Experts back FG’s calls for single digit mortgage

Real estate experts have given their backings to calls by the Nigerian government which wants estate developers to promote single digit mortgage facility for low and middle income earners.

It will be recalled that during a summit on housing in Abuja, recently, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, reiterated the government’s commitment to finding a lasting solution to the housing needs of Nigerians through an affordable housing programme, as well as through the prevalence of single digit mortgage in the country.

Seeing this as a step in the right direction, experts in the built environment, in various communiqués issued by the likes of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), and the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS), among others have noted that a single mortgage interest would go a long in increasing demands for mortgage in the country. This, according to them, is good for the development of the housing sector.

They equally criticised the common practice where landlords demand for one or two years rent from prospective tenants, saying this often placed untold hardships on the already beleaguered tenants in the country.

Tribune Property reports that Nigeria’s housing deficit is believed to currently stand at 17 million, and this development has been a major concern for several administrations in Nigeria.

At the summit, Fashola had also equally noted that the current administration would leave no stoned unturned to address the deficit in the housing sector.

“Estate developers, mortgage firms and development partners proffered steps government should take to address the housing challenges in Nigeria,” he said.

“The consensus is that Nigeria is yet to develop a vibrant affordable housing scheme that helps Nigerians own their own houses without financial stress.

The hope is that the present administration will drive an affordable housing policy in the interest of Nigerians,” the minister added.