God Made Homes (GMH) Luxury, one of Nigeria’s frontline new generation real estate development companies, has assured Nigerians that, in spite of the challenges in the country’s economy, it will continue to develop and put housing on the market.
The company is worried that Nigeria is playing a catch up to some African countries like Kenya and South Africa where out of every 1000 citizens, 790 and 650 respectively own decent homes unlike Nigeria where the number is as low as 23 out 1000.
The company notes that the government in Nigeria is not doing enough to improve homeownership in the country. “Buhari’s government promised 1 million housing units every year but ended up delivering about 23,000 housing units in eight years,” Ayoolarenwaju Kuyebi, the company’s MD/CEO, recalled.
Kuyebi who spoke in an interview with BusinessDay at the weekend, stated that the housing gap in the country would continue to widen until government did something, lamenting that the annual housing delivery which used to be up to 50,000 units, was now less than 10,000 because of high construction cost.
“Times are hard quite alright, but we believe that the present pain will pass; it won’t last forever if the new policies are implemented to the letter. If exchange rate becomes stable, and inflation moderates, things are going to be a lot better for us as developers. But, before then, we will keep pushing; we are not going to fold our hands and watch,” he said.
Continuing, Kuyebi said, “we have passion for real estate; we are not paying lip service, instead, we are changing the narrative in the sector. Between now and 2025, we are going to deliver about 401 housing units across three locations. We are currently working in Gbagada, Lekki and Ikoyi in Lagos.”
He added that between now and 2030, they would be delivering 1000 units yearly in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, stressing that they had a firm commitment to deliver a minimum of 4,000 houses in the next seven years.
Some of these projects, he revealed, were already in the works. “They have gone beyond conception level. They are at various stages of development and we are positive about delivering 4000 mass housing in these locations. Our long term plan is to deliver 1000 housing units in every state capital in Nigeria.”
Though the company’s target market are the mid-income earners, it is thinking of going into mass housing because, according to him, they did not go into real estate only to make profit, but also to help address the deficit.
He disclosed that construction cost from the standpoint lending rate and inflation has move up 30—40 percent, adding that, beyond that, there was the issue of finance and availability of semi-skilled labour which, according to him, was a big factor because to get quality tilers, bricklayers, carpenters, etc a developer has to go to neighbouring countries such as Togo, Ghana, Benin Republic, etc.
“As for inflation, it was expected. We expected too that Naira would go up, but we are engaging our stakeholders, telling them that in view of the times we are in, we are going to make some changes,” he said, revealing that they were already repricing their projects such that the yesterday’s price was no longer tenable for someone who wants to buy today or tomorrow.
Kuyebi believes that Nigeria would not be able to come out of its housing deficit unless there was an urgent intervention by the federal government through the recapitalization of the federal mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and special fund from the Bank of Industry (BOI, etc. “There should be a special fund for real estate to make house prices affordable,” he said.