The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company PLC and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa jointly committed to deepening understanding of the housing finance market in Africa, and in Nigeria in particular, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on future cooperation, last week. Both organisations have committed themselves to cooperate in applying their knowledge to advance public and private initiatives to increase access to housing finance, especially to the lower and middle income housing market, and to improve the functioning of the housing market in Nigeria.
The focus of this partnership is specifically on Nigeria. NMRC’s focus is limited to Nigeria and CAHF has identified Nigeria as a priority country in terms of its three-year strategy which extends to 2021.
A key strategic focus area for both CAHF and NMRC is to develop data platforms and analytical frameworks to enable effective, data-driven policy and decision-making in support of affordable housing markets in Nigeria.
The strategic intent of the partnership between NMRC and CAHF is to collaborate in support of effective, data-driven policy and decision-making in Nigeria’s housing market. This will involve the sharing of data and methodologies, as well as the joint commissioning of research and analysis, on the role of housing in the Nigerian economy, the functioning of Nigerian property markets, the performance of Nigeria’s mortgage market, as well as other issues to be explored in the course of the partnership.
In signing the agreement, Professor Charles Inyangete, the Chief Executive of NMRC, outlined that the collaboration would begin with four initiatives:
- Data exchange towards the mutual development of the NMRC Mortgage Market Information Portal and the CAHF Nigeria dashboard
- Building a Housing Economic Model for Nigeria (or for a specific State or city as a first step)
- Mortgage market analysis: data analysis to assess mortgage access, performance and profitability in Nigeria
- Collaboration and technical exchange in support of the growth of the Roland Igbinoba House Price Index
Over the course of the collaboration, additional initiatives may also be identified. Both NMRC and CAHF recognise the mutual advantages of collaboration with each other and with the broader network of organisations operating in Africa’s housing sector, given their overlapping objectives and programmes. This MoU represents one of several such partnerships in which both NMRC and CAHF contribute to and facilitates joint initiatives and shared learning opportunities in areas of mutual interest.
Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)
The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) is a private sector-driven mortgage refinancing company with the public purpose of promoting home ownership for Nigerians while deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets. Its vision is to be the dominant housing partner in Nigeria, with a mission to break down barriers to home ownership by providing liquidity, affordability, accessibility and stability to the housing market in Nigeria.
NMRC raises long term funds from the capital market, to enhance access to affordable housing finance in Nigeria. NMRC was incorporated on 24th June 2013 and obtained its final operating license from the Central Bank of Nigeria on 18th February 2015.
NMRC’s mission is to remove barriers to home ownership, provide liquidity, affordability, accessibility and stability to the housing market in Nigeria.
NMRC has four business objectives:
- To deepen mortgage coverage by providing liquidity to mortgage lenders.
- To increase the maturity structure of mortgage loans and assist to reduce mortgage rates.
- To increase the efficiency of mortgage lending by taking a lead role in proposing changes to the enabling environment for mortgage lending as well as by standardising mortgage lending practices of financial institutions.
- To increase capital market access by supplying high quality long-term assets to the pension funds and other investors.
NMRC has identified market intelligence as a key area of activity and focus, within which it is developing a Mortgage Market Information Portal (MMIP). The portal is a decision-making tool to support the growth of affordable housing and housing finance markets in Nigeria. As the NMRC builds its MMIP, it is championing and collecting, relevant and timely data on Nigeria’s housing sector.
NMRC has also developed a Mortgage Market System to integrate the financing of the entire housing market, removing duplication in effort and streamlining mortgage approval processes. NMRC expects that the system will enhance the credibility of Nigeria’s mortgage market, attracting investors and highlighting opportunities.
More recently, NMRC has supported the development of the Roland Igbinoba House Price Index, the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF)
The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF) is a not-for-profit company with a vision for an enabled affordable housing finance system in countries throughout Africa, where governments, business, and advocates work together to provide a wide range of housing options accessible to all. CAHF’s mission is to make Africa’s housing finance markets work, with special attention on access to housing finance for the poor. CAHF pursues this mission through the dissemination of research and market intelligence, supporting cross-sector collaborations and a market-based approach. The overall goal of CAHF’s work is to see an increase of investment in affordable housing and housing finance throughout Africa: more players and better products, with a specific focus on the poor.
CAHF’s work covers four main areas: (1) understanding housing markets, (2) monitoring housing sector performance, (3) exploring innovation in housing finance, and (4) supporting housing finance market development. As part of this approach, CAHF regularly undertakes and commissions research; develops market intelligence on country and regional housing markets; hosts forums, strategy discussions, and workshops; and participates in local and international conferences and debates on housing finance.
Since its formation, CAHF has come to be known as the most comprehensive and up to date source of information on housing finance in Africa. Its research and other material is regularly used by investors, lenders, pension funds, and other financiers; legal practitioners, researchers and academics; policy makers and other housing finance practitioners to scope and pursue the opportunities for extending access to housing finance across Africa. As a thought leader in the sector, CAHF is a respected advocate for financial inclusion in housing finance in Africa. CAHF’s work is supported by FSD Africa and UKaid, the French Development Agency, the South African National Treasury and other funders.
A key area of CAHF’s work is its Citymark programme. Primarily focused on South Africa at this stage, Citymark takes deeds registry data framed as indicators at the neighbourhood level and considers market size, value, activity and performance on a segmented basis that highlights affordable housing in particular. The programme offers its analysis through a business intelligence platform that policy makers and housing sector practitioners use to explore local level property market activity.
More broadly, CAHF is actively engaged in the collection, analysis and sharing of data that promotes investment in affordable housing across Africa. All of this is available on CAHF’s website: www.housingfinanceafrica.org .