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FUTA to host 2016 UN world cities report

The Federal University of Technology Akure says it will host the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat’s  inauguration of World Cities Report 2016 with the theme, ‘Urbanisation and development: Emerging futures.’

According to the institution, the event, which will hold on August 18 2016, will be inaugurated by the Director, Regional Office for Africa, UN-Habitat, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor, FUTA, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola.

“The launch is aimed at taking stock of urban development over the last two decades since the Habitat II Conference in 1996 with a view to formulating an urban agenda for 21st century,” the Head, FUTA Information and Protocol Unit, Adegbenro Adebanjo, said in statement.

“This new urban agenda that will be decided upon during the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 should integrate the notion of urban prosperity with the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability in order to create vibrant and sustainable cities that can meet the demand and challenges of the 21st Century,” he added.

Originally published in The Punch Newspaper

Nigerian real estate transactions down by 70 per cent

With the storm over the recent economic downturn yet to settle, government’s unfavourable policies have continued to dampen the property market making transactions to be down to 70 per cent.

The development, which began over 14 months ago, has largely been blamed on the decline in oil prices, and weak performance of commodities and geo-political conflicts.

The Guardian learnt that real estate businesses have nosedived and what was once considered as a viable sector last year is facing a glut, leaving both corporate and individual clients either renegotiating fresh terms or relocating to more affordable areas.

Specifically, the resultant effect can be felt in all nooks and crannies as several completed buildings are left unoccupied both in high end and the low-end areas. For instance, the market has witnessed 70 per cent drop in transactions. Beyond that it is taking a longer time to conclude transaction.

Experts believe that the Nigerian real estate market has witnessed its worst lull, a replica of what took place after the subprime mortgage collapse of 2008 in the global real estate market.

A recent report released by the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), showed an increase in the number of vacant properties in the upper class real estate neighbourhoods of Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi.

According to The FDC’s Vacancy Factor Index (VFIX) for second quarter June 2016, the increase was by 72 percent over the last 18 months.

The report, which is based on the housing stock as at January 2015 attributed the rise in the number of vacant property to a combination of rising inflation, GDP contraction, falling consumer confidence and increasing unemployment rates contrived to lower demand for housing.

“Our urban real estate vacancy factor index increased for the second consecutive quarter as aggregate demand and supply forces remain in disequilibrium – a dynamic that continues to persist in the real estate market. The VFIX indicates a paradoxical phenomenon where supply continues to trend upwards but effective rents remain stubbornly high,” the company stated.

Specifically, the report stated that there was a 6.6 percent increase in vacant residential properties in the second quarter. “The residential VFIX has increased by 6.6 percent from 177 in March to 189 in June 2016.

A former president, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Emeka Eleh, said what we are experiencing is a reflection of the over all economic situation in the country.

According to him, there is no way it can be isolated from the real estate market both in sales and lease.
“You will recalled recently that the government has said, that Nigeria is technically in recession, therefore no sector of the economy is excluded from the poor running of the economy.

There is no sector that can do well, when things are running poor, the real estate is not an exception.

Eleh said the effect varies from one place to the other, he said the most hit is really in the high end areas especially Ikoyi.

According to him, the percentage in Ikoyi cannot be compared with that of Lekki, Mushin or Surulere, but there is a general drop in transaction both for private and corporate clients.

Also lamenting on the effects of the economic downturn on estate, Akin Olawore put the drop in transaction at 70 per cent, saying property in the high end suffer more rental value than those in lower end.

“There is now a dislocation of rent from the high end to the lower end. It now takes longer time to conclude transactions, while in some cases, there are renegotiations on rents.

Another issue affecting the rental value, he said is the location and security reason. “ There is a huge gap with what it has been in the past and now and what is happening is a mirror of the economy,” he added.

Another estate surveyor, Sam Eboigbe collaborated other views, “Right now a lot of companies are no longer employing, no more accommodation for staff as companies are no longer paying. Before Companies used to pay for accommodation for staff but right now such gestures have been monetised because the resources are not there anymore, individuals now collect the money and move to very cheaper locations to rent buildings hence, you have a lot of to-let buildings everywhere.’’

On the obtainable price of buildings in places like Ikoyi, Victoria Island, he said prices of buildings rented at the rate of N12 million and N15 million per annum now goes for between N8 million and N7 million, depending on the location explaining that duplexes that were initially rented for N25 million have been reduced to N15million, N12million just to attract customers and clients.

According to him, the situation cannot be described as excess supply of buildings because it takes time to increase the housing stock in a particular time frame, blaming the situation on the fact that the resources are not there anymore to participate in the real estate sector.

“A lot of developers are just sitting down and looking for ways to move forward and participate in the sector but when you don’t have so much of government spending and activity as if everything has been in a state of comatose, one will feel confused ”, he stated.

Eboigbe stressed that the present situation behooves on real estate operators to obviously advise all stakeholders to really understand the present economic situation and continue to reduce what they are expecting until the demand and supply meet at the point of equilibrium.

“If initially I can afford to build a house for N85 million but at the moment I can only afford N65 million, we should be able to say, ok bring the money and there is transaction. We are hoping that government too should increase their allocation to the sector so that we can have participation at all levels of government”, he explained.

Originally published in The Guardian

Top 6 Factors That Affect Home Valuation

When you are looking for a property, new home or starting a home renovation, it is important that you understand the factors influencing the property valuation. To aid your decision-making process, listed below are a few factors that can affect the appreciation or depreciation of a real estate investment or the property valuation.

Location

Everyone has heard the axiom “location, location, location”, and the reason it is such a prevalent cliché is because there is truth behind it. Proximity to employment centers, medical facilities, shops, and schools is a determining factor for many families and young couples when buying a home. Proximity to a wide array of local amenities and good transport links increases the value of your potential property.

Geographical Stability

This is a condition specific to areas of geographical or geological instability. Areas that are prone to the effects of natural phenomena, such as flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, or volcanic activity, are poor choices when buying property. You would be considering the aspect of your family’s safety, in addition to your loan viability and your insurance costs.

Age and Condition

The age of a property doesn’t automatically reduce its value. However, the condition of a property makes a huge difference. An old but well-maintained property can achieve a valuation that is the same as that of a new build of equivalent specifications; sometimes, even higher.

Keeping your potential property well-maintained will keep its value high. When you take out home loans, you should remember that the property must retain the level of valuation at the beginning of your loan, or a higher level of valuation.

Size and Improvement

The size of a home affects the initial value of the property. Good renovation also helps to increase property value. However, making poor renovation choices will cause your potential house to depreciate in value. For example, increasing the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is a good move to increase the value of your home, whereas removing facilities or reducing the number of bedrooms is not.

You can take loans for doing home improvement. When you are approaching a provider of loans for a home improvement or refinancing package, you should address how much the modifications will increase the value of your potential or existing property. The benefit should be equal to or more than your loan.

Population Movement

In any country, population densities move to areas that are more attractive. This is a slow process and can be difficult to predict or identify. However, you should understand how this phenomenon may affect the value of your potential property.

If the employment hub of a city moves from the center of the town to the outskirts, half of the city will have to travel farther to work, reducing the value of a real estate property in terms of its ‘proximity to employment hub’ factor. The other half of the city in turn receives a boost to their property values for being closer to the employment hub.

Surrounding Area

No one can predict the future, but when you are buying property, you should pay attention to the surrounding area. Homes built in developing areas are subject to the whims of the developers operating in the vicinity. Paying close attention to the developments that are in motion (or those planned) for the areas adjacent to your property will be a key factor in determining the increase or decrease in value of your real estate investment.

These are just some of the main factors that can affect the longevity of a real estate venture and valuation of property.

These are some of the main factors that affects property valuation but there are more.We would like to hear from you about them.

Reference: goodhomeadvisor

 

Benue to partner NIQS, plans procurement unit

Focused on curtailing waste in spending on projects’ cost, Benue authorities have concluded plans to establish a procurement unit.

The state government will be sending the bill on procurement unit to the House of Assembly and when established, would be manned by quantity surveyor.

Governor Samuel Ortom made the pledge while declaring open a two-day workshop organised by the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the Previous Event Centre, Makurdi, Benue State capital.

Represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu, an engineer, he maintained that there is always a lot of waste in the nation’s efforts towards infrastructural development as budgets for projects are mostly exceeded or projects abandoned.

According to him, that his administration will soon key into the services provided by the Institute of Quantity Surveyors for the infrastructural development of the state to avoid unnecessary waste of resources.

Ortom who made the indication last Wednesday described the topic for the workshop: Budgeting and Capital Project Monitoring and Evaluation in an Era of Change as rife and timely, and expressed gratitude to the institute for choosing Benue for their first outing workshop.

According to the Governor, Quantity Survey is the nucleus of any major capital project; it gives accurate bill of quantity and eliminates waste; it is the bedrock of infrastructural development of any nation; it can build and marred

Nigeria ranked 83rd in global real estate transparency index

A newly released biannual Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2016 by property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Nigeria ranks 83rd out of 109 markets covered.Nigeria’s real estate transparency score was 3.8 in 2016, a marked improvement in transparency. The scores in the Index range between one and five, with one representing the highest level of transparency and five being the least transparent.

The index reveals, which countries provide the most favourable operating environments for investors, developers and corporate occupiers. Covering 109 markets worldwide, it quantifies transparency based on 139 variables relating to transaction processes, regulatory & legal frameworks, and corporate governance. Higher real estate transparency is associated with stronger investor and corporate real estate activity.

JLL’s 2016 index reveals that real estate transparency has continued to improve steadily at a sub-national, national and international level. Globally, transparency scores have advanced by an average of 2.4per cent (2014-2016), matching broadly the improvements made between 2010-2012 (at 2.9per cent) and 2012-2014 (at 3.4per cent). Two-thirds of markets have shown progress over the past two years.

The Anglosphere countries continue to dominate the upper echelons of the transparency hierarchy – accounting for six of the world’s ten ‘Highly Transparent’ markets. The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States hold the top positions.

Technology is also allowing some emerging markets to leapfrog the normal transparency evolution. Examples include the digitisation of land registries in Kenya and Ecuador, while Ghana is reportedly trialing a system to record title deeds with blockchain technology.

With growing interest in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from corporates and international real estate investors, GRETI 2016 has further extended its footprint across the region to provide coverage of 15 countries, with Rwanda, Tanzania and Ivory Coast joining the 12 countries surveyed in GRETI 2014 (which itself was up from eight SSA countries in GRETI 2012).

GRETI 2016 reveals that SSA has continued to make advances in real estate transparency over the last two years, although progress has been more mixed than in 2014, when SSA registered the largest improvement among the global regions.

Out of the 12 markets from the region included in the 2014 Index, six (Nigeria, Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Angola and Ghana) have recorded reasonable progress in transparency. Advances in the ‘market fundamentals’, ‘performance measurement’ and ‘governance of listed vehicles’ sub-indices have supported the overall regional improvement, as greater involvement by international real estate consultancies and local data providers elevates the level of access to information about real estate markets.

Despite these advances, the region has crucially also seen a slight deterioration in the sub-indices scores for the ‘regulatory and legal environment’ and ‘transaction process’ sub-indices, as development in improving the legislative and operating environment appears to have slowed in several markets, with two countries – South Africa and Mozambique – registering a noteworthy decline in overall score.

While tangible improvements in transparency are being made, SSA is still some distance from competing equally with its regional counterparts and sizeable efforts will be needed to close the gap with other global regions.

Originally published in The Guardian

FG urges construction coys to mobilise to sites

The Federal Government has urged construction companies to mobilise to site in view of over 80 percent of 247 billion naira so far released for the capital projects in the 2016 budget to the construction industry.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris  Ngige  while receiving the leadership of Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association in Abuja.

He said, “as of today, the capital releases of the government stand at 247 billion out of  which a larger chunk has gone to the construction industry in five ministries -Works and Housing with about 120 billion or there about. Transport- the construction angle of it, rail and others account for another large chunk. So in effect, 80 percent of 247 billion so far released has gone to the construction industry.

“The idea is that government wants to reflate the economy and put money in the hands of the people through these construction companies that have millions of Nigerians in their employ.”
On the abuse of the expatriate quota which the union highlighted  as one of the bane of the sector, the minister said  the situation where expatriates take over positions meant for Nigerians, even as low as the menial, was unacceptable.

Earlier, the National President of Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association, Comrade Isaac Egbugara who said the construction industry was groaning under huge debt, solicited the assistance of the minister towards the release of owed funds, stressing the need for an urgent attention to avoid further job losses.

Originally published in DailyTrust

FCTA to issue certificates of occupancy to all landed properties in Abuja

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has said  that the FCT Administration is working towards hastening the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy to owners of all landed properties in the territory, including those ones in estates.

Bello  made this disclosure while receiving a delegation of the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) led by its national president, Surveyor Ugochukwu Chime in his office
The minister explained  that the policy is to make  valid title documents available for all landed properties in the Federal Capital Territory, irrespective of the size  to ease the land related transactions and transfer of title between parties.

He  said that it is the duty of the FCT Administration to ensure that owners of properties in Abuja  benefit from  obtaining credit facilities from financial institutions the way it is done all over the World.

He said, “Properties anywhere in Abuja would be certificated, whether they are just on one-off plot, in estates or high-rise buildings. Wherever they are, we have realized that it’s very important for every person to have a title document for his or her building or land.  This is something that we are working on and we feel very encouraged that a reputable group like REDAN is also advocating the same thing.”

The minister called on REDAN to come forward with further ideas that could  help in fine-tuning this policy.

Originally published in DailyTrust

Senate President, Fashola for Abuja housing show

The Senate President; President Bukola Saraki, Speaker House of Representatives; Hon.Yakubu Dogora, FCT Minister; Mohammed Bello and Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola are among digniatries expected at the Abuja Housing Show opening tomorrow at the International Conference Center, Abuja.

The 1Oth edition of the Abuja Housing Show is set to introduce a new dimension to the quest for affordable housing delivery, by dedicating quality time to promoting rent-to-own scheme in collaboration with Natanel Florens in Nigeria.

The coordinator of the annual epoch making event, Festus Adebayo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of FESADEB Communications Limited, commended the efforts of Barr. Babatunde Fashola- Minister for Power, Works and Housing for his determination to work with credible individuals who can help in promoting housing development.

Adebayo stated that the Abuja Housing Show, that has become a reliable solution hub for both government and stakeholders in the built environment, is poised to introducing innovations meant to bolster efforts of government towards developing policies that will ensure sustainable housing delivery.

He also said that the Housing show, being an effort of the organized private sector, with commitment to creating synergy for the urgent solution needed to solve the staggering over 18 million housing deficit in Nigeria, has received the endorsement of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who has promised to attend the programme to address issues that can move the sector forward.

Speaking further, he noted that the event will provide an opportunity for both policy makers and stakeholders to interact, and proffer solution to the plethora of problems that have bedeviled the sector over the years‎. He also added that the private sector will have a rare privilege of telling the government exactly what the sector lacks, as well as sharing ideas that have helped housing delivery in other climes.

On the backdrop of similar programmes that have been organized for the development of the housing sector , without achieving the desired results, he said that Abuja housing show stands out as not just an ordinary talk show, but a one stop shop for novel ideas, innovations and pragmatic platform that synchronizes ‎the position of government and stakeholders.

The the major areas of focus during the event include; the modalities for accessing funds for affordable housing delivery, the practicability of financing low cost housing for the low cadre and average income earners in Nigeria.
Other issues of concern which the event is poised to addressing is how to evolve a mechanism for creating a building technology system that is suitable for our economy and heterogeneous society‎.

Abuja housing show is also said to be prepared to address the challenges encountered by developers who are made to pass through many needless ‎ processes to get land titles and other documents that will be tenable in law for business transactions.
According to the organising secretariat, over 1O countries have already registered for the show, while about 2OO exhibitors are already jostling for spaces to showcase their goods and services.

The event which is set to attract over 4O members of the National Assembly as well as other dignitaries is said to provide a forum for unifying purposes towards articulating a formidable force needed to sponsor a legislative bill that will seek to create more enabling ground for affordable housing in Nigeria.

Taking a further step to prove that the show is not just a jamboree, the organizer has disclosed that experts are expected from the United States of America, South Africa, the Netherland and other countries whose expertise shall provide Nigeria developers a ground and experience to leverage on.

Another unique innovation apart from the green house revolution which the events is set address, is‎ the rent to home programme which the organizer have invited a foreign group that will discuss the model and the operational possibility in Nigeria.

One other side attractions that is said to inject a sense of enthusiasm on the participants of the events, is the modalities worked out by the organizer to give up to 5 percent discount to all transactions during the show.

Originally published in The Guardian

Nigeria, 74 others for real estate expo in Germany

With housing as part of economic development strategy of every nation, the private real estate developers and the government are continually seeking strategies to boost the housing sector.

Nigerians will be joining over 18,985 visitors, amongst who are decision makers to the 19th International fair on Real Estate and investment scheduled to hold October in Munich, Germany. The forum is the largest business-to-business expo for property and investment in Europe since 1998.

The focus this year will be on commercial property: office, retail, hotel, logistics, health, infrastructure and residential property for institutional investors. Profile of attendees include real estate developers, architectural and planning firms, lawyers, investment companies, asset managers, real estate financiers, universities and colleges, banks, fund companies, tax advisors, mortgage finance institutions and property consultants.

A Lagos-based public relations company, Niche PR and Events, is working closely with Messe München International and Trade and Fairs Consulting, Germany to recruit participation from Nigeria.

According to Niche PR, invitations have been extended to stakeholders in the private and public institutions related to real estate and financing to take up a stand at the African pavilion to facilitate one on one business networking meetings between international financiers looking to doing business in Africa and the Nigerian delegation. For exhibition of products and services, there will be 1,707 exhibiting companies. A projected number of over 37,853 participants comprising 18,985 visitors and 18,872 exhibitor’s representatives will be in attendance.

In 2015, Expo Real launched a conference on Sub-Saharan Africa -its real estate investment markets and urban development projects within the framework of Expo Real.

Originally published in The Guardian

Stakeholders seek single digit interest rate for mortgage loans

Still grappling with the problem of access to long-term fund for housing, stakeholders have urged the Federal and State governments to maintain the single digit interest rate in mortgage loan even if it requires subsidizing for the low income earners.

They also stressed the need to proffer local solutions to mortgage financing by considering generational mortgage financing where tenor could be extended beyond the original mortgagee for continuity.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the 2016 National Summit on Affordable Housing in Abuja, the participants agreed that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria should be recapitalized and enforcement of the National Housing Fund (NHF) contribution as enshrined in the enabling Act.

The summit expressed the need for PENCOM to invest a sizeable part of the pension funds, dormant assets of banks and unclaimed dividends in Primary Mortgage Products; put in place the appropriate construction financing schemes including funding sources for multilateral schemes.

They further urged governments to reduce the cumbersome process of land acquisition and land titling with a view to easing housing construction. According to the statement, the summit agreed that the journey of repositioning the Housing Sector as one of the key drivers of national development had greatly progressed and confident that with the cooperation and support of all stakeholders, the sector will be re-energized to fulfill the aspirations of the Nigerian people.

It stressed the need to develop sectoral policies on affordable housing in consonance with the provisions of the various Acts and bills on land utilization for housing.

To this end, the participant directed that the various bills on Land for the construction of houses in the National Assembly should be reviewed and finalized as soon as possible.

According to the communiqué, there is the need to introduce tax exemption to developers who build and provide infrastructure at Affordable Housing sites as well as reduce the rate of land registration, stamp duties, professional fees of valuers and surveyors and lawyers thereby reducing the cost of housing (creating the enabling environment for investment);

It urged Stakeholders to join the Ministry in liaising with the National Assembly to fast track the amendment of the relevant laws already submitted such as foreclosure, mortgage and insurance laws among others.

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