The Demand for affordable housing in Nigeria is large and growing in the face of a sizable deficit and there is a dearth of existing interventions to support closing this gap. And according to Worldbank ,the Nigerian housing deficit has been estimated at up to 17 million and is growing at about 20 percent a year.
Estimates of output in the formal housing sector range from no more than 100,000 per year to an optimistic 200,000 per year, which covers only a fraction of the at least 700,000 units required per year to keep up with growing population and urban migration. Further, most new housing production caters to upper income households, leaving an acute housing shortage for middle and lower income households. The greatest need for affordable housing is lower income households in urban areas. Almost 50% of the Nigerian population lives in cities and about 80% of this urban population lives in substandard conditions.
What it does
Our allows multiple people pool money together to fund housing projects either for the sake of getting capital returns (investments) or to live in them. Users can see and join crowdfunded housing projects and invest as little as they can to reach the required amount to start/complete the housing projects and after completion, they start receiving returns on investments.
How we built it
We built an Android app using the modern kotlin language to allow a user view investment and property co-owning opportunities. We use Paystack,Bank transfer and NHF(for co-owning only) to receive investments while we use Firebase for data storage,analytics and phone number authentication.
Challenges we ran into
Deciding on the best approach to the problem and also picking the best design to use. We switched between different designs and argued a lot on which was best.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to help solve a major pain point of most Nigerians both in urban and rural areas using technology and also helping to reducing the Nigeria housing deficit.
We were able to learn and adapt to new technologies along the line.
What we learned
We learned a lot about team work and commitments while we also learnt about how crowdfunding and micro investments work.
We also had an amazing time learning about some of the challenges facing real estate development in Nigeria.
On the technical part,we learnt how to:
- Employ new technologies like Nexmo in delivering a smooth user experience.
- Host an app/website with Linode
- Connect .xyz domain with an app/website on linode
What's next for Properton
We're planning to partner with most of the major development and construction compainies in Nigeria to help with the planing and execution of these projects.
We also plan to introduce our smart prediction tool to use machine learning in helping people make smart investments by predicting under developed areas likely to be very developed in the Next 5years. (Which would lead to higher returns in investments on properties in those areas)
Further, introducing blockchain technology to help provide a more secure crowdfunding and investment platform.