Amidst the pressing need to bridge the gap in housing affordability, experts and stakeholders are strongly advocating for a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s mortgage system. This call to action emerged during a recent interactive media session organized by the Property and Environment Writers Association of Nigeria in Lagos.
Jide Durojaiye, the Managing Director of Legrande Properties Development Company Ltd, emphasized the necessity for the government to initiate substantial reforms, including facilitating accessible financing options for developers at affordable rates. He urged banks to implement a mortgage system that simplifies payment methods and promotes seamless home ownership. Under his proposed framework, banks would collaborate with credible developers, providing financial support for housing projects. Upon completion, the properties would become bank-owned assets, while homebuyers pay in manageable installments through salary deductions.
Durojaiye’s concern extended to the urgent need for cooperation between all levels of government and the private sector to boost housing investments. He underscored Nigeria’s staggering housing deficit, which currently stands at 28 million units, an indication of the dire need to cater to the population’s housing requirements.
Expressing alarm at a growing trend in Lagos State, where middle and low-income earners are relocating to neighboring regions due to exorbitant rent, land, and construction costs, Durojaiye predicted a future scenario where only the affluent could afford housing in Lagos by 2030, excluding the marginalized segments of society.
Highlighting the challenges facing the mortgage sector, Durojaiye highlighted the double-digit interest rates, which deter prospective homeowners, and the absence of long-term lending options. He called for a reduction in interest rates and the introduction of salary-linked mortgages to make home ownership more attainable.
Another expert in the field, Nnaemeka Omeh, identified flaws in the current mortgage system, emphasizing the need to address high-interest rates and streamline the securitization process. Omeh stressed that the media plays a pivotal role in advocating for positive changes that contribute to the growth of the built sector and the nation’s overall development.
The unanimous call from these stakeholders highlights the urgency to reshape the mortgage landscape and alleviate the housing crisis, providing more equitable access to affordable housing options for all Nigerians.