The cut-off point for a housing subsidy is R15, 000 a month.

According to the 2011 census, the median household income in Cape Town was R57, 300 a year. The median income is the point where half the households earn more than it and half the households less. At this level, a Cape Town family could only afford a housing loan of R145, 929.

Activist movement Ndifuna Ukwazi said the City of Cape Town would have to grant the developers “a significant departure from land use rights” before construction could go ahead.

The city should use the FWJK application “to put binding conditions for a contribution towards affordable housing and apply this to all future developments”, said Ndifuna Ukwazi. “The binding conditions must set terms around the following: the cost of affordable apartments, the intended beneficiaries, the plan to protect the affordability of units in the long-term, and the organisation responsible for managing the apartments.”

The city should compel FWJK to introduce rented social housing units in the Zero-2-One project, said Ndifuna Ukwazi, and sell them to a social housing institution at a previously agreed upon cost price. Each unit would cost around R600,000 to build.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development confirmed that a planning application had been received from FWJK. He said he was “not able to comment on the application but I understand it has not yet been processed or finalised”.

High building costs holding back Kenyan Real Estate

East African listed property is dominated by Kenya but the market in this country is under pressure. Development costs are extremely high in Kenya. The first real estate investment trust or Reit listed in East Africa is the Stanlib Fahari-REIT. This was listed more than a year ago and has not lead to the listing of more Reits.

The Stanlib Fahari I-REIT’s share price has come under significant pressure over the past year. This is for various reasons. There is a lack of understanding among local investors and property companies’ forecasts are not being reached in East Africa.

Some investors may have overpaid for assets in Kenya and the Fahari-REIT may have overpaid for assets too. There is also a lack of liquidity in Kenyan real estate which is counter intuitive to what Reits are supposed to achieve.

Craig Smith, head of research at Anchor Stockbrokers says pricing of real estate in Kenya is extremely expensive. According to him, “Pricing of real estate in Kenya extremely expensive, local currency prime property yields often sub 8% whereas local funding costs in excess of 14%. Therefore, most transactions will be 100% or largely equity funded as cost of debt prohibitive. The property market is also largely a domestically focused market.

Kenya offers opportunities in the real estate sector but pricing is an inhibitor, at least for foreign capital, for the most part. Also still believe that Reit regime can benefit the Kenyan real estate capital markets and in turn the direct property market over time but this will not be a quick process – key is for institutions and pension funds to commit to the Reit regime and thereafter allocate capital to this sector.

Kenyan real estate could be helped by the growing information technology industries in the country. More and more capital is being placed into Kenyan IT companies. These companies will need office space and industrial space which Kenya’s real estate sector can provide.

Real estate actually contributed 9% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016. This is the greatest growth compared to seasoned contributors like the financial and agricultural sectors.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, over the last five years, the real estate sector has consistently outperformed other asset classes, giving a return of around 25% and 30%. Residential properties actually generated an average rental yield of 5% while commercial ones had an average yield of over 9%. Nevertheless, some investors are prefer to buy land, given a slowdown in commercial office space.

If you are planning to invest in real estate this year, buy land. According to the Hass Property Index, most landowners around Nairobi have been reaping big. Land prices in satellite towns rose by 7% in the third quarter of 2016 and 21.4% over the year, the highest growth rate since 2014. The rates are expected to surge in coming years.

Commercial office space, on the other hand, has experienced the least absorption, mainly because some multi-nationals have been downsizing. African growth had been slowing which affects Kenya.

In 2016, land selling entities benefitted, thanks to land prices in the 18 Nairobi suburbs increasing by 1.4% in the third quarter of last year.

Real estate developers have often complained of stringent and lengthy approval processes. However, failure by some developers to follow them wasn’t taken lightly by the authorities. Companies can be fined.

Kenyan real estate has to come right but more investment grade stock must come to market and building costs must fall.

When Kenya’s real estate becomes more competitive, other countries’ markets can follow suit in east Africa.

Rwanda and Tanzania should adopt the Reit structure soon. Rwanda’s economy is beginning to thrive, largely because the country is so open to investment. It is making it quite easy for foreigners to invest in the country. Hopefully all East Africa can get onto the Reit map.
Source: AfricaProperty News

232,000 Texas Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage from Hurricane Harvey

Reconstruction Cost Values Total Almost $40 Billion
According to housing data from CoreLogic, over 232,721 homes along the Texas coast with a reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $39.6 billion are at potential risk of hurricane-driven storm surge damage from Hurricane Harvey, based on Category 3 predictions. Current projections do not expect Hurricane Harvey to exceed a Category 3 storm.

CoreLogic’s table below shows the total number of properties at risk of storm surge damage for each of the five hurricane categories as well as the accompanying RCV for the Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) located along the Texas coast that could potentially be affected. The RCV is the cost to completely rebuild a property in case of damage, including labour and materials by geographic location, assuming a worst case scenario at 100-percent destruction.

Hurricane-driven storm surge flooding can cause significant property damage when high winds and low pressure cause water to amass inside the storm, releasing a powerful rush over land when the hurricane moves onshore. This CoreLogic analysis measures exposure to damage from storm surge and does not include potential damage from wind and rain associated with hurricanes.

Source: Worldproperty Journal

Overseas buyers keep Dubai property market ticking

Dubai: Indian and Pakistani nationals put in a combined Dh27 billion-plus into Dubai property over the last 18 months with the number of transactions they were involved in totaling 16,000.

Indian buyers continue to make up the largest contingent of overseas buyers, with Dh20 billion.

Saudi investors bought Dh12 billion-plus of property during the same period, while Jordanian and Egyptian citizens pumped in more than Dh4 billion.

But UAE nationals are still the highest spending grouping, with Dh37.4 billion, according to data from the Dubai Land Department.

Clearly, many of these buyers felt there were some good deals going around as developers started getting extra generous on their incentives. These combined investments helped secure a turnaround in market fortunes, particularly since mid-2016.

Currently, many of the key freehold clusters are showing slight value gains, or where they haven’t, managed to arrest the slide.

The bulk of the freehold investments continue to be generated from off-plan.

In all, 217 nationalities generated Dh151 billion worth of deals in the 18-month period from January 2016. In all, there were 71,000 deals registered with the Land Department.

“This list has been unveiled at a time when our real estate market is preparing for a new phase of growth in the run-up to Expo 2020,” said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of Dubai Lands and Properties Department.

In a sign of where Dubai’s developers could be looking more closely in future, Chinese investors came in eighth in the nationality rankings, with 2,177 transactions adding a combined Dh3.1 billion.

Some of the biggest developers have been doubling their marketing and sales efforts in China and tying up with brokerage firms there.

For the moment, the Chinese interest is swirling around premium properties, including serviced apartment offerings from branded entities.

While there is no break-up given on how many of the Indian buyers are based locally and in the wider Gulf region, the Dh20 billion plus is still quite a significant total.

More so as India demonetized Rs500 and Rs1, 000 notes in November last year, which resulted in domestic property sales taking a dive in the subsequent three-to-four months.

Market sources said overseas Indian buying was quite steady during the first six months of the year, particularly on the off-plan side.

On the ready property side, some of the options on the Palm are finding buyer support, and similar is the case on Dubai Marina.

Emirates Hills — with the odd deal fetching Dh100 million — is of constant interest for a certain type of buyer.

And for these buyers who want off-plan and in an even more secluded island setting, there are the Bvlgari Residences on Jumeirah Bay.
Source from: Gulf news


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