Some government policies causing setbacks in real estate industry — Expert


By Wilson Adekumola

The Managing Director of Haigret Homes and Team Lead, Innovative Realtors Network, Mr. Elias Dongyen, has decried the current situation of the real estate sector saying the industry has suffered some setbacks due to some government policies that affected their businesses negatively.

He made this observation while speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect in a phone conversation recently.

He said, “The current situation of the real estate sector has suffered some setbacks in terms of unsteady government policies that impacted  sales negatively, and these, I believe tax deduction and cost of ratification of titles are usually the factors that affect the sector negatively and need to be looked into if the real estate industry must thrive.”

He spoke further that the unethical practices going on within the sector by some practitioners and the issues of demolition of some landed property and the land that has been given to rightful owners only to be taken over by the state government are some of the daunting challenges the real estate is facing.

He, however, hopes that with the recent establishment of Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Agency (LASRERA), when it fully swings into action, it will be able to correct some of these anomalies that have been putting clog in the wheel of the real estate business.

He added that the bottlenecks  in supply chain have also affected the sector such that it has become a bit difficult for real estate industry to close deals continuously as it used to be, noting that sales have drastically reduced as a result of current economic situation.

On the impact of the rising inflation on the real estate, Dongyen, who has been in industry over the years asserted that in a country that is struggling economically in the area of funding, inflation rate is the beginning of the problem, he said, “The rising inflation has its own negative impact on the real estate industry. In a country that is struggling with its economy, inflation is usually the problem, however, real estate, for what it is, in spite of the rising inflation in the country, has continued to rise in value.

“Real Estate has become one of the steadiest investment alternatives in Nigeria, and acquiring land or property especially in Lagos State right now is viable business.”

He also affirmed that the surge in price of building materials has affected the development of housing in the country adding that the rate at which people built houses compared to last five years has reduced, “however, those who desire homes can still build but they need to buy materials in installment not in bulk at once, as the income comes in, and continue building at a slow pace.”

While imploring government to intervene in creating a system that encourages low-income earners to have access to affordable home, he disclosed that mortgage can be accessible and affordable to low-income earners if government is able to make review of its regulations with mortgage banks so that it can be easy for them to have access to loan within a short period of time.

He also charged the government on the need to tackle the problems associated with absence of long-term financing in the economy.

“I think government has a responsibility to tackle the issue of mortgage in order to solve the problems of housing for the low-income earners.

“I am imploring government to resolve some of these constraints. Government should cater to the needs of her citizens by making social housing a priority.”