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Experts see modest gains in 2017 real estate market

By Bertram Nwannekanma
28 November 2016   |   2:16 am
Despite the nation’s economic downturn, which has stifled investments in the real estate market, experts are already seeing huge opportunities in the sector, come 2017.


Despite the nation’s economic downturn, which has stifled investments in the real estate market, experts are already seeing huge opportunities in the sector, come 2017.

The experts, who include developers, investors and property managers hinged their optimism on what they called some accruable positives already being experienced by investors, who can think out of the box.

According to them, though the sector is not removed from stagnation, uncertainty ambiguity and volatility being experienced across many markets, there are still windows of opportunities for developers and investors to tap into.

This also followed Citibank’s projection of an inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) into Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017.

For example, predictions see an expansion of the nation’s commercial spaces from the present 300,000 square metres to 700,000 square metres in 2017.

Also, stakeholders have called on investors in real estate sector to stop to take advantage of the latent opportunities in the current economic recession facing the country by evolving a new business approach, rather than lamenting the economic downturns.

The stakeholders, who spoke at the 2016 Refined Investor Series (RIF), organized by Fine and Country in Lagos said only creative real estate investors, who can think out of the box, can survive the present economic recession.

Expressing the business capabilities of real estate in the coming year, an astute real estate investor and Chief Executive Officer, Country West Africa, Mrs. Udo Okonjo, said 2017 provides a unique opportunity for investors, who can build confidence through integrity.

According to her, the inconsistent economic policies and posture notwithstanding, investors with the right financing structure and strategic market facing focus have a unique opportunity to attract Nigerian diaspora into the housing market, with their usually stronger spending capacity.

Continuing, she said, “Only those, who can assess, define and interpret the market accurately, whether it is coming up with innovative solutions for social infrastructure to affordable and mid market housing, renewable power to urban cities or locally engineered retail centres.

For the Director, Real Estate for West Africa for Actis, Mr. Michael Chudi Ejekam, and Nigeria is expected to cover 700,000 square metres of spaces for commercial uses in the coming year.

Ejekam, who is currently on board of Gruppo Nigeria Limited, owner of Ikeja City mall said what is required is for investors to create a level of flexibility to tap in from the expected potentials in 2017.

Also, the Managing Director of UACN Property Development Company, Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, noted that his firm has already been positioned to reap from the projected boom.  In a divergent view, the Principal Partner, Ubosi Eleh and Company, Chudi Ubosi, said there would still be a massive bulk of houses unsold in 2017, while prices will continue to go up.

Ubosi, who described Lagos and Abuja are the most active places where housing projects are going on; tasked government on the provision mortgages, reconsideration of land use decrees/title issues in order to expand the provision of affordable and luxurious housing.