Real Estate: Experts advocate incentives to drive growth potentials



Some stakeholders in the real estate sector have emphasised the need for government to provide incentives to players within the ecosystem.

According to them, this will boost wealth and job creation, therefore  leading to economic prosperity.

They spoke at the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) Real Estate Outlook 2023 on Wednesday in Lagos.

The event has the theme; “Pitching Your Tent Post 2023 Elections.”

Dr Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Ltd., highlighting the nexus between the real estate sector and the economy, said a 0.79 correlation growth rate existed between the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the sector.

According to him, a focused government will give proper attention to the property market, availing as many incentives for the entire real estate ecosystem.

“The real estate sector is among the big six sectors that drive economic growth and while the sector has showed strong growth. Its contribution to GDP appears to be trending downwards.

“This means there’s room for investments to get the kind of impact we need to improve GDP seeing that real estate is systemic to every modern economy if given the right push.

“The 2030 projections for increasing population pegged at 8.5 billion people means the real estate must be properly positioned to create the value across all strata as its expected to be,” he said.

Mrs Jumoke Akinwunmi, Managing Director, Alitheia, said there was need for the execution of affordable housing to bridge the housing deficits in the country.

She, however, said its success was hinged on the partnership between the private and public sectors.

Akinwunmi urged government to provide more levers to make affordable housing a reality.

“There’s also the need to create institutions that would serve as middlemen between the government and private sector for easy accessibility and to achieve the success it deserves,” she said.

Dr Solomon Aigbavboa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sonedis Logistics, pointed out the opportunities for logistics,  particularly warehousing within the real estate ecosystem.

He noted that the warehousing market size, which had an annual growth rate of 11 per cent, would be worth $170 million by end of 2023.

He stated that its major drivers included increasing population, rising demands for e-commerce and the demand for refrigerated warehousing.

“For the increasing demands of logistics of agro products, fast moving consumer goods and emerging specialised markets, such as cold chain facilities in pharmaceuticals, there is a greater corresponding amount of returns.

“This means that the logistics arm of real estate is an area for government and private sector to look into and invest in, to send a clear signal to the real estate sector,” he said.

Mr Frank Okosun, CEO, Frank Knight Nigeria, said that post 2023 elections and following a transitioning to a new democratic regime, the property market might see a pent up demand.

“Thus, investible long-term capital would seek expression through the market.

“In the office market, vacancy rate is expected to rise slowly, due to downsizings and delayed lease renewal.

“Key areas of interest to watch out for in real estate include students housing, healthcare, warehouse, logistics and Information as well as Communication Technology (ICT)- Data Centres,” he said.

In her remarks, Ms Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, reiterated that the real estate sector remained a focal point of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

She said that Lagos would continue to explore data gathering, create policies and regulations to spur investments and address housing deficits within the state.

Benson-Awoyinka, however, sent warnings to real estate players engaging in fraudulent activities and taking advantage of innocent people to desist from such or face the consequences.

“We must sanitise the industry and stop the activities of those that would not allow Lagos to be the real estate capital of the world as it is poised to be.

“At state level, we are seeking partnership with the private sector on training of artisans across the real estate value chain, to take back their jobs that outsiders had hitherto hijacked. This is to reduce the unemployment situation we have and create wealth.

“We also are going to key into the housing data that would be gathered form the forthcoming national population census, so that we are better abreast of the housing situation in the state,” she said.

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