Coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that most applicants of the federal government mortgage scheme prefer to own houses in the two main urban areas of Abuja and Lagos.
The minister based her statement on 66, 402 applications for 10, 000 mortgages of the federal government mortgage refinance scheme, launched in August.
At a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, she described the preference for Lagos and Abuja by Nigerians of different ethnic backgrounds who want to buy houses as an indication of unity in the country.
The pilot application for the mortgages, which closed on September 5, recorded entries from mostly employed Nigerians who live in rented apartments across the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory.
“As of Friday September 5, 2014 we had received 66,402 valid applications – with more still calling. That is more than six times over subscription to our initial 10,000 pilot. We are extremely pleased with this outcome,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
“The applications were spread across the 36 states including the FCT. Sixty-three per cent of applicants were male, with 37 per cent female. Eighty-nine per cent of applications applied for themselves – that is in their own name, even our women. Everybody seems to want to own their own – interesting. Only 11 per cent were joint applications, that is husband and wife.
“Almost 60 per cent of applicants were in the 31 to 40-year age bracket, 15 per cent in the 21 to 30-year bracket – that is a healthy 75 per cent of young people willing to buy homes and can easily have tenors of up to 20 years for their mortgages.
“Nigerians showed that we prefer three-bedroom flats/houses, with 62.7 per cent of applicants applying to acquire this property type. Thirty-two per cent wanted two-bed flats and a small percentage applied for one-bedroom flats and one-bedroom self-contained flats. Ninety-six per cent of all applicants are currently living in rented accommodation.
“Fifty-one per cent of all applicants want to live in Abuja and 18 per cent in Lagos. This shows that almost 70 per cent of applicants want to live in the two main urban areas and there is a strong belief in Nigeria, showing that Abuja is truly the centre of unity. Ninety-two percent of applicants are in stable employed positions – the lenders will be very happy with this; whilst only eight per cent are self-employed.”
The minister added that all applications would be reviewed, and the first completed 10, 000 mortgages would be published in national dailies.
“Subsequent qualified applicants will be notified,” she said.
“Once qualified or notified, each applicant can then begin to look for a home that is within their borrowing range.”