BusinessDay

Ivy Suite developer sees housing deficit solution in mortgage business restructuring

The solution to Nigeria’s growing housing deficit lies in the restructuring of the country’s mortgage business, NIMCO Group, the developer of Ivy Suite Estate, has said.

The developer believes that the present structure of the mortgage system in the country does not support or encourage housing affordability as it is neither affordable nor accessible given the outrageous interest rate that lenders demand from borrowers.

Banjo Olumide, the Group’s general manager, noted that the bad situation in the mortgage system and housing sector has been made worse by inflation, high building material prices, and devaluation of the naira which have combined to put housing out of reach for many Nigerians.

Olumide spoke in Lagos recently at the unveiling of the Ivy Suite Estate which is one of the properties under Ostia Homes, a subsidiary of the NIMCO Group.

He disclosed that, as a response to the problem and in order to bring more Nigerians on the property ladder, the Group is looking at and working with Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) and some other mortgage firms to get the best rates for would-be buyers to make housing affordable for them.

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Ayorinde Olomiye, business development manager, Ostia Properties, corroborated Olumide’s views, noting that, “building a house is highly expensive in Nigeria for reasons that include high cost of land, infrastructure, construction, high interest rate, inflation, and naira devaluation.”

He aligned with the school of thought that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) should do more by making funds available and accessible for Nigerians, adding that, along with private mortgage companies, FMBN should help Nigerians so that they could afford basic housing.

Olomiye revealed that Ivy Suite was built in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 which addresses sustainable cities and communities; making human settlements inclusive, affordable and safe.

He added that Ivy Suite was designed to meet the goals of SDG 11 by ensuring that people can live in cities and towns that are economically viable, environmentally safe, resilient, and sustainable by 2030.

The estate which has 26 blocks comprises 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. It boasts facilities such as swimming pool, well paved road network, bio-gas sewage, gym, treatment, 24 hours electricity supply, perimeter fencing, a service personnel room, recreational area, 24 hours water supply, CCTV surveillance, and 24 hours security.

“As we all know, the real estate business in Lagos is overcrowded, but with Ivy Suite, we set out to create a niche for ourselves. Looking at it, you’ll notice that the community we’ve created is spacious and comfortable,” the general manager said.

He revealed that the estate was designed with family’s health, well-being, and fitness in mind such that parents could feel good about bringing up their kids there. “That’s why, in addition to the vast interior, we provide a fitness centre and a pool,” he said.

He noted that other developers would look at a space and think about how many flats they could make out of it. “We, on the other hand, want to make something that is very big and comfortable to live in, despite being at the city centre of Lagos,” he said.