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Don advocates market research before property investment in Nigeria

By Victor Gbonegun
25 July 2022   |   3:00 am
A University teacher at the Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos, Prof. Austin Otegbulu, has advocated adequate market research before investments are embark upon in the real estate sector.

Investment. Photo: IED

A University teacher at the Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos, Prof. Austin Otegbulu, has advocated adequate market research before investments are embark upon in the real estate sector.

Otegbulu made the recommendation during the unveiling of his new book entitled, ‘Property Development and Investment Decision Analysis’ in Lagos.

The 400-page book seeks to address industry problem encountered by investors in the real estate sector, highlight the need for investment diversification/strategy, report writing, property development, involvement of professionals who are skilled and emphasised that every investment that brings future returns is prone to risks and uncertainty.

Otegbulu, who is also a member, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), stated the need to change the scenario of how the concept of property investment is taught in schools and how it is different from what happens in the industry.

“People might be building and making profits but are they making optimum profits? The book talks about different investment vehicles for people to invest in real estate. Normally, people start building houses without first establishing the gap between needs and supply, as well as expectations in different locations. It exposes how to combine property investments to get the highest returns.

“There is need for value management. The book also revealed that the manner in which a building is designed could trigger unnecessary cost and attributes that don’t add value to investment and how to deal with such,” he said.

The author argued that it is impossible to carry out large development with equity funds, adding that any country where major projects are predominantly undertaken with equity financing is a sign of under-development and may be evidence of a corrupt society.

The book reviewer, Achike Chude, said the book is not only about providing solutions to local and domestic real estate needs, but in properly interpreting and advancing the interplay of economic forces in the global real estate market as the struggle to attract foreign direct investment increases.

He said the book will be useful for professionals, support personnel structure in industry, institutions, teachers and investors.
Chude said: “The author argues on the need for nations and people to understand the concept and nuances of market maturities and the conditions to achieve global relevance and success in foreign direct investment. The idea of cost and costing is of extreme importance to the author.

He argued that many appraisal reports rarely consider market research which is fundamental to property investment decision and adequately give special consideration to market research to cover lost ground.”

The Dean of Lagos Business School, Pan Atlantic University, Prof. Chris Ogbechie, who chaired the occasion, said the book is hinged on the fact that the real estate sector is a fulcrum for sustainable development of any economy. He said it is unfortunate that leaders don’t value the vital role of the sector in Nigeria.

Ogbechie, represented by Dr. Franklin Ngwu of Strategy, Corporate Governance and Risk Management, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, lauded the author for adding value to the sector and urged Nigerians to actively participate in the 2023 general elections.

The NIESV President, Johnbull Amayaevbo commended the author for his service to the institution at various capacities, combining academics with industry practice. According to him, the book would guide students and real estate practitioners. He also urged the government to provide an enabling environment for real estate sector to thrive in the country.

The forum attracted the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, represented by Mrs. Adenike Giwa, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, represented by Executive Director, University of Lagos Business School (ULBS), Prof. Michael Adebamowo, Managing Director, UPDC Property Development Plc, Odunayo Ojo, past presidents of NIESV and practicing estate surveyors and valuers.