By Raimot Salaudeen
A real estate practitioner at New Festac Property Company, Mr. Goody Egbuyi has identified liquidity, titling and the adoption of technology as three key areas that can transform Nigeria’s real estate sector.
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect correspondent, he said, “without liquidity, the investors spend much more to realise the scope of the project by borrowing or taking loans from banks to avoid project abandonment.
“Liquidity and titling is the need for innovation, a review of the national housing policy, while embracing newer technology, as real estate investors unlock opportunities and begin to address the challenge of a domestic housing deficit.
He gave reason for massive development of Real estate Sectors in our areas as due to the access to liquidity, because it is adequately funded.
According to him, “Apart from government, different individuals offload their liquidity on the real estate sector. Discussing million of funds approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an intervention support for the problems associated with COVID-19.”
He said the approved fund was a welcome gesture as the country needed all the outside support it could get.
He stated that, COVID-19 has been both instructive and destructive, stating that it has exposed the weak underbelly of the economy.
According to him, Nigeria is now in a fragile state as Crude Oil prices have fallen to their lowest levels in the past two decades. He observed that Nigeria equally failed to invest wisely in infrastructure and currently suffers from a massive infrastructure gap necessitating the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a purpose-specific vehicle, INFRACO Plc, to address the problem with a proposed N1.5trillion.
Goody also stated that, one of the important requirements in the Real Estate Sector is titling, if the project is not well titled it can be destroyed and abandoned.
The property expert observed that in 2020 the real estate market started on a very optimistic note but the COVID-19 pandemic has obviously upturned previous expectations.
Speaking on the challenges facing the sector amidst COVID-19, he highlighted unfavourable macroeconomic factors such as crash of returns on fixed income, assets (treasury bills and bonds), and a fall in returns on other alternative asset classes including foreign exchange. He was of the view that the pandemic was unique in the sense that people have stayed more focused on survival, staying afloat, feeding, basic needs rather than asset purchases such as houses.
Speaking on the opportunities amidst the pandemic, he expressed optimism that Nigeria needed strong macroeconomic fundamentals, in the sense that when the economy is strong real estate will thrive.