Kingsley U.N Chikwendu
Home prices have gone high lately and have affected buyers, sellers and developers. With the impact of the effect of the lockdown forced as a result of covid-19, recession that twice hit the country, the high inflation rate, fall in global oil prices, increase in fuel price, has led to increase in prices of commodities, especially, building materials. Increase in the cost of building materials has been one of the most troubles affecting the delivery of decent affordable housing.
Materials are becoming too expensive for builders and developers, most are already struggling with being forced into the new normal of the expensive state of items. With all these, the demand for housing is outnumbering an expected supply by a huge margin.
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Building materials contribute more percentage of resources to the development of a total structure and as such, there is a dire need for the government to address and regulate the prices in pursuit for the provision of more affordable decent housing, and promote the use of locally made materials.
Decades ago, housing affordability was not a problem because building materials were locally sourced and made until the urge to make use of foreign materials, seeing ours as inferior, reduced the trust we had on our materials. It also made us to forget to build with what we have, the use of these foreign materials has been a threat and still remains so to the development of our building resources.
Overall, building materials contribute enormously to the quality and cost of affordable housing. When the costs are high, it tells negatively on the quantity of affordable housing that will be developed by developers and in some ways, it affects the quality of houses to be built, since many who are looking to build houses for financial returns, may be looking to cut corners just to see that houses are built.
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Not only that, when prices of building materials are not stable and high, it leaves room for several uncompleted structures. One may have budgeted a range of amount to raise up and complete a building but, when prices of materials fluctuates, it slows the pace for the completion of the building. In some cases, it even leads to project abandonment. It threatens the ability to deliver projects within a projected cost and at a satisfactorily level.