Blog

June 9, 2015 | No Comments

Relief for many— in South Africa, a couple of weeks ago, trade unions and government agreed to a public sector wage increase, preventing a threatened strike. One of the main disputes during the months of tense negotiations was the public servants’ housing allowance. Currently, workers receive an allowance of R900 (US$71) a month, up from R800 (US$63) in 2012. Unions asked for R1500 (US$120), but, in the end, an allowance of R1200 (US$95) a month was agreed upon. The housing allowance may be seen to be part of a general increase in wages of public servants (after all, a larger…

This blog originally appeared in the African Union for Housing Finance‘s May 2015 Newsletter. See the AUHF’s ‘Publications’ page for more newsletters and other publications. Africa, now the fastest growing market for cement in the world, seems to be undergoing radical change in how its buildings are constructed—whether its self-build housing or large-scale infrastructure projects, cement is increasingly the key construction material. This change has occurred across the world, where cement use has increased at a greater rate (by a factor 25 from 1950 to 2010) than any other material. China has been the predominant driver of this growth—it increased its…

May 7, 2015 by Barrack Obaga M | No Comments

This blog originally appeared on BuildingKE. By Barrack Obaga M. It goes without saying that land development and building construction require funding. In Kenya, real estate projects are funded in a number of ways, for example, equity financing or debt financing. Individual home-owners can also finance their projects from savings. Developers can also raise funding for their projects through issuing bonds. By issuing bonds, developers are able to raise private finance from the capital markets. It is, in short, a way of borrowing money. With this option, a property developer borrows money through issuing a bond to a lender, also known as a…

May 5, 2015 by Adelaide Steedley | No Comments

Citymark uses area median income as a tool to explore housing affordability. Take a look at the Citymark dashboard and our Citymark reports. In our work, the most common question we are ever asked is “what’s affordable?” At conferences, in reports, media events, conference calls, and in elevators, at dinner tables and over grocery tills. In my experience (the United States), the definition of affordability is fairly universal – the cost of housing, whether rent or a bond, which does not exceed 25 – 30% of one’s gross monthly income.   The challenge arises when providing housing for those at the middle…

March 3, 2015 by Illana Melzer | No Comments

See our FSC Mortgage Loan Market Study and FSC Mortgage Loan Performance Workbook. According to data published by the National Credit Regulator (NCR), South African credit providers originated over R124 billion in mortgage loans in 2013 (data for the full year for 2014 has not yet been published). Roughly 30% of mortgages granted (by number) were for less than R350 000 with 11% of all mortgages (again, by number) going to individuals earning less than R15 000 per month. According to the NCR, as at end Q3 2014 roughly 3.3% of mortgage loans by number and 3.9% by value were 90 days or…

February 10, 2015 | No Comments

The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa has an exciting and dynamic programme of work planned for the next five years – and we have set this out in an initial two year plan. We are calling on consultants, service providers, and housing sector professionals with expertise and experience in working in Africa to submit expressions of interest to participate in our programme. Across the diversity of projects included in our programme of work, we are looking for the following skills and work experience: Housing, land, infrastructure, finance policy and regulatory frameworks Financial product development, including credit, savings, transaction…

February 2, 2015 | No Comments

The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa is looking for two new dynamic staff members, to assist us in our mission to help Africa meet its need for affordable housing. We’re hiring an Office / Finance Manager and a Research Specialist, both positions based in Johannesburg, to start as soon as possible:   The Office / Finance Manager (OFM) will be responsible for general office administration, and for overseeing the administrative and financial management, accountability requirements of the CAHF, reporting directly to the Executive Director (ED). This position must assist in assuring the contractual integrity of all agreements entered into…

January 26, 2015 | No Comments

Hannah Barry, of Moneyweb, and John Loos, of FNB Home Loans, discussed the rise in prices of township houses, an important segment of South Africa’s affordable housing market. During their discussion, Adelaide Steeley, of our Citymark, called in to contribute. Below is a transcript of the discussion, taken from Moneyweb: HANNA BARRY: FNB released a property barometer this week, showing that house-price growth in former black townships was a lot stronger last year than it was in former white suburban areas, and it actually outperformed the major metro residential markets overall at 9.5% growth, compared with the latter’s 6.8% growth.We are taking…

July 22, 2014 by Michael Kihato | No Comments

A recent presentation by Lafarge at a housing microfinance academy they organised together the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) in Nairobi, emphasized a critical ingredient to successful housing microfinance: incremantalism. An all too common conversation between an MFI housing microfinance loan officer and a customer was re-enacted to illustrate the point: –       The customer: I want a loan to build a 100sq.m house right now, the same house as my neighbour –       The loan officer: I am sorry, you cannot afford a loan for a 100sq.m. house. Better you come when you have more revenues –       The customer: Ok … (thinking:…

July 16, 2014 by Larry Hobson | 3 Comments

The Minister of Human Settlements made her budget speech today. I made some notes for myself as there was so much content and decided it would be better to share them – hope you find at least one or two useful points among them. My occasional comments are in italics. The targets were quite neatly set out for 100 days, 12 months and 5 years respectively, which makes easy reading:   100-day targets Plan revitalisation of mining towns with Chamber of Mines, banking sector and provinces Issue title deeds for pre- and post-1994 stock N2 Gateway Project in Cape Town, to become…