Richard Olodu is a Lagos-based estate surveying and valuation practitioner. In this interview with DAYO AYEYEMI, the expert gives reasons for the rise in the values of land and housing units in Nigeria.
What are the reasons for the increase in property’s investment in Nigeria, especially Lekki – Lagos?
People buying properties can be categorised into two: Local people, who have money and Nigerians in diaspora. Despite the fact that money is scarce in the country, some Nigerians still get money and diaspora Nigerians repatriate money to the country for investment including real estate. In 2021, the amount of money repatriated by Nigerians was greater than the revenue from oil. Since property is a basic need, people will be keen in investing in it except in the period of war.
Secondly, corruption is still part of us In Nigeria and a lot of corrupt Nigerians find property investment as an easy haven. Thirdly, property investment is not volatile as other non-land-based investment. It is easier to manage and is composite. Property investment has been appreciating in Nigeria and people see Lekki to be nearness to commercial zones and public infrastructure provision.
Property investment is a branch of economics. It increases as population increases. The population of youths in Nigeria is still increasing and naturally, these youths and other non-served Nigerians, will aspire to get his or her own piece of the world. Property investment is in the same category as precious stones like gold and diamond. It is the simplest investment to forecast and speculate in.Unprofessional property investors follow bandwagon’s effect.
Are you surprised by the rate of appreciation?
We should not be concerned with the appreciation alone, we should be concerned with the rate of appreciation with other markets. What is the rate of appreciation of property investments and rate of appreciation of shares, bonds, savings in the banks and insurance companies? What is the rate of appreciation of property in the subject area and property investment in Mowe, Shimawa and Abuja? Property investment in Nigeria’s market as a whole is not competing favourably with other property markets like Cape Town, Tunisia, Casablanca, Accra and Cape Verde (Praia).
What is your advice to Nigerians that want take advantage of these opportunities to invest more?
My advice for the investing public is that individual investors should contact estate surveyors and valuers who are knowledgeable in property investment analysis. To the institutional property investors, they should invest in property outlook from specialised property investment forecasters.