Nigeria will set the Pace for the Growth of West Africa’s Affordable Housing Sector, Experts Say

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Nigeria will set the pace for the growth of West Africa’s affordable housing industry, according to an analysis from the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC), a public limited liability company that deals in real estate.

As the continent’s largest economy, international development experts, innovators and funders increasingly believe that Nigeria is positioned to provide a market-driven solution to one of the continent’s most significant challenges and opportunities: Affordable Housing.

While Nigeria’s size, ability to scale and recalibrated post-recession economy provides the ammunition for such a task, the scale of the endeavor requires the participation of multiple public and private sector participants to collaborate and make it a reality.

NMRC’s Executive Director for Policy and Strategy, Dr. Chii Akporji says that major challenges slowing down the robust growth of the housing sector in Nigeria include: a challenging macroeconomic environment with high-interest rates and inflation; cumbersome land, titling and property registration procedures and the lack of a foreclosure mechanism; a shortage of long-term finance for the mortgage origination business, though the NMRC is in business to mitigate this risk; scarcity of affordable housing stock; and poor mortgage literacy levels.

She noted that as a key driver in the sector, the NMRC is driving several ongoing efforts to de-risk the sector in collaboration with key housing sector stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), State Governments, the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Family Homes Fund (FHF) and major developers.

In light of these advances, a high profile event dubbed the 4th annual West Africa Property Investment (WAPI) Summit taking place on November 15th and 16th in Lagos will dedicate the region’s most prime real estate event to driving the conversation forward. Featuring multiple sessions and panel discussions, this year’s summit will fortify the foundation for affordable housing as a driver of economic growth.

“WAPI is a convening platform for all stakeholders along the housing value chain, on a sub-regional level. By virtue of its reach, it remains the go to event for networking and knowledge sharing on trends and development in the real estate and construction industry on the continent,” Dr. Akporji explained.

WAPI Host, Kfir Rusin believes that providing such a high-level focus on affordable housing is a recognition of the value of cracking the affordable housing code.

“Africa’s future is urban. A recent World Bank report predicts that more than 1 billion Africans will live in cities by 2050, making it home to eight of the world’s fastest growing metropolises. Lagos, as one of the fastest growing off all, is set to double in size from 21 million to more than 40 million,” he commented.

“In such a rapidly urbanising environment, we believe that aiding private and public-sector stakeholders in cracking the affordable housing code is a social imperative and arguably real estate’s biggest opportunity,” Rusin concluded.

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