UGO OBI, Founder/CEO, Tilden Development Limited, one of Nigeria’s frontline real estate firms, has a unique perspective of the real estate industry. In this interview, he offers insights into the outlook for the industry in 2023. Among other things, he sees an industry that is dynamic and promises steady growth and opportunities for investors in the new year. He speaks with CHUKA UROKO, Property Editor. Excerpts:
The real estate industry in Nigeria ended 2022 on a positive note. Along with construction, it contributed N20 trillion to the GDP. How do you see the industry evolving into 2023?
The real estate market in Nigeria has always been dynamic, and we expect that to continue in 2023. One trend we are seeing is an increase in demand for affordable housing, particularly in urban areas. This is being driven by population growth and the need for more housing options for lower and middle-income earners.
At the same time, there is also a growing demand for high-end residential and commercial properties, particularly in cities like Lagos and Abuja. This is also being driven by the need to hedge against inflation coupled with an increase in both local and foreign investment and what we see as an expanding growth of the middle class. Overall, we expect to see steady growth in the real estate market in Nigeria in 2023, with a focus on both affordable and luxury options.
Despite the positive growth the industry recorded last year, it still had challenges arising mostly from Nigeria’s macro-economy. What challenges do you see facing the industry going into the new year?
One challenge that has consistently faced the real estate industry in Nigeria is access to financing. Many potential buyers and developers struggle to secure the needed financing to complete transactions. This is a major obstacle to the growth and development of the industry.
Another challenge is the issue of title deeds and property ownership. In some cases, it can be difficult to establish clear ownership of a property, which can create problems while concluding a transaction or commencing the development of a project.
Finally, infrastructure is always a challenge in any developing market. In Nigeria, inadequate road networks, power infrastructure and water systems can all be barriers to development. The infrastructure issues, when addressed by the developer, would ultimately increase the cost of the project from a financing standpoint.
The challenges you have pointed out affect every industry player. Now, how is Tilden Development addressing these challenges?
At Tilden Development, we are always looking for ways to innovate and overcome challenges. We have partnerships with banks and other financial institutions to provide financing options for our clients. We also work closely with the government and other stakeholders to address issues of Title Deeds and Property Ownership.
Additionally, we are committed to developing and delivering properties timely to our investors. These properties are of high and sustainable quality, considerate of the environment and the needs of the local community. We believe that this approach will help us to not only meet the requirements of our clients but also contribute to the long-term growth and development of the industry.
Apparently, real estate is the only viable investment asset class in Nigeria today. What advice will you give to an investor looking to enter the real estate market in 2023?
Our advice for anyone looking to enter the real estate market in Nigeria in 2023 is to undertake adequate research and be prepared for challenges. The market can be unpredictable, hence it is important to be flexible and adaptable.
Consequently, now is a great time to be involved in the industry. There are many opportunities for growth and innovation. We believe that those who are willing to put in the work and take calculated risks shall be well-positioned for success.
Tilden Development is committed to guiding investors in their journey into the Real Estate Industry and we are very accessible through our various social media channels.