Experts outline emerging trends in 2017 property market
With this year offering the most challenging moments in the real estate sector, industry experts believe the property markets will continue to change, shift and evolve, sometimes quite dramatically.
They argue that in the midst of the harsh economic atmosphere, there are pockets of opportunities, which could boost the real estate industry. The experts met a one-day organised by Fine and Country West Africa as apart of its yearly Real Estate Leaders Network (RELN) breakfast Gold Session in Lagos.
The vision of RELN is to bring together thought leaders and investors in the real estate sector to discuss the economic outlook and provide a guide for real estate opportunities in the year.
Leaders ranging from developers, financiers, investors, High Net worth Individuals, regulators, researchers and marketers, gathered to discuss the theme: Economic and Real Estate Outlook 2017: Investing in challenging times. This theme was borne out of the need to champion discussions around identifying where the opportunities are in the perceived challenging times.
Leading the discussions with a keynote address was Prof. Pat Utomi. He dwelled on four growth drivers’ framework; policy choice, institutions, human capital and entrepreneurship. These variables are largely determined and influenced by leadership. Leadership determines the melting point among these independent variables.
The Chief Executive Officer, Fine and Country West Africa, Mrs. Udo Okonjo noted that, real estate is changing. “The concept of location needs a re-look. Prime locations still remain prime locations but some emerging locations are beginning to require a relook at the definition of location. Location has to be re-discussed as access is redefining the value of certain locations.
“Another important emerging trend which needs to be explored is the millennia housing market which is a huge part of the middle income market. The millennial market basically needs affordable functional spaces- two to three bedrooms. This market is important for real estate developers as they must begin to target first time homeowners and not just repeat buyers. Properties re-engineered and built for solution for this emerging markets.”
Okonjo who described the real estate sector as a mirror of the economy, which directly reflects the economic status of the nation, emphasised that even the premium real estate market has its peculiar pockets of opportunities.
She said: “Prime locations still remain prime locations but properties on prime locations can be re-designed to fit the present day reality. One of which is the apartment style of living as against the villa style. Market intelligence is increasingly pointing towards affordability and accessibility, which does not necessarily imply low cost housing. Oakwood residences typifies this model of market intelligence- contemporary apartments in the prime Ikoyi suburb.”
According to her, the confidence level of diaspora investing should be addressed and developed to attract direct foreign investments. Mrs. Okonjo also mentioned the retail hub opportunities in locations like Ikoyi and Lekki Phase 1.