Operators map strategies to boost real estate investments

Operators in the Nigerian real estate industry have outlined some measures to increase investment in the sector.

They spoke at the recent West Africa Property Investment Summit themed, “New Frontiers in the New Normal” in Lagos.

“The institutionalisation of policies and programmes would play a vital role in the real estate market,” said, Tola Akinhnami, Head, Real Estate Finance, West Africa, Stanbic IBTC.

Akinhanmi said that institutionalisation plays a key role in the real estate market, “however, it is not restricted to that industry.”

“It is about leasing information for our people, stakeholders, and experts for thriving solutions so that we can grow the market.

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“When we talk about institutional investments, it goes beyond rational debt; it is about how you utilise a capital market, and the risks involved. The investors in that market require transparency, they require detailed information that if you are not institutionalised, you are not able to have access to,” he said.

In addition, Akinhanmi said getting capital will be the first step in institutionalising the sector.

“Firstly, it starts with getting capital in and I think that’s already happening because a lot also rides on the macroeconomic impacts.

“So, it’s a collective effort, there are a lot of nuances, you want to ensure that investors see the asset class and see the country as an important destination for investment,” said the Stanbic IBTC’s head of real estate finance, West Africa.

On the other hand, Michael Obianuju talked about Nigeria’s projected 22 million housing deficit.

The Legal and Compliance Manager for Pennek Nigeria Limited said that this development means a 214.3 percent increment since 1991.

“We started off in 1991 with seven million. In 2019, it was 20 million, and now, 22 million.

“What you will realise is that it is growing and it all boils down to the population in Nigeria. Look at Ghana (two million); South Africa (2.5 million); and Ethiopia (1.2 million),” he said. “These are the statistics of the housing deficit. Nigeria’s case is different because of overpopulation, in addition to the concentration of individuals in a certain area.”

According to Obianuju, Nigeria’s population increases at the rate of 3.5 percent per annum.

“The government would need to churn out 100,000 housing units per annum to eradicate this menace.

“We need to increase that figure we need to turn out as much as one million units of houses per annum, and based on research, what is needed to bridge that gap is about N5.3 trillion,” he said.