The Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESVs), Rivers State chapter, Elliot Orupabo has said that housing affordability is pivotal in the quest for the average Nigerian to own personnel homes.
Orupabo said this in an inter view with The Tide in Port Harcourt yesterday.
The Rivers NIEISVs boss noted that a modest developer would need, at least, N11 million to build the cheapest house in Nigeria, adding that the amount is far beyond the reach of the common man.
“Only about 10 per cent of Urban dwellers would be able to afford a house at that price, mind you, that is not even the asking price”, he said.
Orupabo attributed this high cost to what he described as bottlenecks in the housing sector.
He pointed out that to own a home of N11 million, certain charges such as Governor’s Consent, bank charges, paper documentation among others that amount to about 35 per cent would have to paid first, saying, “this does not include the 20, per cent that must be paid if you are taking a Mortgage. In all you are paying about half the cost of the house which is not even available”.
He lamented, “these bottlenecks make home ownership for an average Nigerian difficult to achieve, especially for first time homeowners”.
Orupabo said to address affordable housing successfully, one important housing policy to be formulated would be one that supports first-time homeowners.
According to him, “those who want to own a home for the first time should be encouraged to do so by relaxing these stringent measures that put home ownership out of their reach. This could be the rallying point if affordable housing must be tackled”.
He stated that the nation’s economic problems would be solved if homeo wnership became a reality, stressing, “a man whose housing challenge is taken care of would be more productive because he has a comfortable place to rest at the end of the day’s hustle and bustle”.