Following the increase in the rate of cybercrime targeted at homebuyers and renters, experts have advised real estate investors to carry out due diligence before buying property.

The Principal Partner, Estate Links Limited, Mr. Gbenga Olaniyan, said many investors have lost huge sums of money while investing in property in Nigeria and abroad.

Olaniyan said: “You should not let your guard down. If you do your due diligence, you will lose less than the next person.”

He listed some of the factors affecting property investment in Africa as housing deficit, rural-urban migration, high birth rate, a growing middle class and greater returns on investment.

Olaniyan, a fellow of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, spoke at the Blueprint conference, organised by Relive Housing, in Lagos, on ‘Unlocking wealth: tapping into real estate in Africa (forecast and opportunities)’.

He noted that funding issues create opportunities, adding that real estate value always adjusts to the naira movement.“You need to continue researching. Even in a recession, there are many opportunities,” he told the participants.

IATA Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa, Funke Adeyemi, said owning land or property is one of the best securities anyone could have.

She also emphasised the need for due diligence, saying: “Don’t take the word of the landowner. Check it out so that you don’t buy land that is subject to litigation or marked for demolition by the government.

“You’ve to be intentional about investing in real estate. Co-ownership is an option. You need courage in the face of challenges. Believe that you can,” she said.

Convener of the conference and Chief Operating Officer of Relive Housing, Mojisola Afolayan, said the event focused on harnessing opportunities, learning and networking.

She said: “Most real estate conferences do not target first time home buyers or starters. ”We want to attend to those who are disappointed with the existing real estate market.

“It’s all about encouraging people to climb the property ladder. “That’s why we are launching a co-operative society to help people save consistently and intentionally.

“We’re passionate about unlocking wealth through property investment. “One of the options is to co-own a property through the Relive Pool, where you can own one per cent of a project.

“We also have the Relive Pillow, where you own as much as 20 per cent of which five people can own an apartment.

“Our mission is to build one million housing units across Africa and help 10,000 people own homes in five-year. Our projects are 20 per cent less current market prices.”

A lawyer, Aderinsola Fagbure, urged the government to address the duplication of roles by regulatory agencies in the property sector.

Fagbure, who is the Principal Partner of In Black and White Legal Practitioners, said multiple agencies are performing similar roles in most sectors, which she believes should be harmonised for efficiency.

Source : The Guardian