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‘Government must adopt policy for first-time home buyers’


Managing Director, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) Prof.Charles Inyangete (left) and Director, Dr. Femi Johnson during a press conference on the My Own Home Scheme, organised by the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos

Amid the clamour for a robust mortgage system that encourages homeownership, the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) has advocated for a new mortgage rule for first-time home buyers.

In other climes, a collection of new policies — including lower down payment requirements, decreased mortgage insurance premiums and looser lending standards — are intended to make it easier for first-time buyers.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, Prof. Charles Inyangete who spoke on the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) in Lagos, said that in other parts of the world, the first-time homeowners are supported to own such a home.

“We’re hoping that the Family Home Fund, an award initiative of the government should focus on homeownership for the first time owners. What they are bringing into the market are the construction for affordable homes, we hope they bring the funding that that will allow the realization of cheaper mortgages.

“As a young person, if you repay over a longer period, it would be more affordable. The essence of homeownership in Nigeria is affordability. The construction and the houses are not affordable. The houses are not affordable because the interest rate in the economy is very high.

He disclosed that the Centre For Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) data shows that for an organized developer to build a house in Nigeria, the cheapest house come to about to $28,000.

“They have also shown that in urban household in Nigeria, only about 9.7 per cent can afford that cheapest house. What then is the fate of that young person who is looking for their first home. One of the most important thing any government can address is to make homeownership a reality. If we address the problem we would solve a great deal of the economic problem. The jobs that will be created will be amazing,” he added.

He explained that the company has developed Housing Market System (HMS), which comprises a Mortgage Market System that integrates the entire housing market chain, covering construction finance, primary and secondary mortgage.

The system, which is available to all players in the housing industry, has the benefit of removing duplications of effort in gathering data and documents; improving the turnaround time, reducing the cycle time of transactions and helping in making homes more affordable.

Inyangete further said that Housing/Mortgage Market Information Portal (MMIP)’ will enable it to gather data for intelligence and profiling of federal, states civil servants and informal sectors (off-takers) for affordable housing.

“This is an effective policy and decision making tool on land allocation, infrastructure and concessions; it enables decision on creating polycentric cities in order to decongest major urban centres,” he added. According to him, a pilot implementation of the initiative was already taking place in some cities in the country.

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