On the 22nd of July, 2020, Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and Real estate blockchain startup, Houseafrica.io signed an agreement to implement a Nigerian Digital Property Verification & Valuation System, Propvat.com designed to make land bankable, increase access to credit and reduce turnaround time for mortgage transactions.
The system will make it possible for individuals and organizations – including Financial Institutions – to authenticate, validate or confirm the value of any Property or Land across Nigeria and ultimately improve the amount of mortgage financing transactions in Nigeria.
Speaking on the partnership, Nnamdi Uba, Co-founder and CEO of HouseAfrica.io said,
“The partnership will help to unlock trapped assets and capital in residential real estate valued at over 300-900billion USD. and then wealth creation through increased access to credit and growth in mortgage penetration by as much as 3% – 5% of GDP over a 5-10-year period (subject to increased adoption and user rates).”
Speaking directly with Estate Intel about the intending users of the platform, Nnamdi explained:
“Users that are homeowners can store their property details for free but will be required to pay if they need to value and verify the property. In the same vein, users who need to verify the property before purchase will also be required to pay”.
Verification of land ownership in Nigeria is quite complex due to the largely informal land tenure system. The Land Use Act of 1978 through the introduction of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) sought to formalize the verification of titles. However, this has not been thoroughly implemented especially in the rural areas. This informal system has made the mortgage, sublease or transfer of ownership process difficult as they remain illegal without a C of O.
In our PropTech report launched in March 2019, we tracked 58 Nigerian PropTech companies. At the end of H1:2020, this had grown to 71 PropTech companies doing exciting things in the Financing, Blockchain, Property & Community Management segment indicating a growth rate of over 20%. Propvat.com is another interesting step for the industry as it aims to ease the problem of land verification by connecting prospective buyers to Lawyers and Estate Valuers to verify property before purchase or loan application.