Housing experts are optimistic that the current bullish and disruptive play, which characterise the real estate sector will be sustained.

They spoke at the forum ‘Nigerian Economic Outlook 2022: Intersection with the Real Estate Sector- Top Real Estate Trends to Watch’ organised by Nigerian- British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Construction and Real Estate Group in Lagos.

Setting the tone, the Chairman, NBCC, Construction and Real Estate Group, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, said: “Our overall expectations is that 2022 may be ‘Year 2020 that never was’ for the real estate sector. 2023 elections may ‘dent’ this optimism – depending on the overall impact on the polity.”

He observed that real estate thrives off the back of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the 25 per cent homeownership rate in Nigeria reflects the challenging operating environment. Nevertheless, there are certain trends in the sector that will bear watching in 2022.

“There will be regulatory and compliance intensity, with heightened title uncertainty in high profile locations. However, technology can be expected to take centre stage in the sector this year, with extremely strong growth prospects for growth in comfort homes, led by demand from first time home buyers, millennials, young families and empty nesters,” he added.

Reinforcing Ogunniran’s thoughts on the emergence of increased regulatory oversight in the real estate sector, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Ms Toke Benson-Awoyinka, harped on the need to curb fraudulent practices and emphasised the state government’s commitment to sanitising the industry.

Chief Executive Officer, RTC Advisory Services Limited, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, noted that the country’s real estate and construction sectors have seen four quarters of recovery, and will provide critical opportunities for economic growth, given the right policies and improved security, despite the cumulative effect of high inflationary trends and high-interest rates.

“We cannot ignore the obvious effect of inflation, foreign exchange challenges, insecurity and high unemployment rates, but Nigeria’s economic fundamentals remain strong and the real estate sector now represents an opportunity for steady growth and expansion. It will be a key driver for the country’s recovery alongside the agriculture, agribusiness, agric technology, healthcare and fintech sectors,” Agbaje said.

Earlier, NBCC President and Chairman of Council, Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi, observed that the real estate sector has been tagged as a major contributor to the country’s economic growth this year.

“The major objective of this event is to examine opportunities, challenges and indeed the threats in the real estate sector in 2022. The real estate sector showed positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2021 and has been identified as one of the sectors to look out for this year. We have assembled distinguished subject matter experts that will ensure we all leave here better informed,” she said.

Source : The Guardian