Post link 08 July 2015, 2:59
but high construction costs spoil the party

25 JUN 2015 14:17KEVIN CROWLEY, M&G AFRICA WRITER mgafrica.com

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UuL-zyG6DeQ/VY0ZRxex6CI/AAAAAAAAAQ8/iJklFeR7O04/s1600/mortgage.jpg

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, has a deficit of 17 million houses, and needs to build 780,000 housing units every year to meet rising demand

http://cdn.mg.co.za/crop/content/images/2015/06/25/buyersbewarelagos_landscape.jpg/633x356/A construction site in Lagos.Only 5% of the housing units in Nigeria are financed with a mortgage. (Photo/Flickr/Stanoid).

NIGERIA’S state-backed mortgage refinance company plans to sell 440 billion naira ($2.2 billion) of bonds over the next five years as it seeks to expand access to housing funds, its chief executive officer said.

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Co. will start with the sale of 10 billion naira of debt next week, the first step in a quarterly programme to raise 140 billion naira, Charles Inyangete, the chief executive officer, said in a June 22 interview in the capital, Abuja.

The initial sale is part of a bigger five-year programme, he said.

The 15-year bonds will be used to refinance existing mortgages that meet specified underwriting requirements and will be listed on the Financial Market Dealers Association trading platform, Inyangete said, declining to give further price information.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with more than 170 million people, seeks to expand access to housing finance to help cut a deficit of 17 million houses. The continent’s largest economy needs investment of 3.5 trillion naira to build 780,000 housing units annually to help meet rising demand, according to Inyangete.

Abuja and Lagos are Africa’s second and third most expensive cities (after Luanda, Angola) to rent a house in, with a the average executive 4-bedroom house in Abuja being rented for a monthly price of $8,500, while the same kind of house goes for $8,000 per month in Lagos.

Only 5% of the housing units in Nigeria are financed with a mortgage, with the majority of Nigerians relying on their private savings to purchase or build homes.

While demand is high, with lucrative opportunities for investors in the property market, the relatively high cost of construction has slowed down demand - until last year, cement prices in the region were some of the highest in Africa, at about $10-11 per 50kg bag, compared to the same quantity retailing between $5 and $6.50 in markets like Kenya and South Africa.

But there was some reprieve last November, when market leader Dangote Cement cut its prices 40% in what it said was a move in line with the company’s commitment to reduce the housing infrastructure deficit.

NMRC, as the country’s mortgage company is also known, is rated BBB+ by the Johannesburg-based Global Credit Rating Co., which provides debt evaluation and ratings across Africa, while its proposed bond, now in the process of price discovery, is rated AAA, as it is backed by a Nigerian government guarantee, he said.

While the NMRC has been able to provide a uniform underwriting standard for the country’s mortgage market, the absence of a foreclosure law is hampering quicker expansion, Inyangete said.

“We see a need for a legal structure that is clear and simple for the creation of mortgages,” he said. The NMRC is taking a “state-based approach” as it tries to push for passage of proposed mortgage and foreclosure legislation. This includes creating mortgage boards for the respective states to simplify the process.

The government-controlled mortgage company plans to sell shares to the public before the end of the year to dilute its ownership, according to the chief executive officer. “Our ideal scenario is to have every bank that is interested in providing mortgage financing to be part of it,” he said.

Twenty-one of the country’s 36 states “have already indicated to be part of the pilot and we will go out with those,” Inyangete said.

Nigeria’s property market is currently valued at $41 billion, according to the NMRC, representing about 8% of gross domestic product. The company plans to more than triple this over the next few years as it helps extend maturities for Nigerian home buyers to as much as 20 years, Inyangete said.
Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 08 July 2015, 3:01  

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