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Report: Nigeria takes largest share in new African housing units

A report quoted by Africa Business Community has said that Nigeria will continue to account for the largest share of new housing units in Africa and the Middle East regions, due primarily to its large population and fast urbanisation rate. The report noted that the fastest gains were projected for Nigeria, South Africa, and Iraq, as these markets rebound from weak performances posted during the 2014-2019 period.

It further revealed that homebuilding activity in the Africa/Mideast region would continue to be driven by urban population growth, increased standards of living, and – aside from 2020, when the region will see a recession brought on by COVID-19 – healthy economic expansion. The number of existing dwellings in the Africa/Mideast region totaled 398 million units in 2019, accounting for 18 per cent of the global housing stock.

The report observed that some trends are common among national housing sectors throughout the region. In the first instance, over 72 per cent of the regional housing stock consists of single-family dwellings, reflecting the large rural population, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

In spite of the high percentage of single-family dwellings, the average unit size was only 69 square meters in 2019 – among the lowest in the world – due to low average incomes in many of the region’s populous countries.

The share of multifamily housing has continued to increase due to ongoing rural-tourban migration throughout the region. Much of the population lives in poor quality, informal housing lacking basic amenities, and there is a significant housing deficit in the region.

While most countries are economically developing, standards of living – and quality of hous-ing – are relatively high in a few of the region’s more New housing construction activity in the Africa/Mideast region is forecast to increase an average of 2.3 per cent per year to 14.3 million units in 2024, the fastest pace of any world region and representing an acceleration from the pace of the 2014-2019 period, as several key markets begin to rebound. Global Housing, published in January 2021, examines the global housing market in terms of both the global housing stock and the construction of new housing units.

Historical data for 2008, 2013, and 2018 and forecasts for 2023 and 2028 are presented in units by country. It would be recalled that last year, the Federal Government planned to utilise existing institutions to build 25,515 affordable homes across the country in one year at an estimated cost of N317.3 billion. This was contained in the second track of Mass Housing Strategy of the federal authority’s Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) 2020.

“The first track aimed at eas-ing bottlenecks in the delivery of social housing while the second track will deliver affordable homes through direct government interventions in house construction,” the NESP document read.

The document detailed government’s Mass Housing Strategy for the creation of 1.8 million jobs starting with the construction of 300,000 houses. The existing institutions for the implementation of the 25,515 affordable housing units comprise the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and Federal Housing Authority. As its guiding principle, the document read that government was trying to optimise the job creation potential of the housing sector to deliver affordable housing across the country. To make the project a reality, according to the NESP document, the Federal Government will work with states to identify land for housing construction.

The project elements target 100 per cent local input for construction by engaging the housing industry supply chain in its entirety including mortgage banks, developers, builders and artisans.

The breakdowns under second track stated: “Between them, the Federal Housing Authority, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and the Public Building and Housing Development Programme will support the creation of construction and associated jobs over the next 12 months. “This will involve building 10,840 units of low, medium and high income units across the six geopolitical zones.” Under the Public Building and Housing Development Programme, it stated further that additional 12,008 houses would be built, adding that a programme of extensive rehabilitation and restoration of public buildings will be implemented all over the country.

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